« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Argentine arms are at present engaged is waged against a State, the independence of which Great Britain is virtually bound to uphold; and the object of that war is to place the domestic Government of Monte Video in hands other than those to which the consent of the State has intrusted it. This alone might justify the interposition of a Power, under whose mediation the independence of Monte Video was established; and certainly the fact that the war is without any national character, so far as Buenos Ayres is concerned, and that General Rosas is by his own confession engaged in it as an auxiliary only and not as a principal, would enable him, without any sacrifice of honour or independence, to submit to a termination of the contest, by the peaceful interposition of friendly Powers. You will earnestly entreat General Rosas so to consider the question, and, by accepting the mediation of England and France, to open a door to its settlement before it is too late to do so with dignity; and you will represent to him that the time is come when the rejection of this advice will involve him in dangers and difficulties from which he cannot hope to escape without serious injury to his power: for that the long continuance of the war, the daily increasing losses and injuries to which European interests are exposed, the hopelessness of its termination, and the barbarities which mark its character, have, in addition to the claims of Monte Video for the preservation of her independence, determined Her Majesty's Government and that of France to unite for the purpose of putting an end to it. You will assure General Rosas that, not only is this determination taken, and the means of accomplishing it at hand, but that its execution cannot be long delayed, unless it shall be anticipated by a timely and becoming acquiescence on his part in the proposal about to be made to him by England and France. You will add, that you state this not as a threat, or in order to accomplish by words what Her Majesty's Government will hesitate to enforce by acts, but as a kindly warning, and with a sincere desire to avoid the necessity of adopting measures offensive to the dignity of a State with which Great Britain has hitherto preserved her relations of friendship unbroken.
I must leave to your own judgment the mode in which you will press these considerations, or any other which the state of affairs at your arrival may suggest to you, upon the attention of General Rosas; but I am inclined to think that in the first instance it will be better not to do so by formal or official communications; and, although there should not be any reserve or secrecy on your part, towards the representative of France, who may be actually resident at Buenos Ayres at the time, it is probable that, until the arrival of the French Minister with the instructions of his Government, the chances of success to our common cause will be best consulted by your speaking in the first instance independently, and singly, as the Minister of Great Britain.
If, as Her Majesty's Government cannot but hope, your representations in that character should have their due weight, and the Government of Buenos Ayres should withdraw its troops from the Banda Oriental, and its naval forces from before Monte Video, or should issue orders for a suspension of hostilities and the raising of the blockade, the first and most important object which Her Majesty's Government have in view will have been accomplished. The terms upon which peace shall be finally settled and declared between the 2 Republics may then be properly left to the united mediation of the friendly Powers, to be discussed and recommended to the 2 principal parties so soon as the arrival of your French colleague at Buenos Ayres may enable you to act together in the matter.
It is essential that you should observe a strict impartiality in the propositions which you may make to the contending parties; but the character of the contest, and the absence of all substantial and national objects—at least on the side of Buenos Ayres-make it difficult to prescribe any conditions as a proper basis whereupon to negotiate a peace. The point, however, to be principally kept in view, and the one which is of most importance to the mediating parties, is the preservation of the independence of Monte Video. To this condition the honour of England and France, and Brazil is respectively pledged, and it is one upon which no compromise can be admitted.
The obligations indeed of Buenos Ayres to acknowledge that independence are equally strong with those by which the mediating Powers are bound; nor is there any reason to suppose that General Rosas will hesitate to recognise it. The recognition, however, will be of little value so long as he shall continue the chief supporter of General Oribe's cause, whether that support be given ostensibly by arms, or secretly by the aid of money, or other influence. With the view, therefore, of setting at rest all jealousy on this score, it might perhaps be well that the conditions of peace should include on one side the removal of General Oribe from the Monte Videan territory, and, on the other, that any political refugees or other persons, whose presence in Monte Video may be a reasonable source of disquietude to the Buenos Ayrean Government, should seek an asylum elsewhere. Amongst these General Rivera would no doubt be included. And to this extent alone would Her Majesty's Government be disposed to sanction, either on their own part or on that of others, any interference in the internal affairs of Monte Video.
Should it appear necessary under such an arrangement, that security should be furnished for the persons and properties of the individuals affected by it, you are at liberty, under proper precautions, to offer the intervention of Her Majesty's Government for the purpose.
If you should find that General Rosas' Government has any just
complaint to make, or any redress to ask of the Government of the Uruguay, or if, on the other hand, it should appear to you that Monte Video is entitled to require something more from Buenos Ayres than security against future aggression, it will be your duty, in conjunction with your French colleague, closely and impartially to examine the claims of each party, and to recommend such an arrangement as you may judge to be equitable, and consistent with the honour and independence of the 2 States.
In conducting inquiry or negotiation upon any such points, you will, when necessary, put yourself in communication with the Government of Monte Video; either through Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in that city, or if you deem it requisite, by repairing thither in person.
I need scarcely add, that it is fully understood between Her Majesty's Government and that of France, that the settlement of the matters in dispute between the 2 Republics is not to be accompanied by the concession of territorial, or any other separate advantage to the parties concerned in the mediation.
It is very possible that the present juncture may be considered favourable for securing the free navigation of the tributaries of the River Plate, although only indirectly connected with the chief object of our intervention.
Without expressing any opinion as to the course which it may be necessary to follow if eventually we should be compelled to occupy those waters with a combined force, Her Majesty's Government are disposed to think that it will be better in the first instance, and so long as there remains a hope of restoring peace without the aid of force, to abstain from any mention of this matter.
It is true that to open the great arteries of the South American Continent to the free circulation of commerce would be not only a vast benefit to the trade of Europe, but a practical, and perhaps the best security for the preservation of peace in America itself. And should Her Majesty's Government not be disappointed in the hope which they entertain of being able, conjointly with France, to put an end to the contest by amicable mediation, I shall be prepared to give you instructions to unite with the French Minister in an endeavour to place the free navigation of the River Plate and its tributaries upon a secure footing. For the present, however, and as the question does not appear to have any necessary connection with the differences between the 2 Republics, the adjustment of which is our first object, you will do well not to introduce it as an essential point of negotiation. You will, at the same time, be careful not to enter into any engagement which shall fetter the discretion of Her Majesty's Government in dealing hereafter with this important matter.
I am not aware that I can lay down for you any further directions
as to the terms upon which peace may be concluded. In any conditions which may occur to you as adapted to the position of the 2 parties, or which you may be called upon to support, you will, of course, be careful not to sanction anything which may be offensive to the dignity and true interests of Monte Video, any more than to those of the State to which you are accredited. Bearing this in view, you are authorized to declare the willingness of Her Majesty's Government to become a mediating party to the Treaty.
Hitherto I have assumed that you will find General Rosas well disposed to listen to the representations which, in the name of Her Majesty's Government, you will make to him upon your first arrival.
If, unfortunately, this should not be the case, and if he should refuse to take any step for the suspension of hostilities, it will still be your duty to abstain from all threatening language, and from any further allusion to force.
You will wait the arrival of the French Minister, and as soon as he shall have presented himself at Buenos Ayres, you will concert with him the form in which your joint representations shall be made to the 2 Republics. A ready acceptance of our mediation by Monte Video may confidently be anticipated. And the points to which you have already been directed singly to call the attention of General Rosas, will then have to be urged upon him with the additional weight of the Government of France, and in a more formal and solemn
Whatever may have been the hopes and intentions of General Rosas up to that moment, it is hardly possible to conceive that when the consequences which must follow from a refusal to listen to the advice of the 2 Powers shall have been made evident to him, he will allow it to pass unheeded. But if he should refuse to act upon your united representations, and if there should be any signs of an intention to temporize, and to protract the negotiation, with a view of supporting General Oribe in a last effort for the subjugation of Monte Video, you will invite your colleague to join with you in declaring, that if, by a certain day, the support of the Argentine troops is not withdrawn from the besieging army, and the blockade of the city raised, the Commanders of the English and French squadrons will be directed to effect those objects by force.
It is needless to say that this declaration, when once made, must be adhered to. It will therefore be your duty, so soon as you shall perceive a probability that such a step may be necessary, to put yourself in communication with the Commander of Her Majesty's Naval Forces in the River Plate, to make him acquainted with the objects proposed in the declaration, and to request him to concert with the French Commander as to the mode in which it shall be carried out. The raising of the blockade will of course be effected at once, and
without difficulty. With respect to the withdrawal of the Argentine troops from the Monte Videan territory, it will be for your joint consideration how this can be best enforced. From the information possessed by Her Majesty's Government, it would appear that a blockade of those ports through which the Buenos Ayrean Government are at present in the habit of carrying on communications with the besieging army, more especiclly that of the Buceo, and, if necessary, the occupation of the lower waters of the Uruguay, would effectually cut off all intercourse between Buenos Ayres and General Oribe's forces, and thereby compel their retreat or dissolution.
These, however, are matters upon which, if any doubt exists, the decision must rest with the commanders of the force.]
You will bear in mind that Her Majesty's Government have no intention of carrying on any operations whatever by land; and you will not consent to the disembarkation of any men from Her Majesty's vessels beyond what may be requisite for the occupation of the Island of Martin Garcia, or any other spot, of which, for the security of the combined forces, or to make their operations effective, it may be necessary to take temporary possession. In such case you will be careful that the amount of force contributed by each party shall be as nearly equal as possible. I must add, however, that at any moment, or in any place in which the lives of British subjects may be in danger, it will be your duty to call for the aid of such force as may be necessary to insure their prompt and efficient protection.
How far it may be just and proper to adopt the same precaution in the event of danger to British property only, will depend upon the degree and extent of the risk, and upon other circumstances of the moment, which it is impossible to anticipate. Upon this point therefore I must leave you to be guided by your own judgment.
It is the hope of Her Majesty's Government that neither a continued refusal on the part of General Rosas to come to terms, nor the still more improbable event of active resistance on his part, may make it necessary to have recourse to a blockade of the port of Buenos Ayres. The objects which they have immediately in view-the restoration of peace, and a tranquil government to the Republic of the Uruguay-the removal of pressure from its capital, and the re-opening of its ports to foreign trade-may be effected without any such measure. But Her Majesty's Government do not conceal from themselves that circumstances may force them to take the step; and, should all other efforts to induce General Rosas to abandon the cause of General Oribe, and to conclude a peace fail, you are authorized to suggest its adoption to your French colleague; leaving, as in the case of the relief to be given to Monte Video, the execution of the measure to the judgment and responsibility of the naval commanders.
It is to be borne in mind, that under whatever circumstances you