Imperial ParliamentThe Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1196, p. 350.
March 28, 1863
...Recognition of the Southern States.--Lord Stratheden called attention to the question of acknowledging the Southern Confederacy, and strongly advocated the justice and the expediency of our adopting that policy.--Earl Russell said he was sure everybody in this country would be most anxious that Her Majesty's Government should interfere for the purpose of putting an end to the desolating civil war in America if they could do so justly and usefully; but he felt persuaded that at the present moment any such step on their part would be productive of no advantage and would be attended with very unfortunate results. If they were to offer their mediation to the Government of the United States that offer would be unhesitatingly declined, and would create in the minds of the people of that country a considerable amount of irritation; and if they were formally to recognise the Southern States such an act would be justly regarded as one of a very unfriendly character towards a Government with which this country had hitherto preserved amicable relations. Our duty therefore was to maintain, under existing circumstances, our perfectly neutral position, whatever might be our conviction that the spirit of the South was unconquerable and that the disruption of the American Union was final and irrevocable.--No further discussion ensued.
...Convention with America Regarding Neutral Rights.--Lord Palmerston, in reply to a question from Mr. Seymour Fitzgerald, stated that her Majesty's Government were favourable to the principle of the convention proposed by President Lincoln for the adjustment of complaints of the violation of neutral rights. The two Governments differed in points of detail, but he was not without hope that they might yet be able to arrive at an understanding on the subject.