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HOUSE OF COMMONS—FRIDAY. THE ALABAMA CLAIMS. Mr Shaw-Lefevre called attention to the failure of the negotiations for an arbitration of the Alabama claims. Disclaiming at the outset all desire to com- plicate future negotiations with the United States, he narrated at some length the history of the Alabama and the other Southern cruisers, which between them had destroyed more than 200 American vessels, and dwelt on the bitter feelings which had been caused on the other side of the Atlantic by these operations, though he owned that a large portion of the loss had fallen on English insurers. Though there was no fear that war would ever arise between the two countries out of this question, it must inevitably complicate all future disputes, and it was therefore of the greatest importance that there should be a speedy settlement. He traced next, with equal fulness of detail, the diplomatic negotiations, beginning with Mr Adams's first complaint of the precipitate recog- nition of the belligerent rights of the South, of the remissness of the British Government in permitting the escape of the Alabama, and Lord Russell's repudiation of the American claim on both points, down to the acceptance by Lord Stanley (whom, with his party, he sarcastically congratulated on the change of mind which office had caused) of arbitra- tion on the Alabama claims, though coupled with an exclusion of the recognition question. He found fault with Lord Stanley for having made this excep- tion, though he confessed a strong conyiction that no arbitrator could decide against us on the question of recognition, and that it would be held to be entirely irrelevant to the Alabama claims. But there were many people in the United States who held that we were wrong on both points, and as the advantage of j arbitration would be to remove all subjects of difference, he regretted that Lord Stanley had un- necessarily insisted on excluding this point. Having combated the argument that it was contrary to our dignity to refer such a question, and shown that no one could have a greater interest in a speedy settle- ment than ourselves, he concluded by insisting] strongly on the duty of this country to be the first to carry out the Declarations of Paris. Lord Stanley, in replying first to Mr Shaw- Lefevre's sarcasm, reminded the House that neither he nor V!r Disraeli had said a word during the war to prejudge its issue. Never professing to be a Northern partisans he had held throughout that it was our duty not to interfere in a purely internal' quarrel, and to treat both sides alike. No man had a stronger sense of the importance to both countries of a settlement of this and other differences between them. But a tendency always to think ourselves in the wrong and to accuse ourselves of faults which we had never committed, and a readiness to make in- discriminate concessions whenever they were asked, were much to be deprecated. Our duty was to find out what was just, and to do it to the best of our power, not treating our adversaries as children requiring to be humoured and incapable of appre- ciating arguments which bore against them. Pre- mising that it was not his province to defend Lord Russell, he passed at once to the present aspect of the case, remarking that there never was a case so difficult precisely to define, because it had been com- plicated by all sorts of grievances, arising from the well-known fact that the Northerners, expecting from as sympathy and support in their quarrel, would not have been satisfied with the most rigid neutrality, i The lapse of time had facilitated the cool discussion of the case, and the state of it was this :—We had offered to refer our liability for the ravages of the Alabama, and the United States required that we should also refer the question whether we had rightly recognised the belligerent rights of the South. We had, in fact, conceded all that had been asked for at the commencement of the controversy, and if Lord Russell at the first had agreed to arbi- tration in the same shape as he himself had, the question of recognition would never have been heard of. But he professed himself entirely unable to decide what the two points had to do with each other. No one would deny that at some time of the war the South were entitled to be considered belligerents. If so, then at what time ? Surely if ever they were belligerents it must have been after their great military success in July, 1861, when for a time they seemed to have the military superiority, and threatened Washington. But the Alabama did not escape until April, 1862, and how could our liability for that event be affected by the recognition having taken place six months instead of 11 months before ? No Government had insisted more strongly on the sovereign right of a country to recognize the independence of another State than the United States, and the admission of Texan ships into American ports. It did not, therefore, lie in the mouth of the United States to contend that we ought to be fiued for exercising this discretion of el an inde- pendent Government. Suppose the Southern States had achieved their independence, would they have been entitled to claim damages for our tardy recog- nition of their belligerent rights ? And yet the two claims stood entirely on the same footing. Strongly impressing on the House that this was not a mo- mentary question, but would set an important pre- cedent, Lord Stanley recapitulated the grounds of his objection to Mr Seaward's proposal. The question of recognition was irrelevant to the Alabama claims it was a question of State policy, and not of legal obligation: the United States in parallel cases had distinctly refused any responsibility for a similar course and, lastly, no arbitrator could be found who would undertake such an indefinite reference. What we had done was to recognize on the 13th of May a certain state of things as constituting a civil war, which Mr Seaward himself, in three public docu- ments, dated 9, 11, and 16 days before, had so described, and which the Supreme Court had also declared to be a condition of war. If there was no war there was no blockade, and if there was no blockade, then the captures and condemnation of British ships for breaking the blockade were illegal. The rupture of negotiations had not come from us; but he did not in the least fear that the question could lead to a war between the two countries, for opinion in America was visibly changing in reference to this question of recognition, and no party in America would be insane enough to rush into a costly war in such a cause. No men could be more anxious to settle it than he, and whatever we might have to pay if the decision went against us-though onr claims would amount to no inconsiderable set off- would be cheaply spent in getting a settlement of these nice questions of international law. In con- clusion, Lord Stanley intimated that there might still be a solution of the difficulty besides arbitration. Mr Seward had thrown out hints of something in the nature of a general Commission to which the claims on both sides should be referred, and he had requested him to put the suggestion into a more formal shape. If the substance could be agreed upon, neither the Government nor the country would be disposed to stand too much on the form. Mr W. E. Forster did not agree with Mr Shaw- Lefevre that the negotiations had failed. There had been a hitch, but another solution might be found, and looking to the possible dangers to our commerce by leaving the question unsettled, he (suggested that Lord Stanley should intimate his willingness to give indemnity for the past, if the United States would come to some understanding by which the ravages of future Alabamas might be prevented. He did not sympathize with the position which Mr Seward had taken on the question of recognition, but he held that Lord Stanley had mistaken his mean- ing. What he contended was, not that the arbitrator should decide on the opportuneness of recognition, but that the United States' Govern- ment should be at liberty to urge that as an ar- gument in the consideration of our liability for the Alabama. Sir G. Bowyer argued that the neutral had as much right to sell a ship as any other article contra- band of war. The belligerent's remedy lay in his right to seize if he could. The Foreign Enlistment Act. he maintained, did not affect the liability of our Government. It was an Act which could have been put in operation by any private individual, and the Government in undertaking to enforce its own municipal law had done a work of supereroga- tion which no foreign State had a right to require from it. Mr Sandford took the same view of international law, and insisted that in assenting to arbitration Lord Stanley had established a very dangerous pre- cedent. He suggested that Mr Bright should be ap- pointed to negotiate a settlement of these claims. Mr Mill pointed out that both the preceding speakers had confounded the sale of contraband with the right to make the neutral's territory the basis of neutral operations. Our responsibility rested, not on our municipal law, but on the nonfultilment of our international duties and if our municipal law did not correspond with them, foreign States had a right to require its alteration. He agreed with Mr Forster's interpretation of Mr Seward's meaning and as the point had now been reduced to a small com- pass, and as the offer of arbitration might be taken as a confession that we owed reparation, he suggested the appointment of a Mixed Commission to ascertain what damages the United States were entitled to claim. The very admission that we owed repara- tion would of itself settle the disputed point of in- ternational law. Mr Gladstone admitted that though Lord Russell had refused arbitration. Lord Stanley, in accepting it under altered circumstances, had not compromised the national honour. He professed himself quite unable to gather from Mr Seward's language how he meant to use the question of recognition, and, differ- ing from Mr Mill, he denied that we had in any way admitted that reparation was due. The very ques tion to be referred to arbitration was whether we had been guilty of any laches, but if we were of opinion that we were in the wrong it was our duty to offer reparation without waiting for arbitration. In the same manner, he did not agree with Mr Mill that our acknowledgment that separation was due would settle the question of international law. That could only be done by an agreement between the leading nations. Expressing his gratification at hearing from Lord Stanley that the matter was not altogether closed, he promised to support him in the attempt to bring it to a satisfactory settlement. Here the discussion closed, and the house ad- journed at twenty minutes to nine o'clock. THE FENIAN PRISONERS IN NEWGATE. On Friday the three Fenian prisoners, Burke, Casey, and Shaw, against whom the grand jury for the county of Warwick a few days ago returned true bills on indictments have been removed by certiorari to the Central Criminal Court, arrived at the prison of Newgate, where they will remain until and pend- ing their trial. They left Warwick at eight o'clock in the morning, in the custody of twenty of the War- wickshire constabulary, travelling to London by the Great Western line. On arriving at Paddington they were placed in a prison van and escorted thence by a strong body of metropoliton mounted police to Newgate, which they reached about noon. There are consequently now ten Fenian prisoners incarcerated in Newgate, awaiting their trials, in- cluding the seven who stand committed from Bow- street on the charge of murder in connection with the affair at the Clerkenwell;iHouse of Dentention. The prison is guarded outside, night and day by a picked body of the city police, who are armed with cutlasses and revolvers, and of whom there are so many that no two of them are said to be out of the sight of each other. They form, in fact, a complete cordon round the whole building, and additional precautions are understood to have been taken inside to insure the greater security of the prison. At the Old Bailey an opinion prevails that at the next session, which will commence on Monday, the 6th of April, all the ordinary criminal business, which usually occupies the greater part of, and occasionally the whole week, will be disposed of before the Fenian prisoners are put upon their trial. Ordinarily great trials do not commence there before the Wednesday of the session, when the Judges attend; but, as the trial of the Fenian prisoners will be necessarily most protracted, and as, if begun on the Wednesday, it might not terminate on the Saturday evening, in which case the jury would have to be kept together over the San- day, which this year will be Easter Sunday, the pro- bability is that it will not commence until the fol- lowing Monday, the 13th of April. » Bishop Morley was fond of a joke. Once when the footman was out of the way, he ordered the foot- man to fetch some water from the well, to which the coachman made a grumbling objection that his busi- ness was to drive, not to run errands. Well, then,' said Morley, bring out the coach and four. set the pitchers inside, and drive to the well,'—a service which was several times repeated, to the great amusement of almost-all the village. EXTRAORDINARY ESCAPE.- Early on Wednesday morning a girl named Clarinda Tippet, in the em- ploy of a Mr Johns, miller, near Truro, threw her newly born infant out of her bedroom window into a garden, a height of at least twelve feet. The ground had not been tilled for some time and was quite hard. Mr Johns heard cries, and, proceeding to the girl's room, soon became aware of what had been done. The child was brought into the house and properly attended to, and was found to have escaped injury. SOUTH AMERICAN PATRIARCHS.—On the 1st of January died Damisio Alves de Moraes, at the age of 110 years. He had 8 sons, 82 grandsons, 65 great grandsons, and 6 great-great-grandsons, of whom exist 6 sons, 47 grandsons, 48 great-grandsons, and 5 great- great grandsons, all living within the space of a league in the neighbourhood of Carmo da Christina, and all employed in farming. Gaspar Joao de Moraes, a brother of the deceased, is 113 years of age, lives on the same fasenda, and enjoys vigorous health. He, too, has a considerable direct descendence— namely, 7 sons, 48 grandchildren, and 20 great- grandchildren alive out of 11 sons, 95 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren. He boasts, also, of never having been on horseback, of never having sued or been sued, and of never having been a wit- ness in any law court-in fact, a real old Minas gen- tlemaa aU of the oldea time.