War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1144 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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States has not acted in any spirit of disregard of the rights or of the sensibilities of the British nation, and that he is equally just in assuming that the United States would consistently vindicate by their practice on this occasion the character they have so long maintained as an advocate of the most liberal principles concerning the rights of neutral States in maritime war.

When the French Government shall come to see at large the views of this Government and those of the Government of Great Britain on the subject nw in question and to compare them with the views expressed by M. Thouvenel on the part of France it will probably perceive that while it must be admitted that those three powers are equally impressed with the same desire for the establishment of principles favorable to neutral rights is at the same time not such an entire egreement concerning the application of those principles as is desirable to secure that important object.

The Government of the United States will be happy if the occasion which has elicited this correspondence can be improved so as to seucure a more definite agreement upon the whole subject by all maritime powers.

You will assure M. Thouvenel that this Government appreciates as well the frankness of his explanations as the spirit of friendship and good will toward the United States in which they are expressed.

It is a sincere pleasure for the United States to exchange assurances of a friendship which had its origin in associations the most sacred in the history of both countries.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

WASHINGTON, December 27, 1861.

(Received January 9, 1862.)

[Earl RUSSELL, London.]

MY LORD: * * * The day before yesterday M. Mercier received the dispatch from M. Thouvenel which was read to your lordship by Count Flahault on the 6th instant. He immediately carried it to the State Department and on being informed that Mr. Seward was at a Cabinet council requested the Assistant Secretary to send it into the council room without delay.

M. Mercier has at throughout displayed great alacrity and good will and (if I may be allowed to express an opinion on that point also) excellent judgment in giving the moral support of France to the demands of Her Majesty's Government.

* * * * * * *

I have, &c.,

LYONS.

WASHINGTON, December 27, 1861.

(Received January 9, 1862.)

[Earl RUSSELL, London.]

MY LORD: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a note which I have this morning received from Mr. Seward in answer to your lordship's dispatch of the 30th of last month relative to the removal of Mr. Mason, Mr. Slidell, Mr. Macfarland and Mr. Eustis from the British mail-