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the affair is now, beyond all controversy, one between France and the King.
The French Government would, M. de Gramont went on to say, defer for a short time longer (for 24 hours, for instance) those great ostensible preparations for war (such as calling out the reserves) which would inflame public feeling in France. All essential preparations must, however, be carried out unremittingly. The French Ministers would be unwise if they ran any risk of allowing Prussia to gain time by dilatory pretexts.
Finally, M. de Gramont told me that I might report to your Lordship that if the Prince of Hohenzollern should now, on the advice of the King of Prussia, withdraw his acceptance of the Crown, the whole affair would be at an end.
M. de Gramont did not, however, conceal from me that if, on the other hand, the Prince, after his conference with the King, persisted in coming forward as a candidate for the Throne of Spain, France would forthwith declare war against Prussia.
Lord Lyons To Earl Granviixe.
(Received July 13.)
Paris, July 12,1870.
I have only time to report briefly to your Lordship, what passed at an interview with the Due de Gramont, from which I have just returned.
The Duke said that the King of Prussia was neither courteous nor satisfactory. His Majesty disclaimed all connexion with the offer of the crown of Spain to the Princo Leopold of Hohenzollern, and declined to advise the Prince to withdraw his acceptance. On the other hand, Prince Leopold's father had formally announced in the name of his son that tho acceptance was withdrawn. In fact, the Prince had sent a copy of a telegram which he had despatched to Marshal Prim, declaring that his son's candidature was at an end.
M. de Gramont said that this state of things was very embarrassing to the French Government. On the one hand, public opinion was so much excited in France, that it was doubtful whether the Ministry would not be overthrown if it went down to the Chamber to-morrow, and announced that it regarded the affair as finished without having obtained some more complete satisfaction from Prussia. On the other hand, the renunciation of tho Crown by Prince Leopold put an end to the original cause of the
dispute. The most satisfactory part of the affair was, M. de Gramont said, that Spain was, at all events, now quite clear of the dispute. The quarrel, if quarrel there was, was confined to France and Prussia.
I did not conceal from M. de Gramont my surprise and regret that the French Government should hesitate for a moment to accept the renunciation of the Prince as a settlement of the affair. I reminded him pointedly of the assurance which he had formally authorized me to give to Her Majesty's Government, that if the Prince withdrew his candidature the affair would be at an end. I urged as strongly as I could all the reasons which would render a withdrawal on his part from this assurance painful and disquieting to Her Majesty's Government.
I pointed out, moreover, that the renunciation wholly changed tho position of France. If war occurred now, all Europe would say that it was tho fault of France; that France rushed into it without any substantial cause—merely from pride and resentment. One of the advantages of the former position of France was that the quarrel rested on a cause in which tho feelings of Germany were very little concerned, and German interests not at all. Now Prussia might well expect to rally all Germany to resist an attack which could be attributed to no other motives than illwill and jealousy on the part of France, and a passionate desire to humiliate her neighbour. In fact, I said France would have public opinion throughout the world against her, and her antagonist would have all the advantage of being manifestly forced into the war in self-defence to repel an attack. If there should at the first moment be some disappointment felt here in the Chamber and in the country, I could not but think that the Ministry would in a very short time stand better with both if it contented itself with tho diplomatic triumph it had achieved, and abstained from plunging the country into war, for which there was certainly no avowable motive.
After some discussion, M. de Gramont said a final resolution must be come to at a Council which would be held in presence of the Emperor to-morrow, and the result must be announced to the Chamber immediately afterwards. By three o'clock to-morrow, then the public would know what course France would take. He should not, he said, be able to see me between the Council and his ap pearance in the Chamber, but he would assure me that due weight should
given to the opinion I had given on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.
Lord Lyons To Eael Granville.
M. de Gramont said he would explain to me in a few words the position taken up by the Government of the Emperor.
The Spanish ambassador had formally announced to him that the candidature of Prince Leopold had been withdrawn. This put an end to all question with Spain. Spain was no longer a party concerned. But from Prussia France had obtained nothing, literally nothing.
M. de Gramont here read to me a telegram from General Fleury, who stated that the Emperor Alexander had written to the King of Prussia to beg him to order the Prince of Ilohenzollern to withdraw his acceptance of the Crown, and had, moreover, expressed himself in most friendly terms to France, and manifested a most earnest desire to avert a war.
The King of Prussia had, M. de Gramont went on to say, refused to comply with this request from his Imperial nephew. The King had not given a word of explanation to France.
His Majesty had, he repeated, done nothing, absolutely nothing. France would not take offence at this. She would not call upon His Majesty to make her any amends. The King had authorized the Prince of Hohenzollern to accept the Crown of Spain; all that Franco now asked was, that His Majosty would forbid the Prince to alter at any futuro time his decision to withdraw that acceptance. Surely, it was but reasonable that France should take some precautious against a repetition of what had ocourred when Prince Leopold's brother went off to Bucharest. It was not to be supposed that France would run tho risk of Prince Leopold suddenly presenting himself in Spain, and appealing to the chivalry of the Spanish people. Still, France did not call upon Prussia to prevent tho Prince's going to Spain; all she desired waB, that the King should forbid him to change his present resolution to withdraw his candidature If His Majesty would do this, the whole affair would be absolutely and entirely at an end.
I asked him whether he authorized mo catogorically to state to Her Majosty's Govornmont, in the name of the Government of the Emperor, that in this case tho wholo affair would bo completely over.
Ho said, " Undoubtedly;" and he took
a sheet of paper and wrote the following memorandum, which he .placed in my hands.-—
"Nous demandons an Boi de Prusse de defendre au Prince de Hohenzollern de revenir snr sa resolution. S'il le fait tout l'incident est termine."
I observed to M. de Gramont that I could hardly conceive that the French Government could really apprehend, after all that had occurred Prince Leopold would again offer himself as a candidate, or be accepted by the Spanish Government if he did.
M. de Gramont said that he was bound to take precautions against such an occurrence, and that if the] King refused to issue the simple prohibition which was proposed, France could only suppose that designs hostile to her were entertained, and must take her measures accordingly.
Finally, M. de Gramont asked me whether France could count upon the good offices of England to help her in obtaining from the King this prohibition.
I said that nothing could exceed the desire of Her Majesty's Government to effect a reconciliation between France and Prussia, but that, of course, I could not take upon myself to answer offhand, without reference to Her Majesty's Government, a specific question of this kind.
Eael Gkanvii.le To Loed Lyons.
Count Bernstorff called upon me this morning, and informed me that he had received a telegram from Count Bismarck, in which he expressed his regret that Her Majesty's Government should have made a proposal which it would be impossible for him to recommend to tho King for His Majesty's acceptance.
Prussia had shown, under a public menace from France, a calmness and moderation which would render any further concession on her part equivalent to a submission to the arbitrary will of Franco, and would be viewed in the light of a humiliation, which the national feeling throughout Germany would certainly repudiate as a fresh insult.
Public opinion in Germany proves that, under the influence of the menaces of France, the whole of Germany had arrived at tho conclusion that war, even under the most difficult circumstances, would be preferable to the submission of tho King to the unjustifiable demands of Franoe.
The Prussian Government, as such, has nothing to do with the acceptanoo of the candidature of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, and had not oven been cognizant of it. They could not, therefore, balance their assent to such acceptance by their assent to its withdrawal.
A demand for interference on the part of a Sovereign in a matter of purely private character could not, his Excellency considered, be made the subject of public communication between Governments, and as the original pretext for such a demand was to be found in the candidature itself, it could no longer be necessary now that the candidature had been renounced.
Lord A. Lours To Earl Granville. (Received July 15.)
Berlin, July 13, 1870.
I had an interview with Count Bismarck to-day and congratulated his Excellency on the apparent solution of the impending crisis by the spontaneous renunciation of the Prince of Hohenzollern.
His Excellency appeared somewhat doubtful as to whether this solution would prove a settlement of the difference with France. He told me that the extreme moderation evinced by the King of Prussia under the menacing tone of the French Government, and the courteous reception by His Majesty of Count Benedetti at Ems, after the severe language held to Prussia, both officially and in the French Press, was producing throughout Prussia general indignation.
He had that morning, he said, received telegrams from Bremen, Konigsberg, and other places, expressing strong disapprobation of the conciliatory course pursued by the King of Prussia ot Ems, and requiring that the honour of the country should not be sacrificed.
Count Bismarck then expressed a wish that Her Majesty's Government should take some opportunity, possibly by a declaration in Parliament, of expressing their satisfaction at the solution of the Spanish difficulty by the spontaneous act of Prince Leopold, and of bearing public testimony to the calm and wise moderation of the King of Prussia, his Government, and of the public Press.
His Excellency adverted to the declaration made by the Due de Gramont to the Corps Legislatif, " that the Powers of Europe had recognized the just grounds of France in the demand addressed to the Prussian Government;" and he was, therefore, anxious that some publio testimony should be given that the Powers who hod used their "bons offices" to urge on the Prussian Government a renunciation by Prince Leopold, should likewise express their appreciation of tho menacing language of the Frenoh Government. I could not, said his Excellency, hold communication with the French Ambassador after the language held to Prussia by the Frenoh MiniBter for Foreign Affairs in the face of Europe.
peaceful and conciliatory disposition manifested by the King of Prussia.
Count Bismarck then observed that intelligence had been received from Paris (though not officially from Baron Werther) that the solution of the Spanish difficulty would not suffice to content the French Government, and that other claims would be advanced. If such be the case, said his Excellency, it was evident that the question of the succession to the Spanish Throne was but a mere pretext, and that the real object of Franco was to seek a revenge for Kdnigsgratz.
•The feeling of the German nation, said his Excellency, was that they were fully equal to cope with Franoe, and they were as confident as the French might be of military success. The feeling, therefore, in Prussia and in Germany was that they should accept no humiliation or insult from France, and that if unjustly provoked they should accept the combat.
But, said bis Excellency, we do not wish for war, and we have proved, and shall continue to prove, our peaceful disposition; at the same time we cannot allow the French to have the start of us as regards armaments. "I have," said his Excellency, "positive information that military preparations have been mode, and are making, in Franoe for war. Large stores of munition are being concentrated, large purchases of hay and other materials neoessaryfor a campaign are making, and horses are being collected." If these continued, said his Excellency, we Bhall be obliged to ask the French Government for explanations as to their object and meaning.
After what has now occurred we must require some assurance, some guarantee, that we may not be subjected to a sudden attack ; we must know that this Spanish difficulty once removed, there are no other lurking designs which may burst upon us like a thunderstorm.
Count Bismarck further stated that unless some assurance, some declaration, were given by France to the European Powers, or in some official form, that the present solution of the Spanish question was a final and satisfactory settlement of the French demands, and that no further claims were to bo raised j and if, further, a withdrawal or a satisfactory explanation of the menacing Iangnage held by the Duo de Gramont were not made, the Prussian Government would be obliged to seek explanations from France. It was impossible, added his Excellency, that Prussia could tamely and quietly sit under the affront offered to the King and to the nation by the
From the foregoing observations of Count Bismarck, your Lordship will perceive that unless some timely counsel, some friendly hand, can intervene to appease the irritation between the two Governments, the breach, in lieu of being closed by the solution of the Spanish difficulty, is likely to become wider.
It is evident to me that Count Bismarck and the Prussian Ministry regret the attitude and disposition of the King towards Count Benedetti, and that in the view of the public opinion of Germany they feel the necessity of some decided measures to safeguard the honour of the nation.
The only means which could pacify the wounded pride of the German nation, and restore confidence in the maintenance of peace, would be by a declaration of the French Government that the incident of the Spanish difficulty has been satisfactorily adjusted, and in rendering justice to the moderate and peaceful disposition of the King of Prussia and his Government, that the good relations existing between the two States were not likely to be again exposed to any disturbing influences. I greatly fear that if no mediating influences can be successfully brought to bear on the French Government to appease the irritation against Prussia, and to counsel moderation, war will bo inevitable.
Earl Granville To Our Ambassadors At Paris And Berlin :— Foreign Office, July 15, 1870.
My Lord,—Her Majesty's Government deoply regret that, according to present appearances, the breaking out of war between France and Prussia seems imminent. They deplore the possibility of this great calamity, not only as regards the two Powers themselves, to whom they are bound by intimate ties of friendship, but also as regards Europe at large.
But, being anxious not to neglect the slightest chanoe of averting it, they appeal to the 23rd Protocol of the Conferences held at Paris in the year 1856, in which " les Plenipotentiaires n'hesitcnt pas a oxprimer, au nom de leurs Gouvernements, le voeu que les Etats entre lesquels s'eleverait un dissenriment serieux, avant d'en appeler aux armes, eussent recours, en tant que les circonstances admettraieut, aux bons offices d'une Puissance amie;" and they feel themselves the more warranted in doing so, inasmuch as the question in regard to which the two Powers are at issue is brought within narrow limits.
Her Majesty's Government therefore suggest to France and to Prussia, in identical terms, that before proceeding to extremities they Bhould have recourse to the good offices of some friendly Power or Powers acceptable to both; and Her Majesty's Government, your Excellency will say, are ready to take any part which may be desired in the matter. I am, Ac,
PROJECTED TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND PRUSSIA.
[Published in the "Times" of July 25.]
His Majesty the King of Prussia and His Majesty the Emperor of tho French, judging it useful to bind closer the ties of friendship whioh unite them, and so confirm the relations of good neighbourhood which happily exist between the two countries, and being besidos convinced that to attain this result, which is, moreover, of a kind to insure tho maintenance of the general peace, it is for their interest to oomo to an understanding on the questions concerning their future relations, have resolved to conclude a Treaty to the following effect, and have in consequence nominated as
their representatives the following persons, viz.:—
His Majesty, Ac, His Majesty, Ac. Who, after exchanging their full powers, which have been found in good and due form, have agreed on the following Articles:—
"Art. I.—His Majesty the Emperor of the French acquiesces in and recognizes the gains mado by Prussia in the course of tho last war waged by her against Austria and that Power's allies.
"Art. II.—His Majesty tho King of Prussia engages to facilitate the acqui
sition by France of Luxemburg; and for this purpose His Majesty will enter into negotiations with His Majesty the King of the Netherlands with the view of inducing him to cede his sovereign rights over the Duchy to the Emperor of the French, on the terms of such compensation as shall be judged adequate or otherwise. The Emperor of the French, on his side, engages to assume whatever pecuniary charges this arrangement may involve.
"Art III.—His Majesty the Emperor of the French shall raise no opposition to a federal union of the Confederation of North Germany with the States of South Germany, excepting Austria, and this federal union may be based on one common Parliament, due reservation, however, being made of the sovereignty of the said States.
"Art. IV.—His Majesty the King of Prussia, on his side, in case His Majesty the Emperor of the French should be led by circumstances to cause his troops to
THE BELGIAN NEUTRALITY TREATIES.
Treaties Between Hee Majesty The Queen Of The United Kingdom Op Great Bbitain And Ireland On The One Side And The Kino or Prussia And The Emperor Op The French On The Other, Relative To The IndepenDence AND NEUTRALITY OP BELGIUM.
The Treaty With The Kino Op Prussia, Signed In London, August 9, 1870.
"Art. I.—His Majesty the King of Prussia having declared that, notwithstanding the hostilities in which the North German Confederation is engaged with France, it. is his fixed determination to respect the neutrality of Belgium so long as the same shall be respected by France. Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on her part declares that if during the said hostilities, the armies of France should violate that neutrality, she will be prepared to co-operate with His Prussian Majesty for the defence of the same in such manner as may be mutually agreed upon, employing for that purpose her naval and military forces to insure its observance, and to maintain, in conjunction with His Prussian Majesty, then and thereafter the independence and neutrality of Belgium. It is clearly understood that Her Majesty the Queon of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland does not engage herself by this Treaty to take part in any of the general operations of the
enter Belgium or to conquer it, shall grant armed aid to France, and shall support her with all his forces, military and naval, in the face of and against every Power which should, in this eventuality, declare war.
"Art. V.—To insure the oomploto execution of the preceding conditions, His Majesty the King of Prussia and His Majesty the Emperor of the French contract, by the present Treaty, an alliance offensive and defensive, which they solemnly engage to maintain. Their Majesties bind themselves, besides and in particular, to observe its terms in all cases when their respective States, the integrity of whioh they reciprocally guarantee, may be threatened with attack; and they shall hold themselves bound, in any like conjuncture, to undertake without delay, and under no pretext to decline, whatever military arrangements may be enjoined by their common interest conformably to tho terms and provisions above declared."
war now carried on between the North German Confederation and France beyond the limits of Belgium, as defined in the Treaty between Belgium and the Netherlands of April 19, 1839.
"Art. II.—His Majesty the King of Prussia agrees on his part, in the event provided for in the foregoing Article, to co-operate with Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, employing his naval and military forces for the purposes aforesaid; and, the case arising, to concert with Her Majesty the measures which shall be taken, separately or in common, to secure the neutrality and independence of Belgium.
"Art. III.—This Treaty Bhall be binding on the high contracting parties during the continuance of the present war between the North German Confederation and France, and for twelve months after the ratification of any Treaty of Peace concluded between these parties; and on the expiration of that time the independence and neutrality of Belgium will, so far as the high contracting parties are respectively concerned, continue to rest as heretofore on the 1st Article of the Quintuple Treaty of the 19th of April, 1839."
The Treaty with the Emperor of the French, signed in London, August 11, 1870, contains, mutatis mutandis, exactly the same provisions.