PP/GC/CA/261 Copy of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, to Sir S.Canning, with instructions for his mission to Switzerland, 28 November 1847: contemporary copy
Copy, in the hand of a secretary, of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, Carlton Gardens, London, to Sir Stratford Canning, [on an extraordinary mission to Berne]:<P> [Transcript]<P> "I send you by this \ messenger a copy of the / instruction of which I am sending a draft to the Queen at Osborne for approval, and I will send you another messenger tomorrow or next day with the official copy which, I dare say, will not be different from this copy; and I think it desirable that you should know as soon as possible what the instruction is to be !<P> I think it is also desirable that you should not be detained unnecessarily in Paris, and you may not like to leave it till you receive the draft of the note which you are to present. I send you that by this messenger. Broglie evidently took no pleasure in your mission and Guizot may try to detain you at Paris; but you will do well, I think, not to dally in [f.1v] Capua, but proceed onwards to Berne. I ascribe Broglie's dislike to your going to two motives; first, perhaps he did not like that you should have an opportunity of finding out at Paris, by communication with Apponyi, Arnim and Visseleff [Kisseleff], that he had somewhat overstated to me the degree of their acquiescence in the draft note [on Switzerland] as settled between him and me; but secondly and chiefly, he may not have fancied the prospect that you would be at Berne while Boislecomte, [French minister to Switzerland], has chosen to banish himself from thence, and cannot get back again without considerable difficulty. Broglie hinted that Boislecomte must have an apology to enable him to get back, but I own it seems to me that Dufour was quite right and fully justified in not allowing Boislecomte to hold communication with a place which Dufour was just on the point of attacking; and there is no truth in the assertion that Boislecomte is accredited to each separate canton, for [f.2r] by the federal compact, the directory is the organ of the confederation as to its foreign relations. However, if, when you get to Berne, you can help to make up matters between the Diet and Boislecomte, it would be well to do so.<P> We heard last night that Lucerne had surrendered; of course a new government will be established there and that government will expel the Jesuits as has been done at Freyburg. So far so good, all this simplifies matters very much, and leaves us all less to do. Notwithstanding all that Broglie says about the impossibility of penetrating into the smaller cantons of the Sonderbond, I should think it probable that when, Lucerne had been reduced they would be disposed to surrender.<P> One difficulty you will have to encounter will be the obstacles to communication with your colleagues which their scattered condition will create; but they ought to come to you at Berne instead of your running after them elsewhere. Till the mediation is accepted no conference [f.2v] can, of course, take place, and therefore your place till then would clearly be Berne or the seat of the Sonderbond. If mediation should be accepted, Berne might still be the most convenient place for finishing the matter; and clearly there is nothing now for which a conference in London could be required. The King of Prussia is very anxious that Newfchatel should be the seat of conference, obviously because he thinks that such an arrangement would afford security to his canton. There could be no great objection to all of you finishing your work there, but I should think you would find Berne much more convenient, upon this, however, we must leave you full discretion. At all events you will use your best endeavours to prevail on the Diet to respect the neutrality of Neuchatel and to leave that little canton alone and not to make themselves an enemy of the King of Prussia without necessity [f.3r] or advantage by attacking his pet principality. There are two female relations of our Queen living at or near Geneva and she desired me to command them to give protection in case of need."<P> 28 Nov 1847: contemporary copy
Two papers
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, on an extraordinary mission to Berne
Victoria, Queen of England
Osborne House, Isle of Wight
Conference on the affairs on Switzerland, held by representatives of France, Britain, Russia, Prussia and Austria
Achille Leonce Victor Charles de Broglie, Duc de Broglie, French ambassador at London
Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot, French Prime Minister
Alexander Heinrich, Baron von Arnim Suckow, Prussian envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Paris
Charles Edmond Boislecomte, Comte de Boislecomte, French minister at Switzerland
Anton, Count Apponyi, Austrian ambassador at Paris
Monsieur Kisseleff, acting Russian ambassador at Paris
General Guillaume Henry Dufour, of the Swiss army
Freyburg, alias Fribourg or Freiburg: Switzerland
Newfchatel, alias Neuchatel: Switzerland
Sonderbund or Sonderbond: league formed by Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland
Frederick William IV, King of Prussia
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