War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1206 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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being the cardinal point of the policy they seek to pursue it is plain that the adoption of the declaration of Paris is a sacrifice of which they are beginning to repent.

Not the least remarkable among the admissions made in this debate is that which specifies the danger of a war with the United States in the event of a persistence in their former doctrine respecting the cargoes of neutral ships at the time of the contest with Russia as having been the main cause that prompted the concessions in that declaration. Thus it would seem that the idea of the growing power of the United States as one nation is everywhere present to their imagination as the great obstacle in the way of their continued domination of the sea. Can it be wondered at if under these circumstances the notion of a permanent separation of this power into two parts one of which can be played off against the other were not altogether unwelcome to their hearts?

To considerations of a similar kind are we indebted for the security that has been afforded to us in our present contest against interference with the blockade. That there has been and still is a very strong inclination in the country to get rid of it is unquestionable. That but for its unavoidable connection with possibilities of consequences in other and not very remote complications an attempt of the kind would have been made I am strongly inclined to believe. The argument that has overborne all these tendencies is drawn from the fear that such a step would only lead in the same direction with the preceding ones taken at Paris. It would ultimately deprive Britannia of her power longer to rule the waves. The entente cordiale with France is not yet hearty enough to make such a result altogether acceptable even to the fancy. Neither are the relations with Russia so friendly as to render a voluntary release of the main instrument to keep her in check a proposition to be entertained with favor. For these reasons no countenance any remonstrance against our blockade, neither will the general reasoning of Mr. Cobden in favor of limiting the right of blockade find much response among people in authority. Even the admissions rendered necessary to establish a position in reclaiming the rebel emissaries on board the Trent will be limited as far as may be to shut the door against further concessions.

It will then continue to depend upon the degree of concert established among those nations of the world which have never upheld neutral rights whether any real advance be made in the recognized doctrines of international law or not, just as it has done in preceding times. Great Britain will concede only from a conviction that such a course is the safest for herself. The remedy for other countries is obvious. It is to unite in the labor of raising the obligations of specific contracts to the level of permament international law and to enforce the observation of a consistent system of policy upon any single power whenever it may venture to set up the promptings of its immediate interest as the only rule of action it thinks proper to abide by.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

CONFEDERATE REPORTS, CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Resolution adopted by the Confederate Congress, February 13, 1861.

Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That a commission consisting of three persons be appointed by the President as soon as practicable after his arrival to proceed without delay to Great Britain, France and other European powers, and to act under such instructions as may be given from time to time by him.