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Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armee

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Eylau: Precis Des Travaux de la Grande Armée

Note from Henri Clarke to Lauderdale, British Pleniportentiary: August 11, 1806

No.  XIX. – The undersigned, ambassador plenipotentiaries of S.M. the Emperor of the French king of Italy, read with attention the note on August 9, that addressed their excellence to them, the plenipotentiary of S.M. the king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and in which they still propose uti possidetis as a basis for negotiation.

The French Plenipotentiary does not know if they must think that, from the adoption of this principle, it created for England the right to require the French Government, for it and its allies, the restitutions of all within its propriety, without it being held with any restitution to France and its allies, for the conquests which it made.  This claim would be so extraordinary, that as much would be worth a statement that France will sign all the conditions that will please English plenipotentiary, and certainly one cannot think that such is really the intention of the English ministry.  He did not send the plenipotentiaries only to require the admission of an unspecified basis, which made them primary to all the conditions of the treaty.  In such an clouded state of affairs, the French plenipotentiary asks for explanations suitable to enlighten them and to make the negotiation work:  they consist in making known which of the conquests which England have she wants to keep; which are those which she wants to return to France for which she desires restitution.  Then a system of compensation will develop which will give a clear idea of the principles and intentions of the British cabinet.  The French plenipotentiary will know which engagements they contract by the adoption of the basis, which is proposed, to them, and certainly they cannot grant this adoption without including/ understanding what is required of them.

By posing the principles of the uti posseditis, would the English plenipotentiary have in order to propose a means of exchange and compensation?  In this case, the Emperor adopts them, because he finds it in conformity with the two principles already authorized on both sides in the letters of the French minister and the foreign relations, and of the Secretary of State of the English departments of the foreign affairs; understood as:

1o.  With the principle posed by Mr. Fox in his letter of last 26 March, “that the parties will have as an aim that peace which is to say honorable for all of both and their respective allies, and at the same times likely to ensure, as far as they will be able, the future rest of Europe.”

2o.  With the joint principle with the precedent by the Minister for foreign relations in his next letter of 2 June, which consists of “a recognition and favor of the one and other power;  of rightful intervention and guarantee for continental businesses and maritime businesses.”

The undersigneds ensure LL. EE. the plenipotentiaries of S.M of the British, of their high consideration.





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