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the Imperial Government would certainly not attempt to impose

any Government whatever on the Mexican people.

Earl Bussell. COWLEY.

No. 4.—Sir J. Crampton to Earl Bussell.{Received February 9.) (Extract.) Madrid, January 30, 1862.

In obedience to your Lordship's instructions I have communicated with Marshal O'Donnell and Senor Calderon Collantes upon the subject of your Lordship's despatch of the 23rd inBtant.

My first interview was with Marshal O'Donnell.

As soon as I had read to his Excellency your Lordship's despatch, he said that he observed, with satisfaction, that the ideas and intentions of the Spanish Cabinet in regard to Mexico were entirely in accord with those of Her Majesty's Government.

With respect to the departure of the Spanish expedition from the Havana before it had been joined by the English and French forces, it was a circumstance caused by the distance of the scene of action from the seat of Government, and the consequent failure of the timely arrival of its instructions to the officer in command of the Spanish forces, modifying those of which he was already in possession, the nature of which had never been concealed from Her Majesty's Government, or that of France. His Excellency referred to General Gasset's proclamations to the army and to the inhabitants of Vera Cruz of the 17th December last, as showing conclusively that the Spanish Government never entertained an intention, either of making a conquest of Mexico, of setting up any particular Government there, or of furthering any views of exclusive interest. He could see nothing in this to cause uneasiness, but rather a proof that the Spanish Government at no time entertained views at variance with the conditions of the Convention which they afterwards signed with England and France.

With respect to the preamble and the Article of the Convention which defined what our intervention is intended to do, and what it is not intended to do, Marshal O'Donnell observed that it was unnecessary to refer to the text of the Treaty, inasmuch as he was fully acquainted with its terms and penetrated with its meaning, from which he had never intended, or now contemplated, to depart in the slightest degree.

He was fully aware, and had uniformly declared, that the allied forces are not to be used for the purpose of depriving the Mexicans of the right to choose their own Government. Such were the conditions of the Convention with England and France, and such, he would add, was his opinion of what the principle of an intervention in Mexico ought to be, long before that Convention was signed, and when an intervention by Spain alone had been decided upon. I might recollect, his Excellency observed, that such had been the opinion he had expressed to me when we conversed upon the subject at La Granja in August last, and from that opinion, now become an engagement, he had never swerved.

To what design of using the allied troops "to set up a Government repugnant to the sentiments of Mexico," allusion was made in your Lordship's despatch, he was, therefore, at a loss to understand. If it was to a plan which he had been informed was agitated by some persons, he meant that of establishing a Monarchy in Mexico under an Austrian Archduke, he could only say that no such plan had been originated or entertained by the Spanish Government, nor had any communication of its existence in the quarter alluded to been ever made to them, either at Paris or Madrid. He would go further, and tell me unreservedly that were such a plan to be proposed to him, it would be met with his decided disapproval. He entirely agreed with your Lordship's observations as to the inevitable consequences of such an attempt by the allies to impose any particular form of government upon Mexico; she must be left free to choose for herself. A Government imposed by the allies, the allies would be bound to support; and, speaking for Spain, he would most decidedly decline to guarantee the continuance of any form or species of government in Mexico.

With respect to the particular combination in question, it would be unnecessary for him to do more than to refer me to the opinion which he expressed to me when an idea was agitated of conferring the sovereignty of Mexico on a Spanish Prince. It appeared to him to be so extravagant as to be scarcely worthy of consideration. The present plan was not less so. A monarchy under an European Prince, if not guaranteed by Europe, would not last a year; if guaranteed and supported by Europe, it would be a fruitful source of struggles between European Powers and those of America who had adopted Eepublican institutions and repelled European inter. ference in the New World.

^V. "I dm not aware," said Marshal O'Donneu, smiling, "of the wishes or disposition of the illustrious individual whose name has been brought forward on this occasion, but I can only repeat what I have often before said to you on this subject, viz., that being neither Archduke nor Prince, but simply a Spanish General Officer, and supposing (what, however, is impossible) that the Crown of Mexico were offered to me, I should not hesitate for a moment to refuse it. I have lived too long in contiguity with Mexico, when Captain-General of Cuba, not to be somewhat acquainted with the manners and political habits of that country, and the knowledge of them which I have acquired has certainly not led me to the conclusion that Monarchy under an European Prince would succeed in reducing it to order."


Marshal O'Donnell gummed up by saying that he could not see that there existed, in reality, any difference of view between the two Governments [ and that no plan had been proposed to, or been entertained by, the Spanish Government, whioh involved a deviation from the principles of joint action in regard to Mexico laid down in the Tripartite Convention.

At a later hour of the same day I saw Seuor Calderon Collantes, and read to him your Lordship's despatch.

His Excellency's language was entirely conformable to that of Marshal O'Donuell in repelling any idea, on the part of the Spanish Government, of a departure from the terms or the spirit of the Convention, and in denying that any plan had been proposed to them which involved such a departure. Of the design of establishing a Monarchy in Mexico under the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian he had, indeed, heard. He did not know where such a design may or may not have found favour, but it certainly had not done so at Madrid. He had no reason to think that it had done so at Paris, for no communication had been made on this subject by the French Government to that of Spain.

His Excellency protested, in the strongest manner, that the whole conduct of the Spanish Government iu regard to this matter had been perfectly frank and straightforward. There had been no arriere-pentie on their part from the beginning, nor was there now. The objects meant to be obtained by the Spanish Government, in their proceedings with regard to Mexico, were those which they had declared them to be, first on their own account, and afterwards by the terms of the Convention with England and France, and they had no other.

His Excellency expressed the earnest desire to act in entire harmony with Her Majesty's Government, but did not disguise from me that he felt somewhat touched at what seemed to imply a sort of doubt on their part of the entire frankness of the Spanish Government. There were some phrases in your Lordship's despatch which he did not think quite just, and which seemed to indicate a disposition on the part of Her Majesty's Government to give ear to suggestions unfavourable to the sincerity of Her Catholic Majesty's Government. This was a disposition the existence of which he would deeply regret, but he felt sure, at the same time, that it would disappear after a candid examination of a correct report of the facts of the case.

Earl Russell. JOHN F. CBAMPTON.

No. 0.—Sir J. Crampton to Earl Russell.(Received February 9.) (Extract.) Madrid, January 31, 1&62.

Skxob CxtDEUox Collaxtes sent for me this evening, and inquired whether I could furnish him with any information regarding the design attributed to the French Government of establishing a Monarchy in Mexico, under the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria. The Spanish Government had, his Excellency said, received no intelligence of this design, although it was much talked of, and, taken together with the avowed intention of the French Government to increase the force of the expedition against Mexico, had given rise to agitation and comment in certain political circles at Madrid.

What his Excellency, therefore, wished to know was, whether any communication on the subject had been made to Her Majesty's Government by the Cabinet of the Tuileries. In your Lordship's despatch of the 23rd instant, which I had read to him on the previous day, his Excellency remarked that there was certainly no direct mention of the particular design in question; yet there was, it seemed to him, an evident allusion to some plan of interference in the affairs of Mexico inconsistent with the terms of the Tripartite Convention, the prosecution of which Her Majesty's Government deprecated; and to which, as he had stated to me, whatever it might be, the Spanish Government would be equally averse.

I replied that I had no knowledge of any communication having been made to Her Majesty's Government by the French Government in regard to the design in question. M. Thouvenel had certainly stated to Lord Cowley that the French expeditionary force would be increased by 3,000 or 4,000 men, andjplaced under the command of an officer of equal rank with General Prim; but the reasons alleged for these measures were the necessity of guarding against any disaster to the French troops, now that it appeared that they would have to march into the interior, and because the French nation would not view with satisfaction any superiority of numbers on the part of another nation with which it was engaged in combined military operations.

Senor Calderon Collantea remarked that ho was aware of the intended reinforcement of the French forces, and to the reasons alleged for it he had nothing to object. Of these the Emperor of the French was the best judge; but if these reinforcements were coincident with the announcement of an ulterior political object, the matter would wear a different aspect.

His Excellency went on to say that Spain having, from the beginning, set aside every idea of making a conquest of Mexico; having -entertained no plan of establishing a Monarchy in that country under a Spanish Prince; having faithfully adhered to the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of Mexico, both at the time sho had determined to act there on her own account, and afterwards when, by the Tripartite Convention, thaf principle became an engagement towards her allies;—Spain, lie said, was naturally anxious to be assured that no candidate for the Monarchy of Mexico was about to bo put forward in any other quarter. It was evident that the Spanish nation, although perfectly willing to go forward, in the course necessary for the vindication of its honour, upon the principle of non-intervention, would never brook the notion that it had been used as a tool to subserve other interests, and to forward other political designs. The Spanish Government bad turned a deaf ear to the suggestions of an ill-understood ambition in regard to Mexico, and had been approved by the nation in reject ing the idea of a Monarchy under a Spanish Prince; but it might not be so if a Spanish Administration were to lend itself to favour and assist a similar combination in favour of a Prince of any other nation.


His Excellency said that this being the case he felt sure I would excuse him if he inquired whether I was aware of any overture having been made by His Majesty the King of the Belgians to Her Majesty's Government, with a view to putting forward a Prince of His Majesty's family, the Due de Flandres, as a candidate for the future crown of Mexico: and if so, whether that Prince was to be regarded as the candidate of Great Britain.

I replied that I had received no information of any Buch overture having been made, aud that I disbelieved the fact. I added that I felt assured Her Majesty's Government would entertain no proposal at variance with the provisions of the Convention they had concluded with Spain and France, and that, consequently, they would put forward or favour the claim of no candidate for the Government of Mexico, either as King or President, it being their fixed determination not to interfere with the Mexicans in the choice of their own rulers and constitution.

Senor Calderon Collantes expressed himself as entirely satisfied with these assurances, based, as I informed him, upon my knowledge of the principles upon which Her Majesty's Government bad proceeded from the beginning of this affair, and from which I felt assured they had not the slightest inclination to depart. Earl Swell. JOHN P. CBAMPTON.

No. 7.—Sir J. Orampton to Earl Bugsell.(Received February 9.) Mi Lobd, Madrid, Ikbntary 8, 1862.

As Marshal O'Donnell, in the conversation with me which I have recounted in my despatch of the 30th ultimo, referred to the Proclamation of General Gosset to the Spanish army and to the inhabitants of Vera Cruz, as showing satisfactorily that no uneasiness as to the designs of the Spanish Government need be felt in consequence of the premature departure of the Spanish expedition [1862-63. tin.] 2 C

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