War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0632 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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the penalty of $2,500, with a condition that he should thereafter bear true allegiance to the United States and do no act hostile or injurious to them while remaining under their protection.

I have to regret that after so long an official intercourse between the Government of the United States and Great B be necessary now to inform Her Majesty's ministers that all executive proceedings whether of the Secretary of War or of the Secretary of State are unless disavowed or revoked by the President proceedings of the President of the United States. Certainly it is not necessary to announce to the British Government now that an insurrection attended by civil and even social war was existing in the United States when the proceedings which I have thus related took place. But it does seem necessary to state for the information of that Government that Congress is by the Constitution invested with no executive power or responsibility whatever, and on the contrary that the President of the United States is by the Constitution and laws invested with the whole executive power of the Government, and charged with the supreme direction of all municipal or ministerial civil agents as well as of the whole land and naval forces of the Union, and that invested with those ample powers he is charged by the Constitution and laws with the absolute duty of suppressing insurrection as well as of preventing and repelling invasion and that for these purposes he constitutionally eercises the right of suspending the writ of habeas corpus whenever and wheresoever and in whatsoever extent the public safety endangered by treason or invasion in arms in his judgment requires.

The proceedings of which the British Government complain were taken upon information conveyed to the President by legal police authorities of the country, and they were not instituted until after he had suspended the great writ of freedom in just the extent that in view of the perils of the State he deemed necessary. For the exercise of that discretion he as well as his advisers-among whom are the Secretary of War and the Secretary of State-is responsible by law before the highest judicial tribunal of the Republic and amenable also to the judgment of his countrymen and the enlightened opinion of the civilized world.

A candid admission contaned in your letter relieves me of any necessity for showing that the two persons named therein were neither known nor supposed to be British subjects when the proceedings occurred and that in every case subjects of Her Majesty residing in the United States and under their protection are treated during the present troubles in the same manner and with no greater or less rigor than American citizens. The military prison which was used for the temporary detention of the suspected parties is a fort constructed and garrisoned for the public defense. The military officer charged with their custody has declined to pay obedience to the writ of habeas corpus, but the refusal was made in obedience to an express direction of the President in the exercise of his functions as Commander-in-Chief of all the land and naval forces of the United States. Although it is not very important it certainly is not entirely irrelevant to add that so far as I am informed no writ of habeas corpus was attempted to be served or was even sent out or applied for in behalf of either of the persons named, although in a case not dissimilar the writ of habeas corpus was issued out in favor of another British subject and was disobeyed by the direction of the President.

The British Government have candidly conceded in the remonstrance before me that even in this country so remarkable for so long an enjoy-