ISSUE OF THE QUESTIONS WITH AMERICA.
NEW ORLEANS is the scene of a procession, composed of the usual elements of popular processions in the great cities of the United States,—citizens, associations, firemen, and military volunteers : but there are three incidents to the procession not usual in them- selves, which lend even to the commoner elements an air of the extraordinary : those three incidents are, the torchlight, the hearse and funeral trappings, and the body of men once prisoners and now parading in an organized threat against those who had imprisoned them. It is the anniversary of the capture of Lopez in Cuba : the ceremony is intended to commemorate the death of that leader and of his American companions ; the returned prison- ers are the Americans who succeeded in escaping from Cuba. The fire-companies, it will be remembered, are the flower of American youth ; and the presence of the " well-known " citizens and of the volunteers, who form the major part of the United States army, lends to so irregular an exhibition a remarkable sanction, social if not almost official. In the ordinary view, this public ceremonial to commemorate the defeat of a piratical attack is a great public scandal; but it is evident that the community of New Orleans does not account it such. Old England and Young America see the question of public morals from different points of view, and it hardly belongs to either side dogmatically to assume for itself that it is in the " right " or the other in the " wrong." English morals would not justify the seizure of Cuba ; and yet American morals mourn the failure of the last expedition, and are preparing a se- cond, actively making ready in Charleston and elsewhere. It would not be easier to oome to any common agreement-on the right, or, wreng.evion of -these other-questions between England and America which have a more distinct issue and an official recogni- tion. Even when the right can be laid down in the abstract, it is not always open for practical ascertainment. Separate and par- tial grounds are taken up by the two sides in the still unsettled Fishery question. The Yankees are obstinate; the colonists complain, with the Quebec Mercury, of the " shameful" derelic- tion of national duty in the Government of Great Britain • and in the mean time there are already signs that the fishers Of the two countries will go on as before, encroaching and resisting, until some tangible quarrel be established. The technical right of the treaty has been abated by the practical concession made in the nonconclusive settlement; but it is perfectly evident that neither of the parties which moots the question in its practical form would wait for technical niceties, and equally evident that neither side can be satisfied save at the expense of wrong.
The right in the case of the Lobos Islands is much more clear, and at the beginning of this week to us in England the wrong seemed much more imminent. Adventurers are fitting out a pri- vateer expedition, and are duly notifying it to the Government at Washington ; enclosing documents on the subject, the list headed by the letter from Mr. Jewett which drew forth Mr. Webster's first
reply, sanctioning the American claim of access to the guano ; a sanction which is also cited in a very marked manner, as official. Mr. Abbot Lawrence's letter to the National Intelligencer, deny- ing that he had consented on the part of the United States to " the monopoly of the Lobos Islands between Peru and Great Bri-: Min," is so worded as to imply that he regards the tenure upheld by Peru as such a joint "monopoly." Mr. Webster, indeed, has virtually revoked his licence, and has notified that the " private war" will not be supported by the Government or Navy of the United States : but we have not yet heard the last of this Lobos expedition.
The question at issue on the Mexican border is more impos- sible of solution. The Mexican Government ceded the right to form a railway to a Mexican subject, who suffered it to lapse. It was revived and confirmed by a brief revolutionary Government in Mexi- co, and the patentee made over his right to a citizen of the United States. In the mean time, however, a new Government in Mexico had made a similar cession to English speculators ; and the result is, that English and American interests are in litigation. The quarrel has for the Americans a strong complication with the poli- tical question ; and it is in its nature likely to be interminable, because the very source of the " right " claimed on either side, the technical authority of the irregular Government or the com- petency of the regular Government to reopen the matter, is in dis- pute. But here again the Americans are committed, personally and politically, too fax for their own Government-to control them or to determine the result. If it could be discovered—which is barely imaginable—there is no prospect that the " right " could be secured.
These sectional questions cannot be brought to a practical conclusion on the direct issue of right ; but as they are merged in questions infinitely larger although infinitely more vague, in which still higher issues of right are involved, they might be, not concluded, but overridden. Although the Americans are daily submitting themselves more and more to the in- fluence of that " Aggressive policy" which is the real key to the unity of these sectional movements, they are more than ever amenable to the dictates of public candour and public conscience. Much of the American writing and speaking on the subject of the Fishery dispute indicated that disposition. Websteriam is compelled to draw in its horns. Could English statesmen be brought to see in its integrity, and to acknowledge, the interest which both countries have in a thorough understanding, and could Americans be made to know the existence of that feeling in official quarters as well as it is known to exist here and there amongst the English people, no difficulty would remain in breaking away from these vexatious wranglings, and striking out a common path. We could never arrive at a settlement of the Fishery dispute, nor the Te- huantepec litigation, on the merits of the case ; but it would be far from impossible to put the relations of the two countries on such a footing, that the great bulk of the people in each would be content with a rough settlement of any small question, without detriment to the feeling as well as the form of a cordial alliance.