Paris, 26 Vendemiaire, 1798.
The Executive Directory, on the Report of the Foreign Minister, considering first, that the imprisonment in the dungeons of Hamburg, of the citizens Napper Tandy and Blackwell, naturalized Frenchmen and belonging to the service of the Republic, as also that of the citizens Morres and Corbet, and their betrayal into the hands of the English, is an attempt against the rights of men – a crime against humanity – a serious offence against the French Republic; secondly, that the laws of neutrality impose on the States which enjoy its benefits, duties which maintain all the principles of social life, and hold as most sacred the rights of the people; thirdly, that the most imperative of these duties is to prevent every act of hostility of the neutral territory, and thereby to offer to the citizens and subjects of the belligerent nations an assured protection and an equal asylum against all violence exercised in virtue of the rights of war; fourthly, considering that since the pride and fanaticism of some Governments are about to rekindle the flame of war, the attempts against the rights of the people are increased to an alarming height; that it is particularly the chief of an empire to the north of Europe and Asia, which, without provocation on the part of France, is made the instrument of hatred of the English Government against the French Republic, and against the liberal and philanthropical principles on which it is founded; that this chief lavishes menaces against all the governments which do not share in its blind and impassioned politics; fifthly, that if the cause of this moral and political corruption be not arrested by an appeal to all the governments which have not yet participated in this state of degradation, and by the punishment of those who have taken part in its shame; if, in fine, these attempts be not held up to public view with the reprobation which they merit, there would be reason to fear that one day the laws of war would be without restraint, and the rights of peace without guarantee; that there would no longer be a barrier to the progress of a general dissolution, and that Europe would rapidly retrograde towards a state of barbarism; lastly, considering that the defence of a Government to atrocious orders causes to be exercised by its weakness, particularly when the Government had rendered itself guilty of the dependant position in which it is placed; and such is the cause in which the Magistrates of Hamburg have acted by ordering the incarceration of the citizens Napper Tandy, Blackwell, Morres, and Corbet, and on refusing their enlargement on the official proof that they were citizens and French officers.
Resolved, 17, Vendemiaire.
Article 1st. – The attempt committed by the Government of Hamburg shall be denounced to all the Governments allied and neutral, by the Ministers of the Republic residing near these Governments.
Secondly. – The Consular and Diplomatic agents in residence in the Senate of Hamburg shall instantly quit the city and its territory.
Thirdly. – Every agent of the Hamburg Government residing in France shall receive orders to leave his house in twenty-four hours.
Fourthly. – A general embargo shall be laid on all vessels and ships bearing the Hamburg flag and lying in the ports of the Republic.