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THE AMERICAN PRESS ON THE…

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THE AMERICAN PRESS ON THE ALABAMA CLAIMS. Some of the New York papers, of the 21st of February, & >ntain articles on the Alabama question. "The only jlmuis of the EngUsh discussion has been that our Commis- tB'eners in some way entrapped the English Commissioners '■.to sign a Treaty which had a meaning foreign to its letter • ft;i i spirit and its conception by the Gladstone Ministry. I it be true that we tvok an advantage of the English ulsters, that we signed a Treaty which had one ,-me:1nillg on its faee and :tnother under -the surface, that, we made a Case and sent it to Geneva, which advanced pretensions not warranted by the Treaty nor by any of the discussions in the Session of the Joint l High Commission, then we have behaved dishonourably to England, and must either withdraw our case or make due explanations. We cannot afford to hold this position. Tho whole value of our Case, as we have regarded it, is that the record will shew that in no respect have we taken an advantage of England. So far from abandoning our claims for l'cimbursement for tho unavoidable losses caused by the Alabama and the othcr cruisers, we pre, sented them in the deliberation preceding the signature of the Treaty. They were contemplated in tho Protocols, ,and not to Tiave advanced thcm woulol have been un. worthy and improper. The whoie argument of the English Press that it is void, because of the absence of these] claims ft* consequential t1a.mages. X ow, these conditions werp expressly understood by the English Government The American Commissioners distinctly informed th.e English Commissioners that there could -be no fair .adjudication of the matter at issue which did not coutejuplatc the sacrifices of our commerce, the expeIl3CS we jnQUTTer1. to catch tho English craisers, and the prolongation <j4"the war. "U1Ct]¡er those claims were valid or not. whether-or not the English could shew that in somo way the inefficiency of Secretary Welles and the apathy õf our naval lluthoritï-cs in pursuit condoned the offence -and so relieved^England from all responsibility; whether or not there weje principles or international law which made it improper for the tribunl11,m award constructive or consequently damages whether, in 1,ricf, we wculd got one million or one hundred millions or nothing, were questions ^hfah-wonld have to be dtxafled by tlie Court at Geneva." In another place the Herald says: "What England wants, what is necessary to her supremacy 011 the ocean, is precisely ,these new principles of international law. So Hang as the. Alabama claims remain un- settled, anJ. the precedents established by England during the rebellion aro unchallenged, Enghnd is helli in bonds to the peace with all tire world. We have two oceans which oar seaports control, and in tho event of a war between Iyigland and any Power these oceans could befilled with^privateers or men of war, and with no more responsibility involving upon us than England has accepted in tha case .of. Elle Alabama. England, therefore, is impa- tient to have--ti>e precedents abolished. She will pay a good deal of mcaey for their abolition. This is the mean- ing of the suggestion that we accept a gross sum of money in lieu of .our eljjims." The Chro»iH>tt a Canadian paper, reiterates the sjtory of a secret tre«^y between England and Canada which it Ijiaintains Van jajgnecT after the conclusion of the Washing- ton negotiations by Lord De Grey for the British Govern- ment. and Sir John A. Macdonald. as Premier of Canada, on the part of the Governor-General. The Chronicle says that only Lord Lisgar, Sir John A. Macdonald, and Sir George 6. Cai-tier, are cognizant of the treaty," and mentions some circumstances which indicate the fact of its existence.

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