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equal to two thirds of what was added to old France by the treaty of the 30th May, and in which should be comprehended the fortresses of Cond6, Philippcville, Marienbourg, Givet and Charlemont, Sarre-Louis, Landau, and forts Joux and L'Ecluse.
2. The demolition of the fortress of Huninguen.
8. The payment of two sums; the one of 600 millions, under the denomination of indemnity , the other of 200 millions, to serve for the construction of fortresses in the countries conterminous with France.
4. The military occupation, during seven years, of the fortresses of Valenciennes, Bouchain, Cambray, Maubeuge, Landrecy, Lequcsnoy, Avesne, Uocroy, Longwi, Thionville, Bitche, and the tete-du-pont of Fort Louis, as well as of a line along the northern and eastern frontiers, by an army of 150,000 men, under the orders of a General nominated by the Allies, and to be subsisted by France.
His Majesty, ardently desirous of hastening as far as lies in his power, the conclusion of an arrangement, the delay of which li:us caused to his people so many evils which he daily deplores, and has prolonged in France, and still prolongs, that internal agitation which has excited the solicitude of the Powers, but still more animated by a desire to make known Iris good dispositions to Sovereigns his Allies, has wished that the undersigned should communicate without delay to their Excellencies the Plenipotentiaries of the four Courts, the principles on which he thinks the negotiation
ought to be prosecuted, relatively to each of the bases proposed, by ordering the undersigned to present the following considerations on the first of these bases,—that respecting territorial cessions,— in which that important object is examined, in the twofold relations of justice and utility, which it would be so dangerous to separate.
The want of a common Judge, having authority and power to terminate the disputes of Sovereigns, leaves no other course, when they cannot come to an amicable agreement, but that of referring the decision of such disputes to the fate of arms, which constitutes between them the state of war. If in this state, possessions of the one are occupied by the forces of the other, these possessions are under conquest, by right of which the occupier acquires the full enjoyment of them during all the time that he occupies them, or until the reestablishment of peace. He is entitled to demand as a condition of that re-establishment, that the territory which he occupies should be ceded to h:m in whole or in part; and the cession, when it has taken place, transforming the enjoyment into property, from a mere occupier of it he becomes the Sovereign. This is a mode of acquisition which the law of nations authorises.
But the state of war, conquest, and the right of exacting cessions, are things which proceed from and depend upon each other, in such way that the first is an absolute condition of the second, anil the latter of the tliird; for out of the state of war, there can
be be 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; rie;ht 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 men, 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, without being so with him who has been previously acknowledged a Sovereign, two things must necessarily happen; the one is that of ceasing to hold him as such, and to regard the sovereignty, as transferred to those whom you fight against, by the very act for which you fight against them ;— that is to say, you then recognize, pursue, and sanction those doctrines which have overthrown sa many thrones, shaken them all, and against which all Europe wai under the necessity of arming itself: or, you must believe that the sovereignty can be double while it is essentially one, and incapable of division; it may exist under different forms, be collective or individual, but not each of these at once in the same country, which cannot have two Sovereign! at the same time.
The Allied Powers, however, have neither done nor believed 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 placed him without the law of nations. In 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 man could naturally either acquire, or confer, or transmit any right.
The Allied Powers have not, for an instant, ceased to recog
xiise his Most Christian Majesty as King of France, and consequently to recognise the rights 'which belonged to him in that capacity; they have not for an Instant ceased to he with him in relations of peace and amity, ■which alone conveyed with it the engagement to resect his rights; they took upon them this engagement in a formal though implied manner in the declaration of the 13th of March, and in the Treaty of the 25th. They rendered it more strict by making the King enter, by his accession to that treaty, into their alliance against the common enemy; for if you cannot make conquests from a friend, you can still less do it from an ally. And let it not be said, 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 but 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 stipulation? 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 Koyal 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 r
If in a small democracy of • antiquity, the people in u 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 mentiptied,
is it possible to doubt that the monarchs of Europe should oat be unanimous in a case where thai which is not just would even he pernicious?
It is therefore, with the most entire confidenre, that the undersigned have the honour of submitting to the Allied Sovereign* the preceding observations.
Notwithstanding, however, the inconveniences attached in actual circumstances to every territorial cession, his Majesty will consent to the re-establishment of the ancient limits, in all the points in which additions were made to aid France by the treaty of the 30th May. His Majesty will also consent to the payment of such an indemnity as shall leave means of supplying the wants of the interior administration, without which it would be impossible to arrive at that settlement of order and tranquillity which has been the object of the war.
His Majesty will likewise consent to a provisional occupation. Its duration, the number of fortresses, and the extent of country to be occupied will be the subject of negociation; but the Kins: does not hesitate to declare at present, that an occupation of seven years, being absolutely incompatible with the internal tranquillity of the kingdom, is utterly inadmissible.
Thus the King admits in principle, territorial cessions as to what did not appertain to old France; the payment of an indemnity j and u provisional occupation by a number (if troops, aiiJ for a period to be determined.
His most Christian Maje«tyfUtttei's hiuiit'U', that the Sovereign his 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 them, 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 MINISTERS OF THE ALLIED SOVEREIGNS.
Paris, Sept. 22, 1815. The undersigned, &c. &c. have received the note in which Mes* sieurs the Plenipotentiaries of France have replied to the communications made to them in the conference of the 2()th 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 undersigned considc r them selves 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 France, was founded on the right of conquest, and because they have carefully avoided in their communications whatever might
lead to a discussion of that right. The Allied Powers always con» sidering 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 as 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 a 11 lie ■ tions, they were about tp enjoy a long interval of peace, these events 2 It have