Imperial ParliamentThe Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1247, p. 230.
March 5, 1864
...The Slave Trade.--Mr. Cave asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether her Majesty's Government intended to carry into execution the provisions of the treaty with the United States for the suppression of the slave trade by stationing cruisers off the coast of Cuba.--Lord Palmerston said that no doubt the provisions of the document alluded to had been colourably evaded so far as related to the French interest in the matter, but really he thought it was without design in that quarter. Great progress had been made in the suppression of the traffic, and it might be depended upon that no inactivity would be exhibited therein....
The Marquis of Clanricarde, in moving for copies of any papers that might have been received by the Government relative to recruiting in Ireland for the army of the Federal States, inquired whether any remonstrance against such a proceeding had been addressed to the authorities at Washington. It was, he said, notorious that American agents had been enlisting recruits in the sister island, and, as it was in violation of the principle of neutrality and a breach of international law, he urged that it was the duty of the Government to put a stop to it.
Earl Russell said he had no doubt that any attempt on the part of the Federals to enlist recruits for their army in Ireland would be a breach of the principle of neutrality, and that it was an offence against our own municipal laws, which, if detected, would subject the offender to punishment, and justify strong complaints to the Government of the United States. On more than one occasion he had already complained that such practices as the noble Marquis had adverted to were going on on behalf of the Federal Government in Ireland, and he had opened a correspondence with Mr. Adams on the subject. That gentleman had, however, indignantly denied the truth of such allegations; and, having received that denial, he (Earl Russell) felt obliged to wait until some case had occurred in which proof was forthcoming.
The Earl of Donoughmore observed that the conduct of the Foreign Office in the particular case which had been made the subject of inquiry contrasted most unfavourably with the course they had adopted in reference to the steam-rams.
The Earl of Derby inquired whether the Government had received any information from the authorities at Cork and Dublin to the effect that persons were in the habit of assembling in these places for the purpose of going through military drill and exercise, and, if so, whether they had taken any measures to put down such illegal proceedings.
Earl Granville replied that the Dublin authorities had directed the attention of the police to the proceedings of the Fenian Brotherhood, and there was reason to believe that it was a perfectly contemptible organisation.
The motion for papers was then withdrawn...
Mr. Long gave notice that on Monday he would ask Lord Palmerston whether the ships of war of the Confederate States were allowed the same rights end privileges of searching and seizing contraband of war on the high seas, &c.; and, if not, whether he thought it was extending to them the same principle of impartiality as was shown to the Federal States.