C. S. COMMISSION, London, February 7, 1862.
Honorable R. M. T. HUNTER, Secretary of State, Richmond.
SIR: My dispatch to you by Mr. Yancey bore date of the 2nd instant. An opportunity direct enables me to say a few words additional.
I send you with this the Times* of this date containing the Queen's message and the debate on it in Parliament. The former as you will see contains no further reference to American affairs than the affair of the Trent. It is thought that silence as to the blockade was intended to leave that question open. Mr. Gregory was kind enough to call on me by appointment and find me a place in the House of Commons. It would seem after consultation members favorable to our interest thought it best not to broach them in the House in the form of an amendment to the address as I thought would be done, but the question will come up in both Houses in some form at an early day.
Many Members of Parliament warmly in our interest have called on me, including Mr. Lindsay, Member of Parliament for Liverpool, and who is the largest ship-owner in England, and I was introduced to others at the House. They confer freely as to what may be best for our interest. They say the blockade question is now more easily carried in our favor just now than recognition, in which I agree, and their efforts will mainly be directed to a repudiation of the blockade. If that is done recognition will speedily follow.
The ministry are certainly averse to either step just now. They seem afraid of any further broil with the Government at Washington. You will see what was said by Lord Derby in the Lords and D'Islaeli into any controversial question on the address because of the recent death of the prince and the real sorrow of the Queen.
I have had long conferences with Mr. Gregory who will be an earnest and efficient coadjuctor. All agree that I could not have a more useful or safe adviser. A call will be made probably in both Houses for any information in possession of the Government touching the efficiency of the blockade. I have the returns from the Southern ports given me at Richmond up to the 1st of September and received here since I came for the months of September and October. I shall make free use with our friends in Parliament of the results they show, and when in communication with the foreign office shall send them to Earl Russell. As to the latter Mr. Gregory has kindly offered to consult with judicious view, always considering that while conforming to any proper usage I stand in no attitude as a suppliant or as asking any favor.
I have a note from Mr. Slidell dated at Paris on the 5th in which he says:
I wrote a note (unofficial) to M. Thouvenel on Monday requesting an interview. I received an answer the same day fixing Friday, the 7th instant, for the purpose. This prompt reply seems to me to argue well for the disposition of the Government. I shall make only a passing allusion to the question of recognition, intimating that on that point I am not disposed at present to press consideration, but I shall insist on the inefficiency ofhe vandalism of the stone fleet, &c.
And further on he gives as his impression from other circumstances -
That the Government while unprepared to receive me officially wishes to manifest its personal good feeling toward me and at the same time to prove that it is not unfriendly to our cause.
To conclude I can give no opinion satisfactory to myself as to the probable action of the Government here, further than that it will remain