No. 48
21 August 1861
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Your Grace's Despatch marked "Confidential", of the 11th of May last, on the subject of the impendinghostilitiesManuscript image hostilities, which have since commenced, between the United and Confederate States of North America, and informing me that it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to apprise me, from time to time of their views on the questions which are likely to arise out of this state of conflict, and in respect to which I may be called upon to act.
I observe by the sameDespatchManuscript image Despatch that Her Majesty's Government are disposed to admit the claim of the Southern States to be recognized as a Belligerent, and as such, invested with all the rights and prerogatives of a Belligerent.
I presume by those terms is meant that we are bound to respect their Blockades, and to abstain from any act which may violate the conditions of the strictest neutrality.
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I also observe that it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to dispatch adequate reinforcements to the Squadrons on the North American and West Indian Stations for the protection of British Shipping; and that it is Her Majesty's pleasure that nothing should be done by the Naval Forces, indicative of partiality or preference of either party in the conflict.
I will, accordingtoManuscript image to Your Grace's instructions, consider those directions as indicating the course which Her Majesty's Government desire me, in any emergency, to pursue.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Put by.
ABd 11 Oct
Put by.
TFE 11/10