PP/GC/CA/190 Letter from Sir S.Canning to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning negotiations with the Austrians over the extradition from Turkey of Hungarians and Poles, and Russian protests over British ships in the Dardanelles, 8 November 1849
Letter from Sir Stratford Canning, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople] Therapia, [Turkey], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: Canning is concerned that the Turks will not hold firm on the refugee question as they are frightened [of war]. "They [the Turks] will, no doubt, object to some points of the imperial proposals, but I question whether they will make a determined stand against the virtual perpetuity of detention, and meddlesome foreign superintendence, which Austria is seeking to establish." The Russians seem to have cunningly deflected the Turkish hatred onto Austria, whose lists of demands never diminishes, though Reschid Pasha is more likely to give way to Austria than to Russia. Reschid Pasha is unwilling to countermand Masurus's promises to the Austrian government. Although Canning will try hard to have them "prudently amended", he cannot risk causing a rift over this issue. It will be annoying to lose the greater object for the sake of details. He encloses the substance of a letter, obtained secretly by his dragoman, Pisani, from Titov to Aali Pasha complaining about British ships in the Dardanelles. This might be motivated by spite against Canning whom Titov considers as having humiliated him. He hopes to have Turkey back on the road which England and France are persuading it to go down [that is, reform], and to stand firm against Russia and Austria. "All our trouble is in vain if the Turks, in spite of every aid from England and France, relapse at once into their former want of courage and dignity." 8 Nov 1849 The letter is marked: "Private" and arrived in London on 25 November 1849. Enclosed is the substance of a note, in French, from Vladimir Pavlovich Titov, Russian ambassador at Constantinople, to the Sublime Porte: the Porte has confirmed the news of a squadron of ships in the Dardanelles, anchored at the Point of Barbiers, beyond the castles. This squadron entered there due to the bad weather; the Ottoman authorities did not oppose it, nor were any representations made to the British ambassador the intentions of whose government the Porte is ignoring. To accord with the first article of the treaty of 1841, which prohibits the entry of vessels of war when the Porte is at peace, it is alleged that it is via the Dardanelles that the route lies to the Tchanak Calessi, the residence of the governor general and the consuls, and that war ships may anchor in the area between the two first castles and the others. This is, however, contrary to received opinion which is that only merchant vessels and some light war boats may enter the Dardanelles. Titov does not thus see any justification for the entry of the English squadron into the Dardanelles. He must tell his court of this incident, and he regrets very much that, on the eve of resuming the temporarily suspended diplomatic relations, he must wait for the orders of his government. 24 Oct 1849: contemporary copy
Two papers, punched with holes for disinfection
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Constantinople
Ottoman Empire, Sublime Porte
Hungary: invasion by Russia
Refugees, exiles, fugitives from Hungary
Bartholomeus, Count von Sturmer, internuncio or Austrian ambassador at Constantinople
Reschid Mustapha Pasha, alias Reshid Mustafa Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier
Constantine Musurus, alias Masurus, Ottoman ambassador at Vienna, formerly ambassador at Athens, later ambassador at London
Vladimir Pavlovich Titov, alias Titoff, Russian ambassador at Constantinople
Ali Pasha, alias Aali Pasha, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, former ambassador at London, later Ottoman Grand Vizier
Frederick Pisani, first dragoman and secretary to the British embassy at Constantinople
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