The Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Minister of France in Mexico.
The situation in which we are now placed in Mexico must not be prolonged, and circumstances require us to take, in this respect, a definitive resolution, which the Emperor has ordered me to communicate to you.
Our expedition had only for object primitively to follow out the revindication of our credits and indemnities due to our subjects. If at any time we have deemed it of advantage to give our aid to the efforts of a nation which aspired to the recovery of order and well-being under a regular government; if our legitimate interests counselled us to second the prince who consecrated himself to this generous task, our co-operation was to be confined within precise limits, which it was the object of the convention of Miramar to determine. The reciprocal arrangements indicated in that act fixed the measure and conditions upon which it was permitted to us to allow the forces of France to assist in the consolidation of a friendly government. It would be superfluous to dwell on the reasons which place the court of Mexico, notwithstanding the integrity of its purposes, in admitted impossibility henceforth to fulfil these obligations. On the one side every appeal to credit would be without fruit; on the other we cannot, outside of stipulations agreed upon, take upon ourselves exclusive charge of the Mexican government, provide by our army for its defence, and from our finances for the service of its administration. The advances which we have several times consented to must not be repeated, and the Emperor will not ask fresh sacrifices from France.
Our occupation must therefore come to an end, and we should prepare for it without delay. The Emperor charges you, sir, to fix this in concert with our august ally, after a frank discussion, in which Marshal Bazaine is naturally called to take part, shall have determined the means for guaranteeing, as far as possible, the interests of the Mexican government, the security of our credits, and the claims of our countrymen. The desire of his Majesty is that the evacuation should begin toward the coming autumn.
You will please, sir, to read this despatch to his excellency the minister for foreign affairs, and leave him a copy. I charge Baron Saillard to add thereto, verbally, all necessary explanations, and to report to me at an early day the answer, through which you will inform me of the definitive arrangements which will have been concluded.
Accept, &c., &c.