PP/GC/CA/191 Letter from Sir S.Canning to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning his influence on Turkish policy, 19 November 1849
Letter from Sir Stratford Canning, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], Therapia, [Turkey], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he has received Palmerston's letters and was pleased that he and Palmerston agreed on matters even before Canning had received specific instructions, as will be shown by the reports in this letter. Even though Canning's position with the Porte is strong, it is not easy to persuade the Turks to act the right way. "The Turks, with all the advantage of our present position, are quite as difficult to lead as the one refractory pig of which we heard so often in our younger days." The Turks wish to do the right thing but their fear of Russia outweighs their appreciation of British support. The Ottoman empire's foreign affairs are run by the Sultan, Aali Pasha and Reschid Pasha, who are "anything but heroes at heart". The Turks are too complacent as to the danger of demanding too much. Canning had reprimanded Aali the previous day and Reschid Pasha could benefit from similar treatment, although Reschid is again talking about a defensive alliance. Canning will write again on this matter officially. Reschid is trying to encourage the differences between Austria and Russia. Austria is better disposed than Russia is towards Turkey, and has special motives for dealing more strictly than does Austria with the subject of the [Hungarian] refugees; Sturmer's character is of assistance in this. The previous day Canning spent talking to Aali Pasha, and he will soon send answers to Palmerston's questions by Colonel Townley, who is waiting in Alexinitza [Alexiniatz]. 19 Nov 1849 The letter is marked: "Private".
Two papers
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople
Turkey; Ottoman empire; Sublime Porte
Hungary: invasion by Russia
Refugees, exiles, fugitives from Hungary staying in Turkey pending extradition claims by Austria and Russia
Bartholomeus, Baron von Sturmer, internuncio or Austrian ambassador at Constantinople
Abdul Mejid, alias Abd al-Majid, Ottoman Sultan
Reschid Mustapha Pasha, alias Reshid Mustafa Pasha, Grand Vizier
Ali Pasha, alias Aali Pasha, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Captain Charles Townley, Queen's messenger
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