Mr. Motley to Mr. Seward

No. 138.]

Sir: I think it proper to send you herewith appended, marked A, a translation of a paragraph recently published in the semi-official papers and in the official Gazette of Vienna in regard to the enlistment in Austria for Mexico.

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I have the honor to remain your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.

[Page 830]


We have already taken occasion long ago to contradict in the most decisive manner the reports, apparently spread with design, in regard to pretended agreements for the sending of troops to Mexico on the part of Austria and the arrangements thereto appertaining.

Similar reports are once more willingly spread, and may have originated in an article of the Patrie, which paper pretended to know that movements of imperial royal Austrian troops and subaltern officers to Mexico were impending, a fact which undoubtedly would have the character of a sending of Austrian auxiliary troops.

The manner in which this news has lately, and particularly by the Paris correspondent of the Cologne Gazette, been made use of against Austria, prompts us once more to refer to this affair, and to affirm in the most positive manner that these reports are nothing but inventions made for a purpose.

The truth in the whole question is limited to this, that it is proposed to permit such persons as have already fulfilled their military duty to Austria, but only such, to enlist in the Mexican service, in the same manner and with the same conditions as was the case when the last year’s first enlistments for the Austrian-Mexican volunteer corps took place. The object of these newly permitted enlistments, as has already been explicitly stated, would only be to provide substitutes for the numerous vacancies in the Austrian volunteer corps serving in Mexico. The newly enlisted, like those who entered the volunteer corps in the year 1864, take the military oath to the emperor of Mexico, and pledge themselves to him for a six years’ service. Their flag is not the Austrian, but the Mexican, and the power of Austria is in nowise engaged through them or for them. Also, it is entirely false when the Patrie puts the number of those volunteers at 10,000 men; the latest enlistments in Austria for Mexico, concerning the permission for which negotiations are now in progress, would in any event not exceed yearly the total number of 2,000 men.

Whilst we are endeavoring to give a true and correct statement of this affair, we have to remark that no binding resolves have been taken in regard to this affair, but that, on the contrary, the negotiations on the subject have only just begun. But these may, however, very probably lead to the conclusion of a supplemental convention to the agreement entered into last year, of which the chief object was to place as securely as possible the rights of those enlisting, who, after all, remain at the same time Austrian subjects.