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complaint to make, or any redress to ask of the Government of the Uruguay, or if, on the other hand, it should appear to you that Monte Video is entitled to require something more from Buenos Ayres than security against future aggression, it will be your duty, in conjunction with your French colleague, closely and impartially to examine the claims of each party, and to recommend such an arrangement as you may judge to be equitable, and consistent with the honour and independence of the 2 States.
In conducting inquiry or negotiation upon any such points, you will, when necessary, put yourself in communication with the Government of Monte Video ; either through Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in that city, or if you deem it requisite, by repairing thither in person.
I need scarcely add, that it is fully understood between Her Majesty's Government and that of France, that the settlement of the matters in dispute between the 2 Republics is not to be accompanied by the concession of territorial, or any other separate adrantage to the parties concerned in the mediation.
It is very possible that the present juncture may be considered favourable for securing the free navigation of the tributaries of the River Plate, although only indirectly connected with the chief object of our intervention.
Without expressing any opinion as to the course which it may be necessary to follow if eventually we should be compelled to occupy those waters with a combined force, Her Majesty's Government are disposed to think that it will be better in the first instance, and so long as there remains a hope of restoring peace without the aid of force, to abstain from any mention of this matter.
It is true that to open the great arteries of the South American Continent to the free circulation of commerce would be not only a vast benefit to the trade of Europe, but a practical, and perhaps the best security for the preservation of peace in America itself. And should Her Majesty's Government not be disappointed in the hope which they entertain of being able, conjointly with France, to put an end to the contest by amicable mediation, I shall be prepared to give you instructions to unite with the French Minister in an endeavour to place the free navigation of the River Plate and its tributaries upon a secure footing. For the present, however, and as the question does not appear to have any necessary connection with the differences between the 2 Republics, the adjustment of which is our first object, you will do well not to introduce it as an essential point of negotiation. You will, at the same time, be careful not to enter into any engagement which shall fetter the discretion of Her Majesty's Government in dealing hereafter with this important matter.
I am not aware that I can lay down for you any further directions
as to the terms upon which peace may be concluded. In any conditions which may occur to you as adapted to the position of the 2 parties, or which you may be called upon to support, you will, of course, be careful not to sanction anything which may be offensive to the dignity and true interests of Monte Video, any more than to those of the State to which you are accredited. Bearing this in view, you are authorized to declare the willingness of Her Majesty's Government to become a mediating party to the Treaty.
Hitharto I have assumed that you will find General Rosas well disposed to listen to the representations which, in the name of Her Majesty's Government, you will make to him upon your first arrival.
If, unfortunately, this should not be the case, and if he should refuse to take any step for the suspension of hostilities, it will still be your duty to abstain from all threatening language, and from any further allusion to force.
You will wait the arrival of the French Minister, and as soon as he shall have presented himself at Buenos Ayres, you will concert with him the form in which your joint representations shall be made to the 2 Republies. A ready acceptance of our mediation by Monte Video may confidently be anticipated. And the points to which you have already been directed singly to call the attention of General Rosas, will then have to be urged upon him with the additional weight of the Government of France, and in a more formal and solemn manner.
Whatever may have been the hopes and intentions of General Rosas up to that moment, it is hardly possible to conceive that when the consequences which must follow from a refusal to listen to the adrice of the 2 Powers shall have been made evident to him, he will allow it to pass unheeded. But if he should refuse to act upon your united representations, and if there should be any signs of an intention to temporize, and to protract the negotiation, with a view of supporting General Oribe in a last effort for the subjugation of Monte Video, you will invite your colleague to join with you in declaring, that if, by a certain day, the support of the Argentine troops is not withdrawn from the besieging army, and the blockade of the city raised, the Commanders of the English and French squadrons will be directed to effect those objects by force.
It is needless to say that this declaration, when once made, must be adhered to. It will therefore be your duty, so soon as you shall perceive a probability that such a step may be necessary, to put yourself in communication with the Commander of Her Majesty's Naval Porces in the River Plate, to make him acquainted with the objects proposed in the declaration, and to request him to concert with the French Commander as to the mode in which it shall be carried out. The raising of the blockade will of course be effected at once, and
without difficulty. With respect to the withdrawal of the Argentine troops from the Monte Videan territory, it will be for your joint consideration how this can be best enforced. From the information possessed by Her Majesty's Government, it would appear that a blockade of those ports through which the Buenos Ayrean Government are at present in the habit of carrying on communications with the besieging army, more especielly that of the Buceo, and, if neces. sary, the occupation of the lower waters of the Uruguay, would effectually cut off all intercourse between Buenos Ayres and General Oribe's forces, and thereby compel their retreat or dissolution.
These, however, are matters upon which, if any doubt exists, the decision must rest with the commanders of the force.)
You will bear in mind that Her Majesty's Government have no intention of carrying on any operations whatever by land; and you will not consent to the disembarkation of any men from Her Majesty's vessels beyond what may be requisite for the occupation of the Island of Martin Garcia, or any other spot, of wbich, for the security of the combined forces, or to make their operations effective, it may be necessary to take temporary possession. In such case you will be careful that the amount of force contributed by each party shall be as nearly equal as possible. I must add, however, that at any moment, or in any place in which the lives of British subjects may be in danger, it will be your duty to call for the aid of such force as may be necessary to insure their prompt and efficient protection.
How far it may be just and proper to adopt the same precaution in the event of danger to British property only, will depend upon the degree and extent of the risk, and upon other circumstances of the moment, which it is impossible to anticipate. Upon this point therefore I must leave you to be guided by your own judgment.
It is the hope of Her Majesty's Government that neither a continued refusal on the part of General Rosas to come to terms, nor the still more improbable event of active resistance on his part, may make it necessary to have recourse to a blockade of the port of Buenos Ayres. The objects which they have immediately in view-the restoration of peace, and a tranquil government to the Republic of the Uruguay—the removal of pressure from its capital, and the re-opening of its ports to foreign trade-may be effected without any such measure. But Her Majesty's Government do not conceal from themselves that circumstances may force them to take the step; and, should all other efforts to induce General Rosas to abandon the cause of General Oribe, and to conclude a peace fail, you are authorized to suggest its adoption to your French colleague ; leaving, as in the case of the relief to be given to Monte Video, the execution of the measure to the judgment and responsibility of the naval commanders.
It is to be borne in mind, that under whatever circumstances you may be led to direct the blockade of any point on the shores of the River Plate, or its tributaries, every encouragement consistent with the maintenance of that blockade is to be given to the trade of neutral vessels with ports not within the limits of the blockaded district. But Her Majesty's Government are not at present prepared to recommend that, in the event of General Rosas refusing to recognize the free navigation of the tributaries of the River Plate, the combined forces should on this account alone occupy those rivers, for the purpose
of maintaining the freedom of their navigation.
In the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, it is desirable to keep the one great purpose which they have in view as distinct from, and as little encumbered with, other considerations as possible. At the same time, if an opportunity of furthering any collateral object of importance should offer itself—such, for instance, as the opening the navigation of those rivers, or the restoration of peace to the Governments of Corrientes and Entre Rios upon their banks,-I need hardly tell you that it will be your duty to use it to the best of your ability.
You are now in possession of the general views of Her Majesty's Government upon the matters in which you are about to act. Incidents may occur for which these instructions do not specifically provide; and upon which, being far removed from home, it will be necessary for you to act under your own responsibility; but the knowledge which you have had the opportunity of acquiring personally of the sentiments of the 2 Governments, will, I doubt not, enable you to carry out their intentions under any circumstances which may arise.
If, indeed, you should find, what Her Majesty's Government are not led to look upon as probable, that the city of Monte Video has fallen into the hands of General Oribe before your arrival in the River Plate, the above instructions will, for the most part, be no longer applicable. Still, until you can receive directions adapted to the circumstances under which the event shall have taken place, you will remember that, as I have already stated, the chief object which Her Majesty's Government have in view is the preservation of the independence of the Uruguay; and that therefore an attempt by General Oribe, or by any other individual or party, to support themselves in power by the presence of Buenos Ayrean Troops in Monte Video, as it would be a flagrant violation of such independence, might, if persisted in, force upon Her Majesty's Government the necessity of an active interference.
It only remains for me to add, that it will be one of your most important duties to maintain a cordial understanding on all points with the French Minister at Buenos Ayres, and to contribute everything in your power to promote the same feeling between the naval officers of the 2 countries.
I am, &c. G. Ouseley, Esq.
No. 2.-- The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Ouseley,
Foreign Office, November 5, 1845. Your sereral despatches to the 17th August, describing the course of events in the River Plate up to that date, have received the careful consideration of Her Majesty's Government.
Her Majesty's Government hare also given their attention to the despatches of Mr. Turner relating to the same matters.
It does not appear that hitherto any events have occurred under which the instructions received by you upon leaving England do not furnish you with general principles for your guidance.
I have the satisfaction of informing you, that Her Majesty's Government entirely approve of the manner in which you have carried out those instructions, in your transactions both with the Government of Buenos Ayres and that of Monte Video.
The only point upon which I see occasion to add anything to my despatch of the 20th February, is with respect to the light in which the present position of General Oribe, and his pretensions to the Presidency of Monte Video are to be viewed.
In that despatch, after stating that a main object of the mediating Powers is to secure the independence of Monte Video, and that it is one upon which no compromise can be admitted, it was suggested, as a means of setting at rest all jealousy on that head, that the terms of pacification should include the removal of General Oribe from the Monte Videan territory. It is probable, however, that whilst a close adherence to this condition would be more than is necessary to secure to the State and city of Monte Video their independence and selfgovernment, it would also prove a serious obstacle to an accommodation with General Rosas; and, therefore, I think it well to remind you, that Her Majesty's Government have no interest or wish to interfere with the full enjoyment. by General Oribe of bis rights as a citizen of Monte Video, so long as neither his presence in the State, nor his pretension to authority, are supported by foreign arms. To a free election of General Oribe, conducted according to the forms and spirit of the Constitution, Her Majesty's Gorernment would have no right or desire to object. But to secure that freedom of choice to his fellow-citizens, it will be absolutely necessary that the Argentine forces by which he is now supported should be withdrawn beyond the frontier, and that the only troops in arms in the Banda Oriental should be under the authority of the Provisional Government.