Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée
Letter from Lauderdale to Talleyrand Stating That further Negotiations Would be Futile
No. XXIX. At the time of joining again with LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries at the conference of the 26th this month, the undersigned plenipotentiary of H. M. of the British believed obliged to put under the eyes of their Exc. the state of negotiation such as it is following the note given on behalf of undersigned and the count of Yarmouth, on the 12th of the current month. LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries will see, according to this talk, that at the point where the discussion is currently, the undersigned is not allowed any more to continue, unless by the admission of the single basis upon which he is authorized with negotiate, LL. EE. do not provide him with new reasons for expecting a similar determination.
In the official note given to LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries on August 12th, it was pointed out to them, "that the British government, well far from claiming to require from the French Government all the restitutions within its propriety, without it being held accountable for any restitution towards France, did not testify to another desire than to deal with the French Government on the basis which was proposed to them by France itself, such as was expressed in the note of Lord Lauderdale, know ledged, to generally deal on the basis of uti possidetis, and that one was to observe this scrupulously, except in the case of Hanover, that one proposed to yield to H. M. entirely.
"Nevertheless it would be possible to be mistaken on the results, necessarily drawn from this principal, from the sharp voiced discussions which took place the 9th of the current month, between the French plenipotentiary and the undersigned, that would not allow any doubt that the proposals thus stated was not heard perfectly by these plenipotentiary.
"Consequently the undersigned had only to repeat that, according to the instructions of their government they could not act differently than to insist that this principle was recognized beforehand. It is only this condition that allowed to them to continue the negotiation."
This note remained unanswered until the 25th of the month, when LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries showed in writing to the undersigned, "that, wished to speak to him on the object the last note that he had addressed to them and they urged him to go the following day to the Ministry of the Interior, where LL. EE. would be meet together."
The undersigned exempts himself to make any observation on the interval which ran out between the sending of the note of the 11th and the time when one answered it, in a similar manner as one who is prevented broaching subject, in writing, on the contents of this note, according to the use of all the terms and of all the countries, all the times that they are dealing in businesses of this importance. He restricts himself to notice, that, when after such a long time, and following a written invitation, the undersigned went there in the hope to finally receive the decision of the French government on the contents of the official note of the 11th, the conference did not appear to lend itself, on behalf of LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries, to urge the undersigned to present the detailed project of a treaty.
Already in the note of August 11th, the undersigned, jointly with the Count of Yarmouth, had declared formally that, until France had adopted the basis such as the British government believed to be initially proposed, was not allowed to go into the details of the negotiation. Also, nevertheless the undersigned would have to possibly forget to not to reach the proposal made in the last conference with LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries, not only would he have been necessary for him to forego the only conditions that these instructions authorize him to use as the basis for negotiation, but that he was still exposed to a manifest contradiction with the initially presentment of the whole draft treaty, whose details were to result from the same negotiation; a negotiation which the undersigned had declared to be able to start according to a preliminary recognition of the basis in question.
In this state of the things, the undersigned, after having assisted in, in accordance with the desire of LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries, with the conferences that they proposed to him, and after having maturely reflected on all the communications which it has receipt of from LL. EE., has been thus fully convinced that the current sights of the French government are extremely distant from those which H. M. of the British had to him to suppose! Finally, that the continuation of the current negotiation will be able from now on to have of only another effect that of perpetuating, among two people, a hope which could not be carried out, therefore the undersigned believes it his duty to declare formally to LL. EE. the French plenipotentiaries, the resolution where that is in accordance with the instructions of his sovereign, to put a end to his bond (submission). The admission, in writing, of the basis so often proposed by the undersigned, will only be able to bring a change to this determination.
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