telling Monsieur de Vergennes that we did not desire to retain the said port either as a consideration for the expenses of the war, or as a trophy of the advantages which we had gained in the course of it over the Dutch Republic, but that we wished to keep it from a much more solid motive, namely, the advantage of its situation, which rendered it not only useful, but in some sort necessary to the security of our possessions in India. . . .
LORD HELBURNE TO ALLEYNE FITZHERBERT 9 January 17831
. . . Advantage however has been taken of the summer campaign. Gibraltar has resisted the attack of the combined Forces, and our Fleet has returned home entire and certainly not dishonoured. Not only this, but we have signed with North America Articles which must end, if the war continues, with their neutrality at the least. Our pretensions however remain the same as they stood in September, without an allusion to any further demand except in the case of Dominica, which ought to have been balanced by the candour we shewed in the Articles I have mentioned, but [which] must be considered as bought at a most usurious rate by the double price we have been made to pay for it. I did all this with a view to obtaining Trincomalé, which stands, as you know, uncontradicted in the Note Confidentielle,2 and which from the very first conversation I have ever had with Monsieur de Rayneval to this very last, I have always insisted upon as a point which we had most at heart. As he never negatived it, but always stated the French connection with Holland as slight compared to that____________________
The greater part of the collection of Shelburne MSS. is now in the W. L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A. This and other papers from the collection are printed in the present volume from verbatim tran- scripts (Stevens MSS.) covering the years 1763-83 in Add. MSS. 42257 to 42496 in the British Museum.