PP/GC/CA/194 Letter from Sir S.Canning to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning the receipt of despatches, the dispute between the French and Austrian ambassadors over the French policy on the extradition of Hungarian refugees from Turkey, and the Austrian plot to trap Kossuth and Batthyany, 19 December 1849
Letter from Sir Stratford Canning, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], Therapia, [Turkey], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he has very little time and much to say in this letter, which will probably be sent by the `Peony', which came with despatches for General Aupick. He thanks Palmerston for his despatch of 30 November which confirmed Canning's policy towards Russia and will help Canning with the as yet unfinished Austrian aspect of the refugee problem. "I shall do my best to try to bring about exclusion instead of detention, if there be any opening for it; but I fear that there is no chance for success." Aupick told Canning that when he had dined with Sturmer on 17 December, Sturmer had attacked him for the first time about the pending differences, regretting the suspension of diplomatic relations and accusing Canning for "an unconciliatory and intemperate course of conduct". Aupick had defended Canning as always wanting a peaceful outcome, and proved his conviction that Sturmer himself and Titov were the authors of the dispute rather than the governments of the nations which they served. "The fact is that Sturmer has lost himself in the estimation of every one, and his disappointed feelings are, no doubt, preying on such a kind of conscience as he may be supposed to possess." There is a rumour, which Palmerston must keep secret, that Sturmer's mission, if not the man himself, is concerned with a plot to lure Kossuth and Batthyany from Shenila [Bulgaria] and then to have Croatians murder them on the road. He encloses an extract of a letter from Aali Pasha to Musurus in Vienna which he is sure that Palmerston will find interesting. He is as sorry as Palmerston must be over the Dardanelles affair. He can wait no longer to send this despatch off, and apologises about his handwriting: "there is no time for copperplate and my fingers and eyes are both wearing out with never-ending work only to be exceeded by yours". 19 Dec 1849 This letter is marked: "Private" and arrived on 4 January 1850. Enclosed is a contemporary copy, in the hand of a secretary, of an extract from a private letter, in French, from Aali Pasha, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Constantine Musurus, Turkish ambassador at Vienna: representatives of Austria and Russia have reproached the Porte for allowing an English squadron to sit at the entrance to the Dardanelles without having waited for the result of the approach made to the two Emperors [on the refugee question]. He had explained it in this way: there had been confident representations by the Porte to the Emperors and it would have awaited their decisions, had they been prepared to compromise on the question of extradition, considering the Sultan's action as a refusal [to co-operate]; had they not expressed doubts about Fuad Effendi's reception by the Emperor, had Prince Radziwill not refused to accept the Sultan's letter of reply to the Tsar; had they not resorted to the extreme measure of suspending diplomatic relations before ascertaining the results of the Porte's action; had they been ready to listen to the Porte's explanations; had they not, by their attitude and language, cast doubts upon the friendly disposition of their governments, as in spite of the Porte's confidence it could not know their intentions better than they; in short, had they not given the Porte so many doubts. All these circumstances forced the Porte to ask western powers whether, in their eyes, the Porte's action was a violation of treaties or a formal refusal, and if its action was unsuccessful, whether if could count on their support if needed. They agreed, and that was the only reason for foreign intervention and the arrival of the Anglo-French squadrons. The Porte disagrees with the view of the Austrian and Russian representatives, as the British fleet is where shipping is not usually allowed to go. The place where the English vessels are anchored has always been considered as open to all foreign shipping. The authorities of the Dardanelles had never impeded merchant navies and others from coming to cast anchor in the night. This problem seems to be resolved, anyway, as Canning has already written to Admiral [Parker] about leaving the place. 7 Nov 1849: contemporary copy
Three papers
All images are copyright. Please contact Archives@soton.ac.uk if you wish to reproduce this material
Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople
Turkey; Ottoman empire; Sublime Porte
General Jacques Aupick, French ambassador at Constantinople
Hungary, Magyars: invasion by Russia
Refugees, exiles, fugitives from Hungary
Citizenship, nationality, subject: Polish, Russian, Turkish
Bartholomeus, Baron von Sturmer, internuncio, or Austrian ambassador at Constantinople
Vladimir Pavlovich Titov, alias Titoff, Russian ambassador at Constantinople
Lajos Kossuth, alias Lajos Kossuth, Hungarian nationalist leader
Louis, alias Ludwig or Lajos, Comte Batthyany or Batthyani, Hungarian nationalist, later President of Hungary
Ali Pasha, alias Aali Pasha, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Constantine Musurus, alias Masurus, Turkish ambassador at Vienna
Fuad Mehemed Pasha, alias Fuat Effendi, Turkish envoy at St Petersburg
Count Lyov Lyudvigovich Radziwill, Russian special envoy to the Ottoman Sultan to present the case for extradition, demanded by the Tsar, of the Hungarian and Polish refugees
Admiral Sir William Parker, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean
Tsar Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Delicious Digg RSS