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TAE SO-CALLED PREROGATIVE OF THE CROWN IN MATTERS
OF PEACE AND WAR DENOUNCED AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
to that of the House of Hanover
Encroachinents under the House of Hanover
Noteworthy Struggles under George III.
General Observations on the Question as it stood at the Com.
mencement of the Present Century The “Responsibility” of Ministers . Inefficiency of Modern British Diplomacy Weakness of our Recent Foreign Policy
Charge of Unfriendliness against the British Government 101
108 Supplemental Negociations, to “ Save the Treaty”
125 British Claims—The Fenian Raids, etc.
131 The Fisheries—The Navigation of the River St. Lawrence, etc. 136 The North-Western Boundary Question .
148 The Treaty Condemned
16+ Would Failure of One Part of the Treaty affect the Whole ? 165 Lord Redesdale's Puzzle. Its Ominous Solution.
169 The Arbitration - Failure of the Supplemental ArticleAppeal for Time
171 The Treaty Saved
177 Conclusion—Neglect of Parliamentary Action in Regard to the Treaty
179 Note ..
The term “Diplomacy” is one of recent origin—a word not known to Johnson, and not to be found in the 5th Edition of the 'Encyclopædia Britannica,' published in 1817, nor indeed, as the writer believes, in any dictionary or encyclopædia published earlier than half a century ago. It is of Greek origin, derived from the word “diploma," which means a letter or epistle doubled up, and not open. It therefore implies duplicity, and secrecy, and is significantly applicable to the vicious practice in the conduct of State affairs, which has sprung up of modern times, as contradistinguished from the more constitutional mode of procedure which formerly obtained.
The unfortunate and undignified perplexities in which we have been involved in connection with the recent Washington Treaty, and the Alabama Claims raised under it, following upon so many miscarriages in State policy which have occurred within the memory of the present generation, have, to use a homely phrase, put this same Diplomacy "upon its trial,” and challenged public opinion as to whether our foreign relations are conducted altogether wisely
and for the well-being of the country, or whether, on the contrary, there may not be something radically wrong in a system which deeply affects the vital interests of the country, involving, it is possible, heavy sacrifices of blood and treasure, or prejudicing its most important social and commercial interests, without its having any consultative, much less a controlling, voice in the matter.
Does it not seem in the highest degree inconsistent, that a people who claim the right of exercising, through their representatives, a summary judgment on all matters of domestic policy, from the regulation of the succession to the crown down to the merest parish road bill, should have no deliberative authority in matters which concern the territorial and other material interests of the country, and its honour before the world ;—its very position as a great nation? Does it not seem in the last degree absurd, that the crown should have the barren privilege of declaring war, when it cannot put a soldier afoot, or a ship afloat, without the previous sanction of Parliament ? Is it to be tolerated that the country, having made the necessary provisions for carrying on a war, having made heavy sacrifices for it in purse and person, should see it brought to a close by an ignominious or unmeaning Treaty of Peace, in which, mayhap, none of the objects with which the war was undertaken, are duly considered, at the mere will and pleasure of the Sovereign and his advisers for the time being, without the opportunity of interposing a word of remonstrance, or even of suggestion or opinion on the subject ?