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the officer of customs, who is to proceed to Nassau to give evidence respecting the Oreto, should have an interview with the law-officers of the Crown previously to his departure; and Lord Russell has accordingly requested the law-officers to name a day on which it may be con- . venient to them to receive him.

I am, &c.,



*No. 27.

Mr. Layard to the law-officers of the Crown.

FOREIGN OFFICE, August 20, 1862. GENTLEMEN : With reference to your report of the 12th instant, respecting the case of the Oreto, I am directed by Earl Russell to acquaint you that it has been determined to send one of the customs officers from Liverpool to Nassau, to give evidence as to the equipment of this vessel in England; and I am to request that you will be good enough to appoint a day on which you can receive this gentleman, in order that it may be ascertained whether the information he possesses is that which will be conducive to the object in view.

I am, &c.,


No. 28.

Jr. Hamilton to Ur. Hammond.


August 26, 1862. (Received August 26.) Sir: With reference to Mr. Layard's letter of the 11th instant, on the subject of the guin-boat Oreto, which was fitted out at Liverpool, and has since been captured by Her Majesty's ship Greyhound at Nassau, Bahamas, for an alleged violation of the foreign enlistment act, I am (lirected by the lords commissioners of Iler Majesty's treasury to transmit herewith copy of a report of the commissioners of customs of the 25th instant, with its inclosures, for the information of Earl Russell, with reference to this question.

I am, &c.,


(Inc'osure 1 in No.2)

The commissioners of customs to the lords commissioners of the treasury.

('USTOM-HOUSE, Jugust 25, 1562. Your lordships having, by Mr. Hamilton's letter of 20th instant, transmitted to us, with reference to previous correspondence on the subject of the giin-boat Oreto, which was fitted ont at Liverpool, and has since been captured

Report froin cus

toms ar to provide by Her Majesty's ship Greyhound at Nassau, for an alleged violation them at Laserol. of the foreign enlistinent act, copy of a letter from the Foreign Office, and of its inclosure, on the subject of the proceedings to be adopted in the matter, and requested that he would take the necessary steps for sending to Nassani some gentleman connected with this department competent to afford the information

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required in the case, we beg to transmit, for the information of your lordships, copies of the report of our collector at Liverpool, with whom we have been in communi. cation on the subject, together with copies of the statements of Mr. Morgan, the

surveyor, and Mr. Lloyd, the examining officer, who visited and kept watch on the · Oreto from the time that suspicions were first entertained of her being fitted for the

so-called Confederate States until she sailed from the port, together with copy of the
statement on oath of Mr. Parry, the pilot who had charge of the ship from the time she
left the Toxteth dock until she left the Mersey; and as, from these papers, the pilot
would appear to be the most fitting person to give evidence in the case, we beg to be
favored with your lordship’s further instructions as to the person who should be directed
to proceed to Nassau.



*(Inclosure 2 in No. 28.)
Mr. Eduards to the commissioners of customs.

LIVERPOOL, August 23, 1862. HONORABLE Sirs: It will be seen from the annexed statement of Mr. Morgan, surveyor, that he will be able to state the fact of the vessel being built by Messrs. Miller & Sons, and of the absence of all warlike stores on board when she left the docks ; while the evidence of Mr. Lloyd, the examining officer, fully supports the statement of the pilot, Mr. Parry, which, from its importance, I have taken on oath, as it appears to me he would be the most fitting person to give evidence of the absence of all warlike stores on board the vessel when she left this country.

I am satisfied that she took no such stores on board, and indeed it is stated, thongh I know not on what authority, that her armament was conveyed in another vessel to Nassau. The board will therefore perceive that the evidence to be obtained from this port will all go to prove that she left Liverpool altogether uvarmed, and that while here she had in no way violated the law. (Signed)


(Inclosure 3 in No. 28.)

Statement of Mr. Eduard Morgan. I am one of the surveyors of customs at this port; pursuant to instructions I received from the collector on the 21st February in the present year and at subsequent dates, I visited the steamer Oreto at various times, when she was being fitted out in the dock, close to the yard of Messrs. Miller & Sons, the builders of the vessel. I continued this inspection from time to time until she left the dock, and I am certain that when she left the river she had no warlike stores of any kind whatever on board.

After she went into the river she was constantly watched by the boarding officers, who were directed to report to me whenever any goods were taken on board, but, in reply to my frequent inquiries, they stated nothing was put in the ship but coals. (Signed)


(Inclosure 4 in No. 28.)

Statement of Mr. Henry Lloyd. In consequence of instructions received from Mr. Morgan, surveyor, I, in conjunction with the other three surveyors of the river, kept watch on the proceedings of the vessel Oreto from the time she left the Toxteth dock, on the 4th March last, till the day she sailed, the 22d of the same month. On one occasion I was alongside of her, and spoke to Mr. Parry, the pilot, and the chief mate. Neither I nor any of the other river surveyors saw at any time any arms or warlike ammunition of any kind taken on board, and we are perfectly satistied that none such was taken on board during her stay in the river. (Signed)

H. LLOYD, Eramining Officer.

Inclosure 5 in No. 28.)

Statement on oath of Mr. William Parry. I was the pilot in charge of the ship Oreto when she left the Toxteth dock on the 4th March, 1862. I continued on board to the day of her sailing, which was the 22d of the same month, and never left her save on Sunday, when all work was suspended. I saw the ship before the coals and provisions were taken into her; there were no munitions of war in her; that is to say, she had no guns, carriages, shot, shell, or powder; had there been any on board I must have seen it. I piloted the ship out of the Mersey to Point Lynas, ott Anglesea, where I left her, and she proceeded down channel, since

which she has not returned. From the time the vessel left the river until I left [35] her *she held no communication with the shore, or with any other vessel, for the

purpose of receiving anything like cargo on board. I frequently saw Mr. Lloyd, the tide surveyor, alongside the ship while the river. (Signed)

WM. PARRY. Sworn before me, at the custom-house, Liverpool, this 230 August, 1862. (Signed)

S. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.

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FOREIGN OFFICE, August 29, 1862. SIR : With reference to the case of the steamer Oreto, which you are probably aware has been seized at Nassau, and is to be tried before the admiralty court of the Bahamas for a breach of the foreign-enlistment act, I have the honor to inclose, for your information, copies of a report, and its inclosure, from the commissioners of customs with refer. ence to a suggestion I had made to the treasury that a competent officer should be sent to Nassau to give evidence as to what occurred at Liverpool in the case of that vessel.'

I am, &c.,


No. 39,

Earl Russell to Mr. Stuart.

FOREIGN OFFICE, August 30, 1862.
SIR: With reference to my dispatch of the 2d instant, I inclose, for
Pour information, copies of further papers respecting the Oreto.

* I am, &c.,


No. 31.

The Queen s advocate to Mr. Layard.

5 ARLINGTON STREET, LONDOX, September 3, 1862, 10 o'clock. (Received September 3.) MY DEAR LAYARD: The attoney general and I met at the former's chambers at 1 o'clock to-day. If the person who is to be sent to Nassau be in town we could see him to day on the subject of the evidence (men. tioned in your letter of the 20th) as to the equipment of this vessel. If he be not in town, had we not better see the solicitor for the treasury, or somebody ejusdem generis, upon the subject to-day! Failing both these propositions, it would remain to fix another day,

No. 20.

but this is not easy in vacation time, for my colleagues at least; but in this event what day occurs to you as most likely to find the customhouse officer (or whoever is to be sent) as prepared with his evidence !

I have, &c.,


No. 32.

Mr. Layard to the Queen's advocate.

FOREIGN OFFICE, September 3, 1862. Mr. Layard presents his compliments to Her Majesty's advocate general, and, with reference to his note of this morning, begs leave to inclose a report from the commissioners of customs which seems to show that no good would result from sending a custom-house officer to Nassau

to give evidence in the case of the Oreto. [36] * Should the Queen's advocate and the attorney general concur

in this opinion, Mr. Layard would inform the law officers officially that the conference with the Liverpool custom-house officer was no longer necessary.

No. 33.

The Queen's advocate to Jr. Layard.


September 3, 1862. (Received September 3.) The Queen's advocate presents his compliments to Mr. Layard, and with reference to his note of this morning begs to state that the Queen's advocate has conferred with the attorney general, and that they have together perused the inclosures marked 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, contained in the letter from the treasury of the 26th August last, and are of opinion that it will not be necessary to send a custom-house officer from Liverpool to Nassau to give evidence in the case of the Oreto.

At the same time they are desirous of pointing out to the attention of Mr. Layard that the evidence of the custom-house officer negatives only the arming of the Oreto, and the putting warlike stores on board of her, and is silent as to any other circumstances of suspicion, such as any peculiarities in the equipment of the vessel, her being pierced for guns, or the like, and as to any statement of the captain or others as to her real destination.

No. 31.

ur. Layer to the secretary to the treasury.

FOREIGN OFFICE, September 4, 1862. SIR: I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you a copy of a memorandum by Iler Majesty's advocate general, stating that the

I No. 33.

attorney general and he have perused the inclosures Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and J, in your letter to Mr. Hammond of the 26th ultimo, and that they are of opinion that, under the circumstances therein stated, it will not be necessary to send a custom-house officer to Nassau to give evidence in the case of the Oreto. It is observed, however, in the memorandum that the papers inclosed your letter are silent as to various other suspicious circumstances in regard to that vessel ; and I am to request that, in laying the memorandum before the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's treasury, you will move their lordships to communicate it to the commissioners of customs for such observations as they may have to offer thereupon.

I am, &c., (Signed)


No. 35.

The secretary to the admiralty to Mr. Layard. ADMIRALTY, September 15, 1862. (Received September 16.) Sir: I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Her Majesty's secretary of state for foreign affairs, a copy of a letter, Government costs dated the 4th instant, from Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Milne, reporting the release of the Oreto steamer.

I am, &c.,


Release of Oreto.


*!Inclosure in No. 35,!

l'ice-Jdmiral Sir 1. Milne to the secretary to the admiralty.

NILE, OFF CAPE RACE, September 4, 1862. SIR: With reference to my letter of the 24th July last, I beg you will acquaint their lordships that I learn, by telegraph via Halifax, that the Oreto has been released, and o pay our costs, amounting to £145. By next mail I shall be able to furnish their lordships with further particulars.

I have, &c.,


(No. 36.]
Sir F. Rogers to Jr. IIammond.

Vo.290, I am

DOWXING STREET, September 16, 1862.

(Received September 16.) $IR: With reference to the correspondence between the Foreign Office and this office respecting the steamer Oreto and the gun-boat known as

directed, by the Duke of Newcastle, to transmit to you the copies of two dispatches from the governor of the Bahamas, the first reporting that the judges of the vice-admiralty court had 'decreed the restoration of the Oreto, the second inclosing a copy of the decree.

His lordship will not fail to observe that this decision of the vice-admiralty court of the Bahamas will place the governor of that colony in some difficulty in acting on the instructions conveyed to him in conse.

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