PP/GC/CA/140 Letter from Sir S.Canning to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the opinions of Zea, the Spanish Prime Minister, on the situation in Portugal, 5 May 1833
Letter from Sir Stratford Canning, [British minister on an extraordinary mission to Spain], Madrid, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he hopes that Palmerston has recovered his health. Canning's negotiations are beyond the reach of amendment: "I trust you will be satisfied with the length to which so slender a thread has been spun out". Canning told Zea sarcastically that it might be impugn Zea's "grand principles of honour, good faith and neutrality" if Dom Pedro was to leave Oporto to go further into the heart of the country. Zea, however, did not accept the implicit criticism. Zea still wishes to convert Palmerston to his view and Canning sometimes suspects Zea of having read Palmerston's last private letter to him. If Palmerston recognises Dom Miguel and agrees to the exile of Dona Maria from Portugal, Zea will negotiate on all other points. "Don Pedro would be told that his army is too foreign to be tolerated any longer and all questions of cotton, tobacco and Spanish Americas would be put into a train of settlement." Zea has recently been pushing his ideas very hard with Canning and, unlike before, he is being very amiable towards Canning. Canning is not sure what is behind this change in tactics which includes quoting a letter from Palmerston which mentions the good understanding between the British and Spanish envoys to Portugal. Zea spent three quarters of an hour trying to persuade Canning that his views were right, but Canning pointed out that Polignac and Wellington had both been convinced of the justice of their opinions too. Zea denies Russian influence in Spanish-Portuguese affairs, although Monsieur Oubril, the Russian ambassador, would have had an audience with the King but for the fact that Miss Oubril had the measles or scarlet fever. Over one hundred prisoners of war have escaped in Portugal. A few have been massacred by Portuguese peasants, the rest have reached to the Spanish border at Ciudad Rodrigo. They will be held in quarantine and detained in Spain. According to Zea, he will only send back deserters and criminals from amongst the escapees. Zea wishes to "retain a hold" on the Portuguese so that amends for the Carlist refugees "who seem to be engaged in active intrigues at Lisbon". There are rumours whether Don Carlos will come back to Spain for the Cortes and that he has sent protests to Zea. Addington has probably written to Palmerston about this. "Some of the clergy are preparing to be unruly" but Zea says that he can "answer for all the leading dignitaries". Canning expects that he would have heard from Palmerston if he was expected to stay in Spain any longer, but cannot leave until the middle of the month. The route he goes will be determined by news from Britain. The finances of Spain are "greatly out of order" but the government has enough to manage on until the autumn and the idea of raising a loan seems to be abandoned for the moment. The situation in Spain seems quieter than before, but the calm is only superficial. 5 May 1833 The letter is marked: "Private" and arrived in London on 13 May 1833.
Three papers
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British minister on an extraordinary mission to Spain
Portugal: succession; Spain: succession, politics, trade, exports, finance, economy, debts
Francisco Zea Bermudez, Spanish Prime Minister, formerly Spanish ambassador at London
Dom Pedro, formerly Pedro IV, King of Portugal and Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil
Dom Miguel, declared Miguel I, King of Portugal
Maria Cristina, Queen of Spain
Ferdinand VII, King of Spain
Latin America; South America: trade
Major General Lord George William Russell, British envoy on a special mission to Portugal
Luis Fernandez de Cordova, Spanish ambassador to Portugal
Auguste Jules Armand Marie, Prince de Polignac, French ambassador to London
Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington
Peter Yakovlevich Ubri, alias d'Oubril, Russian minister to Spain; Miss Oubril, his daughter
Henry Unwin Addington, British envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Madrid
Don Carlos, claimant to the Spanish throne
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