NEW YORK, December 22, 1861.
E. S. SANFORD, President American Telegraph Company:
The steamship Arago from Havre, via Southampton on the 11th instant, passed Cape Race at 6 o'clock Saturday evening en route to New York. Her dates are three days later than those per the America. General Scott is passager by the Arago. His health much improved.
The London Times' Paris correspondent says that the official opinion of the British minister on the outrage perpetrated by the San Jacinto on the Trent is most precise and positive, namely, first, that the violence committed by the captain of the San Jacinto is indefensible; second, that by regarding the commissioners, Messrs. Mason and Slidell, as contraband Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet contradict themselves for they refused to admit they were aware of their presence.
The various military stations in Ireland had been ordered to complete their strength of sixty-nine regiments of the line. The British Government is negotaiting for steamers to transport troops to Canada. The London Times of the 10th instant says advices by the Niagara encourages hope of a disavowal by the Cabinet at Washington of the San Jacinto outrage and a surrender of the southern commissioners.
WASHINGTON, December 23, 1861.
(Received January 7, 1862.)
[Earl RUSSELL, London.]
MY LORD: In conformity with the understanding to which I came with Mr. Seward on the 19th instant I waited upon him the day before yesterday for the purpose of reading to him your lordship's dispatch of the 30th ultimo on the subject of the seizure of Mr. Mason and Mr. Slidell and their secretaries on board the Trent.
On my presenting myself Mr. Seward said that he had occupied himself as unremitting as the great amount of business he had to transact allowed in stuying the question. He would confess that he had not yet completely mastered it. He would not make me a formal request to postpone the communication of your lordship's dispatch, but he would say that it would be a great convenience to him personally and a great advantage in all respects if I would consent to do so. The next day was Sunday; could I not defer the communication till Monday. I answered that I would as he wished it put off reading the dispatch to him until Monday, provided he would fix an early hour for receiving me on that day. I should I said be obliged to send off my messenger with dispatches for your lordship on Monday afternoon. It was impossible that I could allow another packet to sail without reporting to your lordship that I had executed your orders. Mr. Seward promised to recive me as early as 10 o'clock on Monday morning.
I accordigly went to him soon after that hour this (Monday) morning, read the dispatch to him and at his request left with him a copy of it. He said that the would immediately lay it before the President and that I should without delay receive a communication with regard to it.