War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0653 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

Search Civil War Official Records

such a paper as this passport he has acted in direct contravention of a regulation issued by the proper Department of the United States of which he had received notice, which forbids all recognition of any diplomatic or consular passport so far as to permit the bearer to pass through the lines of the national forces or out of the country unless it should be countersigned by the Secretary of State and the commanding general of the Army of the United States. Mr. Mure attempted to do both with a paper bearing no such signatures.

There is, however, other and still more serious cause of compaliant against AMr. Bunch as disclosed by the papers of Mr. Mure, the exposition of which I am compelled to reserve for a separate communication. The present purpose is confined to an explanation of the reasons which have actuated the Government of the United States in taking the extraordinary step which has had for one of its consequences the effect of diverting, be it but for a moment, a part of the official correspondence of Her Majesty's Government from the channel in which it was originally placed. I am directed to express the regret the Government feels that such a measure had become imperative, and to assure your lordship of its earnest desire to make any suitable amends which may justly be required. If in the process there may have happened a slight interruptoin of the correspondece of the British consul it is their desire that the pressing nature of the emergency may induce your lordship to excuse it.

It is needless to say that the bag passes into the hands of your lordship in precisely the same condition in which it came from those of Mr. Mure. Comity toward the Government of a friendly nation together with a full confidence in its justice and honor to say nothing of a sense of property would deter the Government which I have the honor to represent from entertaining the idea of breaking the seals which protect it even were there ten times more reasono presume an intention unders so sacred a sancton to perpetrate a wrong certainly on one and perhaps on both Governments.

Still less is it the intention of the American Government to intimate the smallest suspicion of any privity whatever on the part of the authorities in Great Britain in aiding, assisting or countenancing a supposed design injurious to the United Staes and subersive of their sovereignty. Much ground as there is for presuming that it never was the intention of those who prepared the package to forward it to its nominal address but that it was rather the design after bringing bad matter under this sacred sanction safely through the dangers of hostile scrutiny to open the bag themselves and to disseminate the contents far and wide among the evil-disposed emissaries to be found scattered all over Europe, this consideration has never weighed a single moment to change their views of this trust when put in the balance with the strong reliance placed upon the good faith of Her Majesty's constitutional advisers. Least of all has it been in the thought of any one that your lordship would consent in any way to receive the papers if they are really illegal in their character or dangerous or injurious to the United States.

Should it, however, prove on inspection that any abuse has been attempted in America of the confidence to which Her Majesty's Government is in every way entitled I am directed to express to your lordship the hope that any papers of a treasonable character against the United States may be delivered up to me for the use of my Government and that Her Majesty's consul at Charleston if shown to be privy to the transmission of them under such a form may be made promptly