War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0656 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Majesty's secretary of state had been seized and detained by order of the Secretary of State of the United States. It seems to have been suspected that Her Majesty's consul had inserted in his official bag and covered with his official seal the correspondence of the enemies of the Government of the United States now engaged in open hostilities against them.

Had Her Majesty's consul so acted he would have no doubt been guilty of a grave breach of his duty both toward his own Government and that of the United States. But I am happy to say there does not appear on opening the bag at the foreign office to be any ground for such a suspicion.

Her Majesty's Government were advised that the suspension of the conveyance by post of letters from British subjects between the Northern and the Southern States was a contravention of the treaty on this subject contracted by the two Governments. Her Majesty's Government have been unwilling to press this view on the United States. But this stoppage of the post has occasioned great inconvenience to individuals and I inclose a copy of a note from Mr. Bunch to the undersecretary of foreign affairs showing the mode in which he has endeavored to palliate the evil by inclosing private letters in his consular bag.

I shall address any further communication I mayhave to make on this subject to Lord Lyons.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant,



CHARLESTON, August 5, 1861.



Mr. Bunch presentes his compliments to Her Majesty's undersecretary of stte for foreign affiras and takes leave to inclose to him herewith certain letters which are intended for the post.

They are principally letters of servants, governesses, &c. (British subjects), which owing to the discontinuance of the post they are unable to send in any other way. Some also contain dividends, the property of British subjects, which they could scarcely receive without Mr. Bunch's intervention.

Mr. Bunch hopes that there is no irregularity in this proceeding. No expense of postage is incurred by the foreign office as the bag in which the letters are contained goes by a private hand to Liverpool.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

FOREIGN OFFICE, September 9, 1861


SIR: The undersigned, Her Majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, has received a communication from Mr. Adams, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United Staes at this court, dated the 3rd instnt giving some information regarding the conduct of Mr. Bunch, Her Majesty's consul at Charleston in the United States and requesting on the part of the Government of the United States that Mr. Bunch may at once be removed from his office.

The undersigned will without hesitation state to Mr. Adams that in pursuance of an agreement between the British and French Governments Mr. Bunch was instructed to communicate to the persons exer-