« ElőzőTovább »
No. 446.-M. de Isturiz to Viscount Palmerston.
(Translation.) Spanish Legation, July 11, 1850.
I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the note which your Excellency did me the honour to address to me on the 9th instant, calling my attention to the increase which has taken place during the last year in the importation of slaves into the Island of Cuba, in order that I may bring it under the notice of the Government of the Queen my mistress; and reminding me, for this purpose, of the engagements which Spain has entered into to put an end to Slave Trade.
I propose, without loss of time, to bring the contents of your Excellency's communication to the knowledge of Her Majesty's Government, and I have no doubt that the important subject of that communication will engage their serious attention.
In the meantime, before transmitting to your Excellency the answer that I may receive, permit me to express my satisfaction at observing that Her Britannic Majesty's Government acknowledges that the internal embarrassments with which the Government of my August Sovereign has had to contend up to the present time, have been the cause of their not having devoted to this interesting question the attention which it requires. I avail, &c. Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B.
XAVIER DE ISTURIZ.
No. 447.-M. de Isturiz to Viscount Palmerston.
(Translation.) Spanish Legation, August 9, 1850. On the 11th July last, I had the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's note of the 9th of the same month, relative to cases of fresh importations of negroes into the Island of Cuba, and to inform you that I would forward it without loss of time to the Government of the Queen, my mistress.
Now that I have received their orders, I have the satisfaction of being able to assure your Excellency that Her Majesty's Government has given directions to the Captain-General of Cuba to make inquiries immediately into the cases mentioned by your Excellency in your note above alluded to, warning him further, that he must be strictly responsible for taking the severest measures to put an end to the Slave Trade promptly and radically, because such is the wish of Her Majesty, and because her Government are firmly resolved to carry out their Treaties, without evasion or dissimulation of any kind.
Moreover, that no means of attaining this object may be omitted, the Government has also arranged that the Commission which has gone to the Island of Cuba to inquire into different points relative to the better defence and administration of those provinces, shall extend its investigations and inquiries to the most efficacious
measures to be taken for extinguishing the Slave Trade, making itself acquainted with the means that the slave-dealers have hitherto employed to elude the execution of the law in this respect.
However, at the same time that I have the pleasure of proving to your Excellency that the Spanish Government is possessed with these sentiments of justice, and animated by a lively desire to remove all cause of difference in its relations within that of Her Britannic Majesty, I cannot refrain from expressing here the surprise which your Excellency's note has occasioned it, when considering that precisely during the period to which your Excellency alludes, when, from the existing state of diplomatic relations, it could not be supposed that the Government of Her Catholic Majesty was actuated by any other motive than a feeling of its own duty, it issued the most peremptory and positive orders to the authorities of Cuba to prevent any disembarcation of slaves, and to observe the Treaties scrupulously, having had the satisfaction that their fulfilment produced, amongst other good results, the testimony of English functionaries in the island, expressed in the name of Her Britannic Majesty to the Conde de Alcoy, the Captain-General, on different occasions and in different cases, some of which, even at the risk of appearing tedious, your Excellency must permit me to mention.
1st. On the 30th of July, 1849, the English Acting ConsulGeneral at the Havana, writing to the Captain-General upon the result of a claim which he had laid before him, asking for the removal of the negress Monica to Jamaica, said "Her Britannic Majesty's Government does not wish to enforce what it considers to be its right in this respect, while your Excellency continues in the noble conduct which you have hitherto pursued with regard to Slave Trade, and while your Excellency perseveres by every means in your power in causing the engagements to which the Spanish Crown is bound by Treaty to be faithfully fulfilled, and those laws which the Spanish Government has made in consequence of such engagements, to be impartially executed."
2ndly. At the end of February, 1849, without any denunciation having been previously made by the English Consul, 85 newlyimported Bozal negroes were seized at Cabañas. The necessary inquiry being made into this occurrence, it appeared that the commander of the battery of the port of Cabañas and the infantry captain at the same place had shown some carelessness or want of zeal, and immediately these two officers were removed by the Captain-General. These circumstances having been communicated to the English Consulate, and through it to the English Government, the Consul informed the Conde de Alcoy, under date of the 2nd August, 1849, that he had received instructions to make known
to him "how satisfactory it had been to Her Britannic Majesty's Government that these subaltern officers had been removed; and that that Government hoped that these proofs of the determination of the Conde de Alcoy would cause the Treaty obligations of the Spanish Crown to be respected, and serve as an example," &c.
3rdly. On the 4th December, 1849, the English Acting ConsulGeneral denounced a disembarkation of Bozal negroes in the neighbourhood of Cardeñas. Notwithstanding that this denunciation was couched in vague terms the Captain-General used the utmost diligence, and succeeded in seizing 174 Bozal negroes.
4thly. On the 31st of January of the present year, the Captain. General having acceded to the request of the English Acting Consul-General, that the negress Tomasa, who had received her certificate of freedom, should be allowed to remain in the island, Mr. Kennedy wrote to the Conde de Alcoy, "I am equally obliged to your Excellency for the consideration which you have shown me in the different cases which I have submitted for your determination."
Lastly, a newspaper having published, during the period of the interruption of diplomatic relations before alluded to (June, 1849), a letter from the Havana, afterwards reprinted in the "Morning Post," in which it was asserted that a disembarkation of 2,000 Bozal negroes had taken place, Her Majesty's Government ordered the Captain-General to make the strictest inquiry into the truth of this denunciation, from which it appeared that it was entirely false.
Taking into consideration these facts, and many preceding ones, it may be said without risk of exaggeration, that the greater part of the denouncements were disproved by an investigation into the facts; nevertheless, in this question, as generally in almost all others of contraband trading, it happens that when a great interest is concerned and the slave-trading interest is of immense magnitudenot all the endeavours of the Spanish authorities on land, nor all the untiring vigilance of the English cruizers by sea, are able to prevent the infraction of the law.
I conclude by repeating that Her Majesty's Government, as soon as it was made acquainted with your Excellency's note to which I have the honour to reply, hastened to issue to the authorities of Cuba the most positive orders for the full and scrupulous observance of the Treaties of 1817 and 1835.
I seize, &c.
Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B.
XAVIER DE ISTURIZ.
No. 448.-Viscount Palmerston to M. de lsturiz. Foreign Office, August 31, 1850. THE Undersigned, &c., has the honour to inform M. Isturiz, &c.,
that he has recently received from Mr. Kennedy, Her Majesty's Acting Consul-General in Cuba, copies of a correspondence which Mr. Kennedy had with the Captain-General in the month of June last, in which Mr. Kennedy informed the Captain-General that 2 vessels were fitting out in Cuba for Slave Trade, and that another had arrived with a cargo of slaves in the neighbourhood of Cardeñas.
In the early part of that correspondence, the Captain-General denied all knowledge of the facts to which Mr. Kennedy had called his Excellency's attention, although the circumstance that the vessel had landed slaves was well known in the island, and even the fact that the Captain-General had received the usual head-money was commonly talked of at the Havana.
On the 22nd of June, however, Mr. Kennedy, having heard that the vessel which brought the slaves had been abandoned by her crew, and had been run on shore near Cardeñas, wrote to the CaptainGeneral for information on the subject; and his Excellency then admitted not only that such vessel had been found abandoned, as had been stated by Mr. Kennedy, but also that a landing of slaves had taken place.
His Excellency stated that he had not yet received the particulars of the transaction, but that he had ordered further inquiries to be made into the matter.
On the 23rd of the following month of July, Mr. Kennedy had occasion to report to the Captain-General that another vessel, a schooner, had a fortnight before landed about 360 negroes at or near Cardeñas, of which circumstance the Captain-General, in his reply, denied all knowledge.
The Undersigned feels it his duty to make these circumstances known to M. Isturiz, in confirmation of the truth of the statements which he had the honour to bring under the notice of M. Isturiz in his note of the 9th ultimo, as showing that importations of negroes were still continually permitted to take place in the Island of Cuba. It is now the more agreeable office of the Undersigned to acknowledge the receipt of M. Isturiz' note of the 9th instant, in reply to the note of the Undersigned of the 9th ultimo above-mentioned, and to request that M. Isturiz will convey to the Spanish Government the expression of the sincere and warm thanks of Her Majesty's Government for the orders which he states have been sent to the Captain-General of Cuba, and which, if punctually carried into execution and not allowed to be a dead letter, like former orders of the same kind, will no doubt put an end to all further violation of the law and of the Treaty against Slave Trade.
The Undersigned, &c.
M. de Isturiz.
No. 450.-Viscount Palmerston to Lord Howden. Foreign Office, August 31, 1850. I TRANSMIT herewith, for your information, copies of despatches, dated the 9th and 25th of June and 25th of July last, from Mr. Kennedy, Her Majesty's Acting Consul-General at the Havana, inclosing copies of a further correspondence which he has had with the Captain-General of Cuba, respecting the continued importations of negroes from Africa into that island, in violation of Spanish law and of the Treaty engagements of Spain towards Great Britain.
These communications tend to show that the Captain-General, according to his own statements, is less well-informed than Her Majesty's Acting Consul-General is, of things that are done and doing in the Island of Cuba. But your Lordship will see by Mr. Kennedy's despatch of the 25th of June, that the CaptainGeneral had at last admitted that a particular vessel which Mr. Kennedy had reported as having landed slaves and having been abandoned by her crew, and run ashore near Cardeñas, had in fact been found by the Spanish authorities abandoned as described, and that slaves had been landed from her.
You will also see that, according to the intelligence which Mr. Kennedy had received, the cargo of the slave-vessel was brought on account of the parties of whom Don Juan de Zulueta is the most prominent partner, and that it was currently reported that the Captain-General had taken 3 doubloons, or about 107. a-head, on each slave for the permission to land them.
With reference to this subject, I further transmit to your Lordship, for your information, a copy of a note, dated the 9th instant, which I have received from M. Isturiz, in reply to one which I addressed to that Minister on the 9th ultimo, and of which a copy is also sent to you herewith. Your Lordship will see that M. Isturiz states orders have now been sent to the Captain-General of Cuba, which, if punctually carried into execution, would put an end to all further importations of negroes in violation of the law and of the Treaty engagements of Spain against Slave Trade.
I also transmit to you the copy of a note which I have addressed to M. Isturiz, containing the substance of the communications from Mr. Kennedy, inclosed in this despatch. I have in the same note, as you will see, acknowledged the receipt of M. Isturiz' note of the 9th instant, and have requested him to convey to the Spanish Government the expression of the sincere and warm thanks of Her Majesty's Government for the orders which he states have been sent to the Captain-General of Cuba upon these matters; and I have to instruct your Lordship in communicating to the Spanish Government the substance of the information contained in this despatch, to express the hope of Her Majesty's Government that the orders