PP/GC/CA/238 Letter from Sir S.Canning to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning a letter from D.Howell to Haireddin Pasha about the proposed railway between Alexandria, Cairo and Suez, 31 May 1851
Letter from Sir Stratford Canning, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], Therapia, [Turkey], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: [Transcript] "Haireddyn Pasha when he was were a day or two ago shewed me the letter of which a copy is inclosed herewith. You know but whether [f.1v] the use of your name in such manner was authorized by what passed between you and Mr * Hewitt * \ Wilcox. / However that maybe, I think it my duty to bring the letter under your notice. The communication of such a letter to the Porte would be sure to add fule [f.2r] to its mistrust and jealousy of us with respect to the Egyptian railway." 31 May 1851 The letter is marked: "Private" PP/GC/CA/307, concerning negotiations of the P. and O. Steamship Company for the concessions to build a railway from Cairo to Suez, is the reply to this letter. Enclosed is a copy, in the hand of a secretary, of the letter from D.Howell, secretary of the P. and O. Steamship Company, to Haireddin Pasha: [Transcript] [f.3r] "I have now the honour of replying to Your Excellency's private and confidential letter addressed to our late lamented deputy chairman, Sir John Pirie, dated Cairo, February 18 [1851]. Our directors lost no time in putting themselves into communication with the Foreign Minister, Lord Palmerston, and having submitted to him your letter now under acknowledgement, his lordship returned it accompanied by a note, which by his permission I have the please to inclose, and [f.3v] further to state that, in a conversation with Mr Wilcox, one of our managing directors, he intimated that the British government would support the interests of Egypt to the utmost of its power, and that His Highness the Viceroy could not carry out a measure which would be so certain to command the hearty co-operation and even the protection, if required, of Great Britain than the speedy establishment of a railway between Alexandria, Cairo and Suez, affording, as it would to this country, such incalculable advantages, both [f.4r] politically and commercially. If a railway were once established through Egypt, there is every reason to believe that India and China silks, indigo and other produce would be conveyed by that route instead of by the long sea voyage via the Cape, and which would very materially increase the treasury of His Highness's government considering the great value of the silks and indigo annually imported into the country. I am instructed to state that the directors will at all times feel pleasure in being made [f.4v] the channel of communication between His Highness and the British government either with reference to this important measure or in any other way in which His Highness may be interested." 24 Mar 1851: contemporary copy
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
Great Britain: relations with Egypt
Egypt: transport, trains, railways, trade route
India and China: empire, exports, trade route
Abbas Pasha, Viceroy or Pasha of Egypt
Sir Charles Augustus Murray, British consul general to Egypt
Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company
D.Howell, secretary of the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company
Sir John Pirie, deputy chairman of the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company, deceased
William Wilcox, managing director of the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company, formerly of Wilcox and Anderson Shipping Company
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