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test; she accepted the fact when policy of France. For the last accomplished ; she raised no dis- five years it had existed entire, cussion on the subject with the and it was only those utterly ignorUnited States, nor even addressed ant of the facts who could contest a single observation to their Go- it. On every part of the globe vernment. M. Guizot had accord. where the policy of France and ingly felt surprised at the language England had been at variance, in used by the President in his mes Africa, Spain, and Greece, France sage, and he had considered it his had freely and boldly followed the duty to claim in reply for France course pointed out by her interests, an entire independence of action. without compromising in the least He next examined the commercial the friendly relations between the reasons which had induced France two Governments, thanks to their to recognise the independence of intimacy. M. Thiers had declared Texas in 1838, and rendered her that the two countries were disanxious to maintain it in 1845. pleased with each other. He (M. The political considerations had Guizot) contended that the two been of a still greater weight. countries, so far from being disThere were at present, he said, pleased and irritated against each three powerful nations intent on other, entertained, on the conaggrandizing beyond measure their trary, the most friendly feelings territories-England, Russia, and towards one another. (Some murthe United States. France was murs here arose on the Opposition not extending her dominions. In benches, when M. Guizot, turning Africa she had made a conquest towards the Left, exclaimed, “You it was her honour and interest to are not the country.”) Ile then preserve, but the bounds of which proceeded to enumerate the diffishe would not overstep.
culties between England and of the highest importance to France France, which had been amicably that those three nations should adjusted, contrary to the expectabalance each other's power, and tion of the Opposition, amidst the that none of them should obtain a applause of his friends in the preponderating influence. She was Centre. M. Guizot then, revertconsequently interested in pro- ing to American affairs, detecting the independence of the scribed the endeavours made by American States. M. Guizot then France to maintain peace. But proceeded to explain the nature if war should break out, the sole of the relations existing between equitable, and useful policy, the England and France. They were only one conformable to the naplaced, he said, on the most in- tional interests, was that of neutimate footing, and he was happy trality. That policy would be and proud to declare it. The beneficial to the cause of civilalliance of the two countries, their ization and it would secure to good understanding, their intimacy, France the blessings of peace and were necessary for the preservation procure for her immense commerof the general peace. Their in- cial and political advantages. The difference towards each other would conduct of France had been in noendanger its continuation. That wise hostile to the United States ; intimacy had not impaired in the she had taken po part against least the independence of the them, she had evinced a deter
mination to remain neutral, and for the production of her industry, would persist in that determination, there would be an end to her because he considered it the most power. He next adverted to the profitable, the wisest, the most conduct of the Cabinet in Amerihonourable, and the best calcu can affairs, and contended that it lated to put a period to the war. had not exerted itself to reconcile
M. Billault, who rose to reply, the two parties, but had sided began by contesting the commer with England, to the great detricial advantages accruing to France ment of the interests of France. from the independence of Texas. The general discussion on the The commercial relations between address terminated on the 23rd of the two countries in 1845 had January, and that on the separate been, he said, confined to the ex- paragraphs commenced. When change of two vessels ; the quan- the first paragraph was proposed, tity of cotton imported from Texas M. Isambert moved the follow. had only amounted to 53,000 ing addition after the word “
prokilogrammes, whilst France an- sperity:"nually drew from the United States “By correcting, in our laws, 57,000,000 kilogrammes of that enactments calculated to injure the article. The proceeds of the trade regular development of those inwith Texas had been under 200,000 stitutions, and by discussing the francs, whilst the commerce of organic laws promised by the France with the world exceeded Charter of 1830, for the conso2,000,000,000 francs. M. Billault lidation of those liberties." having asked M. Guizot what he M. Isambert said, that the proshould have done had Texas given mises made in the charter of 1830, herself to England ?
and sworn to at that period both M. Guizot replied, that he should by the Lieutenant-General of the have held the same language, fol- Kingdom and the King of the lowed the same conduct, given the French, had not been fulfilled. same advice, and stopped at the Ministerial responsibility was to same point.
this day an idle word; the law M. Billault then proceeded to which was to have fixed the condescribe the gigantic power of vocation of the electoral colleges England, enumerating the military in the chief towns of each departpositions occupied by her in every ment had not been presented ; sea and quarter of the world, and the country still awaited the law asked if the maritime balance of on individual liberty ; the imperial power was not actually destroyed law which prohibited twenty perby Great Britain ? Ministers, sons from meeting together withhowever, were too desirous to out an authorization of the police preserve her alliance to venture a was still in force ; freedom of conremonstrance on the subject. M. science was not guaranteed by any Billault next showed the interests legal provision. of England and France everywhere M. Corne supported the amendat variance. The power of Eng- ment, and imputed certain illegalland depended, he said, on the ities to the Prefect of the departdevelopment of her manufacturing, ment of the Pas de Calais, by which commercial, and maritime interests, a number of citizens had been deand the day she found no markets prived of their electoral rights.
M. Duchatel, the Minister of stated that the negotiations, relathe Interior, contested the truth tive to Oregon, had not yet been of M. Corne's assertions, and main brought to a close; and M. Guizot, tained that the prefect of that in a recent speech, delivered in the department was one of the most Chamber of Deputies, had declared loyal and impartial functionaries in that, in the event of a war between France.
England and the United States, After a few words from M. France should observe a strict neuCorne in reply, the amendment of trality, it being the only course beM. Isambert was put to the vote, coming her dignity and conducive and rejected by a considerable to her interests. Those declaramajority.
tions, made before the Parliaments In the course of the discussion, of the three nations, he added, an important paragraph was pro- should not be passed over in siposed by M. Berryer to be inserted lence, and it was to supply an in the Address. It referred to the omission in the Address that he unsatisfactory state of the relations had moved his amendment. M. between Great Britain and the Berryer then proceeded to examine United States, on account of the the probable result of the difdispute about the Oregon territory. ference existing between England The amendment was as follows : and America, and concluded that
“Should peace be disturbed by there was a probability of its not the conflicting pretensions of two being amicably adjusted. France great nations, France will reserve should accordingly provide against to herself the mission of prevent- that contingency, and proclaim the ing all infringement on the prin course she intended to pursue. ciples of the public law, which The first step taken by the Cabiprotects, on the seas, the liberty net in the American question had and dignity of international rela been one of ill omen. France, tions.
being totally disinterested in the M. Berryer, having ascended annexation of Texas to the Amerithe Tribune, said that a few days can Union, should not have joined before the opening of the Session, England to prevent it; and the a document of the highest im theory of the American balance portance had been received, the of power, declared by M. Guizot, message of the President of the
was no justification of her conduct. United States, in which that ex For bis part he could not underalted functionary declared that the stand what was meant by an Ameright of the union over the con
rican balance of power.
In North tested territory of Oregon was America there were only two great absolute. The President next re. possessors, the United States and ferred to the annexation of Texas, England, which owned a territory and complained of the conduct of larger than that of the American France, the natural ally of the Union itself. Would that balance United States, and like them in- be destroyed by the latter enterested in defending the principle croaching on the dominions of of the liberty of the seas, for join- Great Britain ? The Cabinet, he ing England in such a question. contended, had not bien guided in The Speech of the Queen of Great its determination by any French Britain, on opening Parliament, motive or interest ; for France had
no earthly reason, commercial or but, in 1818, France had asserted political, to oppose the annexation; her right by forming a number a desire to be agreeable to England of establishments at Madagascar. alone induced it to espouse a quar,
Since then serious attempts were rel, which was that of England and directed against the rights of her peculiar interests. The Cabinet France ; and it was only when had not, as asserted by M. Guizot, England herself had to complain confined itself to giving advice; of spoliation from the Hovas, that it had taken an active part in France made common cause with the question ; and to prove it, her, and their combined squadrons he would cite a despatch from bombarded Tamatave. M. Berryer M. Alley de Ciprey, the French then advocated the necessity of his Chargé at Mexico, in which that amendment. A declaration of neuEnvoy informed the Pesident of trality, he said, was an act of hosTexas, that, on his proposition, tility against the United States, the Mexican Government had con as the declaration of neutrality of sented to recognise the independ- Washington, in 1793, had been an ence of Texas, on condition that act of separation from France. It the latter should not give effect behoved France to assume a posito its project of uniting itself with tion conformable to her dignity and the American republic. That de security, by proclaiming, in the face spatch, dated the 20th of May, of the world, that she would maintain 1845, was delivered to the Texan the maxim of the old monarchyGovernment by Captain Elliott, that free bottoms make free goods the English Chargé d'Affaires, who -that no blockades should be rehad dared to menace that Govern- spected except real blockades—and ment in the names of both France that she would take under her proand England. M. Berryer then
M. Berryer then tection the navies of all neutral proceeded to discuss the course powers. M. Berryer, nevertheless, pursued by the Cabinet in respect was of opinion that no war would of Monte Video, where, he said, ensue; that the negotiation would it had abandoned French citizens be resumed ; that the Americans who had armed themselves for the would not yield, and that England defence of their lives and property, would be too happy to accept the threatened to deprive them of that 49th parallel of latitude as the nationality, and forbidden them to boundary line of her possessions hoist the tricoloured flag. That in the contested territory. policy had been persevered in for M. Guizot commenced by obyears, and it was only when serving, that the question of Texas England had been wounded in had been already discussed in the her interests and honour, in the Chamber, and that he had nothing River Plate, that the Cabinet de to add to the reply he had already termined to assist her in avenging made on the subject. That as to her wrongs. The same had been the questions of La Plata, Madathe case at Madagascar. France's gascar, and the right of search, right of possession and sovereignty they would find their place in the over that island was undeniable. debate on the Address ; and that England, it was true, had pro- feeling much fatigued, he would tested against it in the disastrous at once enter upon the amendyears of 1815, 1816, and 1817 ; ment proposed by M. Berryer.
“I pray the Chamber," continued the policy of neutrality? For two M. Guizot, “ to remark that this reasons:--First, because I believe amendment does not present any that if unfortunately a conflict immediate necessity. War between should arise, it would be more the United States and England is difficult to establish the policy an hypothesis, which, in the opi- of neutrality in the midst of nion of the honourable M. Berryer, the excitement of passions than is not probable, and in that opinion at present. Wishing really and I coincide with him. Consequently seriously for neutrality, I did the amendment of M. Berryer is a not desire to wait for the most reservation made with a view to an difficult moment to announce and hypothesis, and not with a view to to adopt that policy. That was an actual necessity. I assert that my first reason ; but my second this hypothesis is improbable, and reason is still more serious. It is I add that the reservation is use. that when the chance of war is less, because it is a matter of right. still distant and improbable, the No one could ever have imagined declaration of a policy of neutrality that, if a conflict should unfortu made beforehand is a means of nately occur between England and peace, and a means of influencing the United States, France would the deliberations of the two naabandon the maxims which she tions. M. Guizot, in continua. has constantly professed and main tion, said that he was aware there tained, with respect to the liberty were persons both in England and of the seas and the right of neu in the United States who entertral powers.
The matter reserved tained illusions as to the neutrality is a matter of right; it has no of France in case of a war, and need to be written. France will for that reason he wished to asnot change her maxims, and the sure them beforehand that he would Government of the King is in that take part with neither one nor the respect as decided as M. Berryer other, and that he trusted this himself. When I ascended the declaration would weigh in the Tribune to announce the policy of balance and contribute to the neutrality, I meant that neutrality maintenance of peace.
M. Guizot should really be maintained and ex concluded by again repeating that ercised. The policy of neutrality is the policy of neutrality was the -on one hand, not to make war, true interest of France. and on the other, to maintain the jure the Chamber,” said M. Guizot, rights of neutral powers, for with “not to suffer itself to be induced out that neutrality could not exist. to utter a word which might enAt the very moment that I an feeble or change that attitude of nounced the policy of neutrality, I neutrality which I have wished to by that fact announced that France maintain.” would maintain the rights of neu A division took place upon the trals and the principle of the liberty amendments moved by M. Berryer, of the seas. The hypothesis is im when the numbers were probable: the reservation proposed is useless. But has it not its incon For the motion
156 venience, that is the true question ? Against it.
234 Why did I, during one of your late sittings, proclaim beforehand Majority for Ministers 78
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