NEWS OF THE WEEK.
THE following document appeared in a Supplement to the Gazette of Tuesday—
"At the Court at St. James's, the 6th day of November 1831); present, the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council " It is this day ordered by his Majesty, by and with the advice of his Privy Council, that no ships or vessels belonging to any of his Majesty's subjects be permitted to enter and clear out for any of the ports within the dominions of the King of the Netherlands, until further orders.
"And his Majesty is further pleased to order, that a general embargo or stop be made doll ships and vessels whatsoever belonging to the subjects of the King of the Nether- lands now within or which shall hereafter come into any of the ports, harbours, or roads within any part of his Majesty's dominions, together with all persons and effects on board such ships and vessels ; and that the commanders of his Majesty's ships of war do detain and bring into port all merchant-ships and vessels bearing the flag of the Netherlands; but that the utmost care be taken for the preservation of all and every part of the cargoes on board any of the said ships or vessels, so that no damage or em- berclement whatever be sustained ; and the commanders of his Majesty's ships of mar are hereby instructed to detain and bring into port every such ship and vessel accordingly.
" And the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the Lord 'Warden of the Cinque Ports, are to give the necessary directions herein as to them may respectively appertain."
We may now be said to have fairly embarked in a war against Holland; for the above proclamation is no more than the ordinary form that precedes almost all wars where the parties have been previously on amicable terms. It was precisely such a proclama- tion that preceded the Dutch war of 1803, and the Spanish war of the same year. The question now to be asked is—how, being fairly in, are we to get out again? The other question which will also be asked—namely, why did we get in ?—is subordinate to this. We can easily imagine the French troops in motion, and the citadel of Antwerp surrendered to their batteries, backed by the cannon of the combined fleet. We can conceive Venloo occupied by Prussia, come of Antwerp what may. So far the course is plain. But will the Dutch King, when driven out of Antwerp, be more disposed to treat with his late subjects than before? And, if he then refuse, as he may, what further steps are to be taken? If we do not follow up our blow, it has been dealt to no purpose ; if we do, we shall no longer be contending, even in name, for Bel- gium, but against Holland.
The difficulty in which we are placed is enhanced by the seces- sion of the other three Powers. 'We cannot see the force of their argument. They withdraw because, having commenced as medi- ators, they will not end as belligerents. But if the mediation was to be effectual, it was necessary for the mediators to enforce their award. There is no superior court to enforce it. From the begin- lung, the Powers must have seen, that their interference in the disputes between Belgium and Holland could come to a peaceful Issue only by the unlimited submission of those two Powers ; and that unlimited submission could only be expected from a thorough conviction in the parties, that if not voluntarily rendered, it would be compelled. Would it have been better to leave the two parties to fight it out?—It has been said that a general war has been pre- vented by the interference of the Five Powers. This is assuming that the forces of Belgium and Holland were so nearly balanced, that the contest must have been lengthened and doubtful. But what if a general war have been delayed only? Are the prospects of Peace more or less remote, were such a war now to break forth, than, in that event, they would have been two years ago? These are questions which are not easily solved. After all, we suppose we must leave the ease to the chapter of accidents; which, in such high and complicated affairs, often de- cides with n speed and facility that mock the slow and painful calculations of the wisest statesmen. If King WILLIAM'S obsti- nacy be personal, he may yet be induced, rather than incur agent lass of goods, to submit to a small loss of honour: if, as iz alleged, he and firm solely by reason of the pressure at his back, the threats of. the Allies, now rendered visible and tangible, will supply him 'With a ready and convincing argument for calling on his zealous subjects to give way. There is one step which is much to be de- sired, and which by a proper display of force may, we hope, be in- sured—the giving up of the citadel of Antwerp without bloodshed. We wholly disbelieve the report that General CHASSE has orders, or that he dared execute them if lie had, to batter down Antwerp or any portion of it, farther than the strictest necessity of military. tactics require; but we could wish that he and his master might go further. If it be proved, as by men acquainted with these matters it can be proved, that the citadel must surrender in a fort- night or three weeks at most,—and if the King of Holland see, as he must see, that he has no means of preventing its surrender,— then we do hope, for the honour of his heart and his head equally, —the object at stake being only the temporary possession of the fortress, and that temporary possession being unattainable,—that WILLIAM will at once and with a good grace withdraw his troops.. There can be no dishonour in evacuating the citadel of Antwerp, any more than in acknowledging the independence of Belgium, when the means of exacting the evacuation and the acknowledg- ment are in the hands of his opponents.
As the convention between France and England may be a fre- quent subject of future reference, we subjoin it here- " His Majesty the King of the French, and his Majesty .. the Kin of the United Kingdom om of Great Britain and Ireland, having been invited by his Ma- jesty the King of the Belgians to carry into execution the articles of the treaty relative to the Netherlands concluded at London on the 15th of November 1831, the execution of which, according to the terms of the 25th Article of the said treaty, has been conjointly guaranteed by their said Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of all the Russias ;
"Having, moreover, recognized that all the efforts made in common by the Five Powers who signed the said treaty to arrive at its execution by means of negotiation have hitherto failed of effect ; "Agreeing besides, that further delay in its execution will seriously compro- mise the general peace:of Europe, have determined—notwithstanding the regret they experience at finding that their Majesties the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of all the Russias, are not at this moment prepared to concur in the active measures which are called for, in order that the treaty may be carried into effect—on fulfilling, in that respect, without any fur- ther delay, their own engagements, and on carrying on by mutual consent the mea- sures best calculated for that purpose, their Majesties the King of the French and the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, have ap- pointed for their Plenipotentianes--namely, his Majesty the King of the French, M. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Perigord, &c., and his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Honourable Henry John Viscount Palmerston, &c. "Who, after having exchanged their full powers, which were found in good and due iorm, have agreed upon and signed the following articles :—
"Art. 1. His Majesty the King of the French and his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Bntain and Ireland will notify to his Majesty the King of the Netherlands and his Majesty the King of the Belgians, respectively, that their intention is to proceed immediately to the execution of the treaty of the 15th of November 1831, conformably to engagements which they have contracted ; and as a first step towards the accomplishment of this end, their ....N2'..'..C: 115U s to enter into said Majesties will require his Majesty the Kin: Qf the an engagement by the d November, at the latest, to withdraw on the 12th of the said month all his troops from the territories which, by the first and second Articles of the said treaty, ought to form the kingdom of Belgium, of which the contracting parties to that treaty have guaranteed the independence and neutrality.
"And their said Majesties will also require his Majesty the King of the Bel- gians to enter into an engagement on the 2d of November of the present year, at the latest, to withdraw, on or before the 12th of the said month of November, his troops from the territories of his Majesty the King of the Netherlands ; so that after the 12th instant there shall be no Netherland troops within the limits of the kingdom of Belgium, nor any Belgian troops in the territory of the King of the Netherlands. And their Majesties the King of the French and the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland declare at the same time to his Majesty the King of the Netherlands, and to his Majesty the King of the Belgians, respectively, that if this requisition to their Majesties is not complied with, they shall proceed without any further notice or delay to the measures which shall appear to them necessary to compel the execution of it.
"Art. 2. If the King of the Netherlands refuses to pee to the engagement mentioned in the preceding article, their Majesties the King of the French, and the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, will order an embargo to be put on all the Netherland vessels in the ports of their respective dominions; and they will also order their respective cruisers to stop and bring' into their ports all the Netherland vessels which they may meet with at sea ; and a French and English squadron combined will be stationed on the coasts of Hol- land for the more efficacious execution of this measure.
"Art. .3. If on the 15th November the Netherland troops shall he still in the Belgian territory, a French corps shall enter Belgium for the purpose of compelling the Netherland troops to evacuate the said territory ; it being well un- derstood that the King of the Belgians shall have previously expressed hiswish for the entrance of the French troops upon his territory for the purpose above stated. " Art. 4. If the measure pointed out in the preceding article becomes neces- sary, its object shall be limited to the expulsion of the Netherland troops from the citadel of Antwerp, and Useforts and places dependent upon it ; and his Ma-
jesty the King of the French, in his lively solicitude for the independence of Bel- .
glum as for that of all established Governments, expressly undertakes not to occupy any of the fortified places of Belgium by the French troops which shall be employed
in the above service • and when the citadel of Antwerp, the ports and places g pendent upon it, shrill have been evacuated by the Netherland troops, there 10) r
be immediately delivered up to the military authorities of the King of l• gians, and the French troops will immediately retire upon the Frenc
" Art. 5. The present convention shall be ratified, and the 4/ I. exchanged at London, within eight days, or sooner, if possible. ,.., r) •
"In testimony of which, the respective Plerdpotentiaries have signed the pre-e sseding articles, and have affixed Ale seals of their arms. "Done at London, October 22, 1882.
The notification alluded to was given by the French Charge -d'Affaires' the Marquis d'ENTRAGUES, and also by Mr. JERNING=' mast, the British Chargé d'Affaires. Their communications bear date the 29th October. The ptiteli Minister; VERSTOLIE DR !BOLEN, after acknowledging the receipt of these notifications, pro- :teeth to give the following answer— Holland having acceded, not to the treaty of the 15th November 1831, bet --to the greater part of its arrangements, must found its proceedings on the -.stipulations which it has accepted. Among the articles agreed to in concert
• with the Conference of London, is included the evacuation, in a fixed time after theexchange of the ratifications, of the territories which were respectively to -change hands; which point was regulated by the last of the twenty-four Articles of the 15th October 1831, by the treaty of 15th November, and in the projects of convention which have followed it. If on the 11th June the Con- ference proposed the 20th July for the evacuation of the respective territories, it declared by its note of the 20th July that in making this proposal it had thought that the treaty between Holland and Belgium would be ratified. To effect the kvaeuation at a time anterior to the exchange of the ratifications, would be acting in opposition both to the formally-announced intentions of the Con- ference, and to the assent which has been given to them by the Government of
• the Netherlands.
"A second motive which hinders the King from consenting to an anticipated -evacuation of the citadel of Antwerp and its dependencies, results from the imperative duty which the interest of his kingdom imposes on his Majesty, not - to part with the security he holds to obtain equitable terms of separation :between Holland and Belgium.
"In answer to the allegation of the fruitlessness of the efforts which have been often repeated to itiduce the King to accept the treaty of the 15th Novem- ber, the undersigned will take the liberty to observe, that since the 13th October 1831, the negotiation has related only to the twenty-four Articles; and
• to Mention the matunty which this negotiation has now attained in consequence of the offers contained in the notes of the Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands to
- the Conference of London on the 30th June and 25th July, of the approbation • which was generally given them and of the manner in which the Cabinet of . the Netherlands received, only a few days ago, the project of a Convention com- xnunicated on the part of the Court of Berlin, and which has been made known • -to the Conference of tondon, with the conciliatory answer of Holland; this -state of things, instead of requiring intermediate and partial measures, seems to need only the putting the last hand to the work, to remove in a few days all the difficulties by the signature of the treaty of separation, which, embracing the totality of the question, would include at the same time that of the evacuation of the respective territories. On these grounds, the King does not find himself in a situation to consent to measures which form the subject of the note of the Charge d'Affaires of France ; but, always ready to follow the course of the nego- tiations in the manner best adapted to remove the obstacles which still delay the immediate conclusion of the treaty, his Majesty causes his Plenipotentiary to the Conference of London to be furnished with instructions to that effect.
"As for military measures destined to realize the evacuations at a time ante- rior to that fixed diplomatically, it will suffice to reed to the penetration of the 'Court of France how they would violate the principle so formally announced, that the Conference of London must never lose its character of a mediator; and to add, that if the embarrassments (complications) which they would produce 'without any motives should put to the hazard, as may be expected, the object of 'the negotiations of the last two years just at the eve of their solution, the semi- -foes which Holland has made for the preservation of peace would entirely: relieve it even from the appearance of having been the cause of so deplorable an issue."
The answer is moderate in its tone, though firm. Whether its moderation must be held as indicating an incipient resolution of :ving way, will be seen in a few days. The evacuation must take iacetake place peaceably, by Thursday next. We suppose the • • .„ be looked on bseenforth Xelgian portion. of the Dutch ueu•t may . as cancelled. Holland must of course pay England and France for the expenses of their respective armaments, naval and military; and these, with the claims of Belgium on the same head, will be quite sufficient to absorb the whole of it.