PP/GC/CA/282 Copy of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, to Sir S.Canning, urging that the British fleet should not take shelter in the Dardanelles, 22 November 1849: contemporary copy
Copy, in the hand of a secretary, of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, Broadlands, Hampshire, to Sir Stratford Canning, British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Constantinople:<P> [Transcript]<P> "Do not let Parker again anchor or enter within the outer castles of the Dardanelles; his doing so has a very bad effect; it is difficult to argue that it is not entering the straits of the Dardanelles, and that therefore it is not a violation of the treaty of July 1841. The port regulation of the Turkish government, by which the anchorage within the outer castles is allotted for ships of war of all nations to wait in until they know whether they can be permitted to go up to Constantinople, can fairly and logically be applied only to such ships of war as may by permission go up [f.1v] to Constantinople; but those are only light vessels for the use of the embassies and missions and that port regulation cannot be deemed to apply to a squadron of line of battleships, which cannot, according to treaty, go up to Constantinople while the Porte is at peace. At all events, it is close shaving and nice steerage and exposes us to a disagreeable discussion about words and puts us to prove that being within the straits is not entering the straits and that is not an easy demonstration to make good. If Parker is blown away from Basika Bay let him go to Enos or Saros, or anywhere else where he might find shelter, never mind how far off, for wherever he goes, he can always be back in time and any attack of the Turkish territory [f.2r] by a Russian fleet or army is at present quite out of the question. We shall send you on in a few days our decision about the demands of the two Emperors. I should guess from Brunnow's language to me today that the Russian government would be content to have renegade Poles 'eloignes' from the frontier and made to reside but not as prisoners, in Asia Minor, and Brunnow affected to treat very lightly the Austrian demand representing that as a matter the Porte could * only * easily dispose of if she had settled satisfactorily with Russia. Of course it would not answer for the Porte to stand out unnecessarily on matters of minor importance but still she might make her representations about conditions [f.2v] to which she is not bound by any treaty to accede."<P> 22 Nov 1849: contemporary copy <P> On the dorse of the letter is written in pencil, possibly by Palmerston himself: "Regulation said all ships of war of all nations coming to the Dardanelles are to stop and wait at the anchorage between the outer and inner castles till they know from Constantinople whether a firman will or will not be granted to allow them to proceed further on." [This is an extract from the treaty of July 1841, referred to in the letter.]
The letter is printed, except for the final sentence in Evelyn Ashley THE LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF LORD PALMERSTON, (London 1879), vol. 2, pp. 120
One paper, later marked "30" in red pencil
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Constantinople
Ottoman empire, Sublime Porte: defence, navy, army
Admiral Sir William Parker, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean
Philip, Baron Brunnow, alias Brunnov, Russian envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at London
Hungary: invasion by Russia; refugees, exiles
Poles, Poland, Polish uprising of 1830, Hungarian uprising of 1848
Gulf of Enos, alias Enez; Gulf of Saros; Basika, alias Besike Bay: Aegean Sea
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