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The Proposed Mediation in America

The Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1175, p.543.

November 22, 1862


Her Majesty's Government have published the reply which they have returned to the French despatch proposing a joint offer of mediation in America. We gave in our Town Edition last week an abstract of this able State paper. It deals perspicuously with the reasons assigned in the despatch of M. Drouyn de Lhuys. Earl Russell recognises the good intentions of the Emperor in making his offer, and he agrees with him that in any measure of the kind which it may be desirable to adopt it is extremely desirable that Russia should he associated with England and France. Up to the present time, however, the Queen's Government have not been informed that the Government of Russia have agreed to co-operate with the Western maritime Powers for the purpose of mediation. The first and chief question, however, is--Whether the proposed end can be accomplished in the way indicated by the French Emperor? Her Majesty's Government have deliberated anxiously on this subject, and, after weighing all the information which they have received from America, they are led to the conclusion that there is no ground at the present moment to hope that the Federal Government would accept the proposal suggested; and a refusal from Washington, it is remarked, would prevent any speedy renewal of the offer. The course which appears best in the eyes of the British Government is, to watch carefully the progress of opinion in America, and to take advantage of the first favourable opportunity offered by a change to tender friendly counsel.

Prince Gortschakoff's reply to the note of M. Drouyn de Lhuys has been published in the St. Petersburg Journal. Russia also declines to enter on the proposed combined measure of mediation, on the ground that if presented in an official character there would be a risk of arriving at a result opposed to pacification. Prince Gortschakoff promises, however, that if France and England should agree in a combined action the Russian Government will lend, if not official aid, at least its moral support in favour of their efforts.

The Moniteur says the replies of the Cabinets of London and St. Petersburg are a mere adjournment of the question of mediation, based on the internal position of America, and expresses its belief that the hesitation of the two Cabinets has nearly reached its limit.

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