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he no conquest made: and where conquest has not been made, or no longer exists, the right of demanding territorial cessions cannot exist, since a claim cannot be made to retain that which one has not, or that which he no longer has.
There can be no conquest where there is no state of war, and as you cannot take from him who has nothing, you can only make conquest of what a man possesses; hence it follows that in order to constitute the possibility of conquest, there must have been war by the occupier on the possessor, that is on the Sovereign; right of possession of a country and sovereignty being things inseparable or rather identical.
If then you make war in a country, and against a number more or less considerable of the inhabitants of that country, while the Sovereign is excepted therefrom, you do not make war on the country, the latter word being merely a trope by which the domain is put for the possessor. A Sovereign, however, must be considered as excepted from the war which foreigners carry on in this country, when they acknowledge him and maintain with him the accustomed relations of peace. The war is then made against tnen, to the rights of whom he who combats them cannot succeed, because they have no rights, and from whom it is impossible to conquer what does not belong to them. Neither the object nor the effect of such a war can be to make conquests, but to recover. He, however, who recovers that which does not belong to him, cannot recover it but for him
whom he acknowledges as the legitimate possessor.
To entitle you to deem yourself at war with a country, withom being so with him who has been previously acknowledged a Sovtreign, two things roust neceaarily happen; rhe one is that of ceasing to hold him as such, and to regard the sovereignty, as transferred to those -whom ws fight against, by the -very act for which you fight against them ;— that is to say, you then recognise, pursue, and sanction those doctrines which have overthrown *> many thrones, shaken them ali, and against which all Europe wis under the necessity of annin? itself: or, you must believe that the sovereignty can be double while it is essentially one, and iccapable of division; it niav exist under different forms, be collective or individual, but not each of these at once in the same countrr, which cannot have two Sovereigns at the same time.
The Allied Powers, however, have neither done nor believeJ either the one or the other of these two things.
They have considered the enterprise of Buonaparte as the greatest crime that could be committed by men, and the very attempt of which alone piiced him without the law of nations. Id his adherents they viewed only accomplices of that crime, whom it was necessary to combat, to put down, and punish, circumstances which irrefragably exclude every supposition that such men could naturally either acquire, or confer, or transmit any right.
The Allied Powers have not, for an instant, ceased to recne
liis Most Christian Majesty rCing of France, and consently to recognise the rights Lch belonged to him in that acity; they have not for an i ant ceased to he with him in ations of peace and amity, iich alone conveyed with it the gagement to respect his rights; zy took upon them this engage.■ut in a formal though implied inner in the declaration of the 1th. of March, and in the Treaty 'the 25th. They rendered it tore strict by making the King liter, by his accession to that reaty, into their alliance against lie common enemy; for if you annot make conquests from a riend, you can still less do it from an ally. And let it not be laid, that the King could not be the ally of the Powers, but by co-operating with them, and that he did not do so; if the total defection of the army, which, at the time of the treaty of the 25th of March, was already known and deemed inevitable, did not permit him to bring regular troops into action, the Frenchmen, who, by taking up arms for him to the number of 60 or 70,000, in the departments of the West and the South, those who shewing themselves disposed to take them up, placed the Usurper under the necessity of dividing his forces, and those who, after the defeat of Waterloo, instead of the resources in men and money which he demanded, left him no other hut that of abandoning every thing, were, for the Allied Powers, a real co-operation, who, in proportion as their forces advanced into the French provinces, reestablished there the King's au
thority, a measure which would have caused conquest to cease, had these provinces been really conquered. It is evident, then, that the demand which is made of territorial cessions cannot be founded upon conquest.
Neither can it have as adequate reason the expenditure made by the Allied Powers; for if it be just that the sacrifices to which they have been forced by a war, undertaken for the common good, but for the more particular benefit of France, should not remain chargeable on them, it is equally just that they should satisfy themselves with an indemnification of the same kind with the sacrifices. The Allied Powers, however, have made no sacrifice of territory.
We live at a period, when, more than at any other, it is important to strengthen confidence in the word of Kings. The exaction of cessions from his most Christian Majesty would produce a quite contrary effect, after the declaration in which the Powers announced, that they took up arms only against Buonaparte and his adherents; after the treaty in which they engaged to maintain against all infraction the integrity of the stipulations of the 30th May, 1814,—which cannot be maintained unless that of France is so; after the proclamations of their Generals in Chief, in which the same assurances are renewed.
The exaction of cessions from his most Christian Majesty would deprive him of the means of extinguishing totally and for ever among the people that spirit of conquest, fanned by the Usurper,
and and which would inevitably rekindle with the desire of recovering that which France would never believe she had justly lost.
Cessions exacted from his Most Christian Majesty would be imputed to him as a crime, as if he had thereby purchased the aid of the Powers, and would be an obstacle to the confirmation of the Royal Government, so important for the legitimate dynasties, and so necessary to the repose of Europe, in as far as that repose is connected with the internal tranquillity of France.
In fine, the exaction of cessions from his Most Christian Majesty, would destroy, or at least alter that equilibrium, to the establishment of which the Powers have devoted so many sacrifices, efforts, and cares. It was themselves who fixed the extent that France ought to have. How should that which they deemed necessary a year ago, have ceased to exist? There are upon the continent of Europe two States that surpass France in extent and in population. Their relative greatness would necessarily increase in the same proportion as the absolute greatness of France should lie diminished. Would this be conformable to the interests of Europe? Would it even be suitable to the particular interests of these two States, in the order of relations in which they are placed towards each other t
If in a small democracy of ■ antiquity, the people in a body learning that one of their Generals had to propose to them something advantageous but not just, exclaimed unanimously, that they would not even hear it mentipiied,
is it possible to doubt thai tip monarchs of Europe should at be unanimous in acasewheretk which is not just would cm be pernicious?
It is therefore, with the ween tire confidence, that the undo signed have the honour o( submitting to the Allied Sonnet the preceding observations.
Notwithstanding, howeter, uv inconveniences attached martini circumstances to every territory cession, his Majesty will con<ett to the re-establishment of & ancient limits, in all the point- ■ which additions were made to »H France by the treaty of the»!> May. H is Majesty will also consent to the payment of such *> indemnity as shall lea'e i» of supplying the vranto of * interior administration, widw" which it would be impossiblet arrive at that settlement of onk and tranquillity which has h*: the object of the war.
His Majesty will likewise consent to a provisional occupst* Its duration, the number of fortresses, and the extent of country to be occupied will be the si>! of negotiation; but the HVi does not hesitate to iec^re J present, that an occupation of seven years, being absolutely Vocm-' patible with the internal tramp lity of the kingdom, is utwl! inadmissible.
Thus the King admits in principle, territorial cessions *' what did not appertain to f France; the payment of a""'' demnity; and a provisionalw1^ pation by a number of troop*, w for a period to be deteraiineJ
His moKt C hristianMaje**1''' tcra hiuiiiUV that the Sovertig"" \\\s allies, will consent to establish the negotiations on the footing of these three principles, as well as -to carry into the calculation of conditions that spirit of justice and moderation which animates 11 it'll 1, in order that the arrangement may be brought to a conclusion speedily, and with mutual satisfaction.
If these bases should not be adopted, the undersigned are not authorised to receive or propose any other.
REPLY OF THE MINISTEHS OF TRI ALLIED SOVEREIGNS.
Paris, Sept. 22, 1815. The undersigned, &c. &c. have received the note in which Messieurs the Plenipotentiaries of France have replied to the communications made to them in the conference of the 20th of this month, with reference to a definitive arrangement. They have been surprised to find in it a long series of observations on the right of conquest, on the nature of those wars to which it is applicable, and on the reasons which should induce the Contracting Powers not to recur to it in the present instance. The unders igned consider themselves so much the more fully exempted from the necessity of following the Plenipotentiaries of France in their reasoning, inasmuch as no one of the propositions which they have made, by command of their august Sovereigns, with a view to the regulation of the present and future relations between Europe and Prance, was founded on the right of conquest, and because they have carefully avoided in their communications whatever might Vol. LVI1.
lead to a discussion of that right. The Allied Powers always considering the restoration of order, and the confirmation of the royal authority in France, as the principal object of their proceedings, but persuaded at the same time that France cannot enjoy a solid peace whilst neighbouring nations continue to cherish with regard to her either bitter animosities or perpetual alarms, have recognised the principle of a just satisfaction for losses and past sacrifices, as well a3 that of a sufficient guarantee for the future security of neighbouring countries, as the only means of putting an end to all discontents and apprehensions, and consequently as the only true bases of every solid and durable arrangement.
It is only upon these two principles that the Allied Powers have fixed their propositions, and in drawing up the projet which the undersigned have had the honour to transmit to the Plenipotentiaries of France, they were distinctly expressed in every one of its articles.
The Plenipotentiaries of France themselves admit the first of these principles, whilst they remain silent with respect to the second. It is, however, abundantly clear, that the necessity of guarantees for the future, has become more sensible and urgent than at the period of the signature of the Treaty of Paris. The subsequent events have carried consternation and alarm to every partof Europe; at a moment when the Sovereigns and their people flattered themselves that after so many aiilic tions, they were about to enjoy a long interval of peace, these events 8 R have have every where produced agitation, as well as the burthens and sacrifices inseparable from a general arming. It is impossible so soon to efface from the minds of cotemporaries the recollection of such a convulsion. That which was sufficient to satisfy them in
1814, cannot content them in
1815. The line of demarcation which appeared to guarantee the security of the States bordering on France, at the epoch of the treaty of the 30th of May, can no longer satisfy the just pretensions which they now prefer.
It is indispensable that France should offer some new pledge of security. She ought to take this step, as well from sentiments of justice and expediency, as from her own interest well understood. For, in order that the French may be happy and tranquil, it is absolutely necessary that their neighbours should be happy and tranquil also.
Such are the powerful considerations that have induced the Allied Powers to demand of France some territorial cessions. The inconeiderable extent of these cessions, and the selection of the points upon which they bear, sufficiently prove, that they have nothing in common with views of aggrandizement and conquest, and that the security of bordering nations is their only object. These cessions are not of a nature to compromise the substantial integrity of France. They embrace only detached districts or points remote from her territory; they cannot really weaken her in any relation either administrative or military, nor can her defensive system be affected by them. France
will remain not the less one of ti» best rounded and best fortifa: States of Europe, as well as one of the riehest in means of ever* description forresistingthe dangT.of invasion.
Without entering into the?? higher considerations, the Plen> potentiaries of France admit, bowever, the principle of territoral cession, as far as respects tV points added to old France by tit treaty of Paris.
The undersigned find it dimcuii to understand upon what this div tinction can be founded, or under the point of view adopted bv tie Allied Powers, in what the esseatial difference between anciett and recent territory consists. It is impossible to suppose, that tk Plenipotentiaries of France wfci to revive in the actual state of affairs the doctrine of the pretended inviolability of the Frenrk territory. They too well know that this doctrine, put forward by the chiefs and apostles of the revolutionary system, formed one of the most revolting chapters i» that arbitrary code which the» wished to impose on Europe. It would be to destroy entirely every idea of equality between the different Powers, if it were one* established as a principle, that France may without difficulty extend her limits, acquire new provinces, and unite them to her territory either by conquest or treaty, whilst she alone shall enjoy the privilege of never losing any of her ancient possession/, either by the misfortunes of war, or by the political arrangements that may result from it.
With regard to the latter part of the note of the Plenipotentiaries