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of Liverpool, dated 28th instant, stating that they have every reason to believe that the gun-boat stated to be fitting out for the confederate government of America will sail this day. I am at the same time to observe that no further evidence has been received with respect to the vessel since that forwarded in my letter above referred to.
I am, &c.,
J. G. GARDNER. P. S.-Since writing this letter I have received a telegram from the above firm, informing me that the vessel came out of dock last night, and left the port this morning.
J. G. G.
The larc-officers of the Crown to Earl Russell.
general Vessel should be seized for infringe ment of the foreign. enlistment act.
TEMPLE, July 29, 1862. (Received July 29.) MY LORD: We are honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Layard's letter of the 230 July instant, stating that, with reference to our report of the 30th ultimo, he was di- attorney and solici rected by your lordship to transmit to us the accompanying papers, which had been received by the board of treasury from the commissioners of customs, containing further information respecting the vessel alleged to be fitting out at Liverpool for the service of the so-called Confederate States, and to request that we would take the same into our consideration, and favor your lordship at our earliest convenience with our opinion thereupon.
The former papers on this subject were inclosed for reference if required.
We are also honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Layard's letter of the 230 July instant, stating that, with reference to his letter of that date, sending to us papers respecting the vessel stated to be preparing for sea at Birkenhead, for the service of the government of the so-styled Confederate States of North America, he was directed by your lordship to transmit to us a further letter from the commissioners of customs, inclosing additional papers respecting this vessel, and to request that we would take these papers into our consideration, and favor your lordship at our earliest convenience with our opinion as to the steps which ought to be taken by Her Majesty's government in the
matter. (201) *We are further honored with your lordship's commands signi
fied in Mr. Layard's letter of the 26th July, instant, stating that he was directed by your lordship to transmit to us the accompanying letter from the board of treasury, dated July 26, which your lordship had received that morning, containing further information respecting the vessel stated to be fitting out at Liverpool for the service of the sostyled Confederate States; and to request that we would take the same into our consideration, together with the other papers on the same subject, which were then before us.
In obedience to your lordship's commands we have taken these papers into consideration, and have the honor to report:
That, in our opinion, the evidence of the witnesses who have made depositions, (we allude particularly to William Passmore, Edward Roberts, Robert John Taylor, and Henry Redden,) coupled with the character and structure of the vessel, makes it reasonably clear that such vessel is intended for warlike use, against citizens of the United States, and in the interest of the (so-called) Confederate States. It is not, and cannot be, denied that the vessel is constructed and adapted as a vessel of war; being pierced for guns, the sockets for the bolts for
which, Passmore states, are already laid down, and having a magazine, and shot and canister racks on the deck, and a certain number of canisters being actually on board. It is also stated in the report of the commissioners of customs of July 1, that Messrs. Laird, the builders, do not deny that the vessel has been built for some “foreign government,” although they maintain apparently a strict reserve as to her actual destination, and as to the foreign government," in particular, for whose service she is intended. We do not overlook the facts that neither guns nor ammunition have as yet been shipped; that the cargo (though of the nature of naral stores in connection with war-steamers) may yet be classed as a mercantile cargo; and that the crew do not appear to have been, in terms and form at least, recruited or enrolled as a military crew. It is to be expected that great stress will be laid upon these circumstances by the owners and others who may oppose the condemnation of the vessel if seized by the officers of the customs; and an argument may be raised as to the proper construction of the words which occur in the seventh section of the foreign-enlistment act, “equip, furnish, fit out, or arm,” which words, it may be suggested, point only to the rendering a vessel, whatever may be the character of its structure, presently fit to engage in hostilities. We think, however, that such a narrow construction ought not to be adopted; and, if allowed, would fritter away the act, and give impunity to open and flagrant violations of its provisions. We, therefore, recommend that, without loss of time, the vessel be seized by the proper authorities, after which an opportunity will be afforded to those interested, previous to condemnation, to alter the facts, if it may be, and to show an innocent destination of the ship. In the absence of any such countervailing case, it appears to us that the vessel, cargo, and stores may be properly condemned.
We have, &c.,
FOREIGN OFFICE, July 30, 1862. Sir: With reference to your letter of yesterday's date, I am directed
by Earl Russell to transmit to you, for the information of 10 the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's treasury, a copy
of a report from the attorney and solicitor general, also dated yesterday, respecting the vessel which has been fitted out at Birkenhead, and is suspected to be intended for the government of the so-styled Confederate States.
I am, &c., (Signed)
A. H. LAYARD.
Report of law officers forwarded the treasury.
* No. 26.
FOREIGN OFFICE, July 31, 1862. SIR: I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you a copy of a
forwarded to Colonial Office for
report from the attorney and solicitor general, respecting Report of law.offia gun-boat which has been fitted out at Birkenhead, and which is suspected to be on account of the government of transmission the so-styled Confederate States.
By a letter received from the custom-house authorities at Liverpool, it appears that this vessel put to sea on the 29th instant; and I am, therefore, to request that you will suggest to the Duke of Newcastle thé propriety of a copy of the inclosed report being sent to the governor of the Bahamas.
I am, &c.,
A. H. LAYARD.
Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Layard.
July 31, 1862. (Received July 31.) SIR: I am commanded by the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's treasury to acquaint you, for the information of Earl Russell, that they have forwarded to the commissioner of cus- custom toms your letter of yesterday's date, on the subject of the wary ntepa for seizing vessel which has been fitting out at Birkenhead, and is suspected to be intended for the government of the so-styled Confederate States of America, together with the opinion of the law-officers of the Crown on the case, with directions to take the necessary steps for seizing the vessel, in conformity with the recommendation of the lawofficers.
I am, &c.,
GEO. A. HAMILTON.
Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Hammond.
Vessel supposed by Messrs. Squarey to
July 31, 1862. (Received July 31.) SIR: With reference to the former correspondence on the subject of the vessel fitting out at Liverpool, and stated to be for the use of the so-styled confederate States of America, I am vazone en Queens commanded by the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's town treasury to transmit to you, for the information of Earl Russell, a report from the commissioners of customs, dated 30th instant, together with its inclosure, a letter dated 29th instant, from Messrs. Duncan, Squarey & Mackinnon, stating that the vessel in question had sailed from Liverpool, and that they bad reason to believe that she was gone to Queenstown.
I am commanded by my lords to request that the correspondence herewith transmitted may be returned to this department.
I am, &c.,
GEO. A. HAMILTON.
* No. 24.
JULY 30, 1862–1 o'clock p. m. Mr. Morgan, the surveyor, is to inquire into the circumstances of the aforegoing representation, and to report the result of his inquiry forth with. (Sigued)
S. PRICE EDWARDS.
CUSTOM-HOUSE, Liverpool, July 30, 1802. HONORABLE SIRS: Immediately on receipt of the aforegoing communication, Mr. Morgan, surveyor, proceeded on board the Hercules; and I beg to inclose his report, observing that he perceived no beans, such as are alluded to by the American consul, nor anything on board that would justify further action on my part.
S. PRICE EDWARDS.
(Inclosure 3 in No. 31.1
Jr. Morgan to Mr. Edwards,
ceeded to sea on the
trial trip. She had no arm. aint on board,
The Herculey did
SURVEYOR'S OFFICE, July 30, 1862. Sır: Referring to the steamer built by the Messrs Laird, which is suspected to be a Report from Sur- gun-boat intended for some foreign government, I beg to state that,
since the date of my last report concerning her, she has been lying in The me porno the Birkenhead docks, fitting for sea, and receiving on board coals and morning of the 20th, provisions for her crew.
She left the dock on the evening of the 28th instant, anchored for the
night in the Mersey, abreast the Canning dock, and proceeded out of the por take out any war. river on the following morning, ostensibly on a trial trip, from which
she has not returned. I visited the tug Hercules this morning as she lay at the landing-stage at Woodside, and strictly examined her holds, and other parts of the vessel. She had nothing of a suspicious character on board, no guns, no ammunition, or anything appertaining there. to. A considerable number of persons, male and female, were on deck, some of whom admitted to me that they were a portion of the crew, and were going to join the guuboat.
I have only to add, that your directions to keep a strict watch on the said vessel have been carried out; and I write in the fullest confidence that she left this port without any part of her armament on board. She had not as much as a single gun or musket.
It is said that she cruised off Port Lynas last night, wlich, as you are aware, is some fifty miles from this post.
E. MORGAN, Surreyor.
Extracts from customs corresponelence respecting the Alabama, presented
to Parliament in return to an order of the House of Commons, dated March 20, 1863.
To the collector of cus'ons, Liverpool.
JULY 31, 1962–11.35 a. m. Examine master of Hercules, whether he can state that guns are con
cealed in vessel 290, and that powder has been taken on board.
JULY 31, 1862, at about 7.30 p. m. Telegrams were sent to the collectors at Liverpool and Cork, pursuant to treasury order, dated 31st July, to seize the gun-boat 290, should she be within either of those ports.
Similar telegrams to the officers at Beaumaris and Holy- istorie omething head were sent on the morning of the 1st August. They were not sent on the 31st July, the telegraph offices to those districts
being closed. [206 *And on the 2d August a letter was also sent to the collector
as Cork, to detain the vessel should she arrive at Queenstown.
Telegrams sent to Liverpool, Cork, Berumaris, and Hovesselshould put into those ports.
Mr. Edwards to Mr. Gardner.
CUSTOM-HOUSE, Liverpool, July 31, 1862. SIR: With reference to the telegram which I received to-day from you, directing me to examine the master of the steam-tug Hercules, I have the honor to state that the master cannot be found to-day, but I hope I may be able to get his deposition to-morrow. I may state, howerer, that he said yesterday to Mr. Morgan, the surveyor, that he had not taken any guns to the ship No. 290, nor had le seen any on board.
I am, &c.,
S. PRICE EDWARDS.
Mr. Educards to the commissioners of customs.
CUSTOM-HOUSE, Liverpool, August 1, 1862. HONORABLE SIRS: The master of the Hercules has attended this morning, and I beg to inclose his examination taken on oath, whereby it will be seen that the statement in the letter of the American consul, forwarded with my report of the 30th ultimo, is not borne out. Thé board will see that the vessel has left the port. Should opportunity, however, offer, she shall be seized in accordance with the directions of the board, as contained in the telegram of yesterday's date. (Signed)
S. PRICE EDWARDS.
true that he took ont
The examination of Thomas Miller, taken on oath by the collector. I am the master of the steam-tug IIercules. I accompanied the new gun-boat built by Mr. Laird (No, 290, I believe she is distinguished by) to sea on Tuesday last. I kept in sight of the sun her, in case the services of the steam-tug should be re- xitax or iseen ar'shra quired, until she lay to about a mile off the Bell Buoy, and about fourteen miles from the Canning dock. The vessel left her an. chorage about 10 a. m., and I left her between 4 and 5 p. m.
I saw nothing on board the ship but coals. I returned from the vessel in the evening, and got into the river about 7 p. m.; there were some of Mr. Laird's workmen and riggers on board; all of these, I believe, I brought back. The next day, Wednesday, I left the landing-stage in the river, and took with me from 25 to 30 men, who, I believe, were to be employed on board as part of the crew; they appeared to be all sailors or firemen. I found the vessel about 3 o'clock that afternoon in Beanmaris Bay. I