Title:
PP/GC/CA/253 Copy of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, to Sir S.Canning, concerning Canning's instructions on how to conduct negotiations with the Sublime Porte on recognizing the borders of Greece and commenting on the political situation in Europe, 20 February 1832: contemporary copy
Date:
28/02/1832
Content:
Copy, in a hand of a secretary, of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, Foreign Office, Whitehall, London, to Sir Stratford Canning, [British envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Constantinople]:<P> [Transcript]<P> "We send you at last the name of a Greek sovereign and though he be but a lad, yet on the whole I believe him to be the best choice we had the means of making. There might have been better men found, perhaps, but his connections and position render him exceedingly eligible. Among other considerations not an unimportant one is that Bavaria has a representative government, and that her Chambers and press will afford to Greece an additional [f.1v] channel for making known her grievances, if unhappily she should have any. I conclude that while you were in Greece, Dawkins communicated to you the paper which he sent me, or rather embodied into one of his despatches, showing the superior advantages of the Volo and Arta line over the narrower limit of Zeitoun. You have probably, however, much better and more accurate details on that point than he was able to send me, but his despatch seems to shew the expediency of making every effort to obtain the northernmost boundary and of only accepting the second line in the event of the first becoming impossible.<P> This expedition of the Pasha of Egypt must, one should think, render the [f.2r] Sultan a little more disposed to oblige us as it shews him a nearer perspective of the possibility of wanting our aid. However, you should not say more on this subject, if he should speak to you about it, than to assure him of our general wishes to maintain and uphold him as an antient ally and old friend, and as an important element in the balance of power in Europe.<P> The Pasha had made to Aberdeen, and had repeated to me, some vague and not very intelligible communications expressing his anxiety to be well with England, and his hopes that we should give him our protection; no answer has been returned to him except equally vague and general assurances of good will, but his march upon Acre has clearly explained [f.2v] that which before we only suspected, and has shewn what he meant when he asked for our friendship and protection.<P> As the affairs of the north of Europe must have a bearing upon your negotiation in the south, I may say that I entertain confident hopes that the Belgian treaty will be ratified by the other three powers as well as by England and France and that this cause and danger of war will soon cease to exist.<P> The Sultan will probably not object to see England and France pulling well together, as he might look to them for support if Russia were to try to bully him; but though Russia is for the moment rather separated from us, still I trust that in a very short time she and Austria and Russia will take up the same alignment [f.3r] with us.<P> What will happen in Portugal I cannot predict, except that Pedro will certainly land, but not till April or May. We say to the other powers and especially to Spain, 'Let all be neutral and we will be so too, but if Spain or any other break into the ring to assist Miguel, let them take the consequences which may follow upon our assisting Pedro, and probably in conjunction with France.' I am inclined to believe that Spain will remain quiet, though she may give some help underhand.<P> I am afraid that Dawkins is a little too much embarked with and against a party in Greece, and that he is not quite as impartial as [f.3v] he ought to be in order to be as useful as he might be. I am very glad you wrote your letter to the President and got them to take the steps which they took upon it. They ought to try to agree among each other during the interval which will elapse before Otho takes possession.<P> I wrote to Dawkins to let him know that we have named our sovereign and to authorize him to let the Greeks know this, though not formally to announce it.<P> If the Turk hears from his friends here that reform will turn us out and that he had better not agree till he sees the result, you may say that we are now sure of carrying the bill without creating peers, but that if there should be any doubt on that subject, we have full power from [f.4r] our Sultan to make as many as may be necessary, so that he may look upon the present government as firmly seated in the saddle, whatever any of his correspondents here may tell him to the contrary.<P> I have had a complaint from an Armenian who says that he is former owner of our house on the Bosphorus; that the other Armenians, whose property was confiscated at the same time as his, have had theirs restored to them. But that the Sultan's generosity to Gordon has been a permanent confiscation for him, and the conclusion he draws from these premises is that we ought to pay him for his house. Pray let me know what you maybe able to ascertain as to the facts of the case.<P> You will recollect that although presents are discontinued, you have a certain credit upon a certain fund, if you [f.4v] should think that the success of your negotiation would be essentially promoted by putting off, to the next arrival, the enforcement of the new regulation."<P> 20 Feb 1832: contemporary copy <P> The letter is marked: "Private" and was delivered by messenger "Rinty". The reply to this letter is numbered PP/GC/CA/101.
Extent:
Two papers, tied together with blue ribbon
License:
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Subject:
Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary on a special mission to Constantinople to negotiate borders of Greece
Prince Otho, alias Otto, of Bavaria, later King of Greece
Edward James Dawkins, British resident and consular agent in Greece
Treaty of London
London Conference of the three protecting powers [of Greece] France, Britain and Russia
Greek borders settlement; civil war
Poros settlement
Agostino, Count Capodistrias, alias Kapodistrias or Cap d'Istria, head of Greek provisional government
Turkish-British relations
Sublime Porte, Ottoman empire
Mahmud II, Ottoman Sultan
Sulieman Neschib Effendi, Ottoman Reis Effendi or Minister for Foreign Affairs
Government of Bavaria, constitution of Bavaria
King of Greece, ruler of Greece, proposals, candidates
Ottoman-Egyptian war, the invasion of Syria by Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha alias Mehemet Ali Pasha, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha, son of Muhammad Ali Pasha alias Mehemet Ali Pasha, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
Belgium: independence; separation; creation
Partition of the Netherlands, Belgium, Holland
Protocol of the conference between Great Britain, Austria, France, Prussia and Russia on the separation of Holland and Belgium
Dom Miguel, declared Miguel I, King of Portugal
Dom Pedro, formerly Pedro IV, King of Portugal and Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil
Parliamentary reform, reform bill, franchise, electorate, peerages
Sir Robert Gordon, former British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipoteniary at Constantinople
Bosphorus, alias Bosporus 2
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