PP/GC/CA/283 Copy of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, to Sir S.Canning, concerning the demands of Russia and Austria in respect to the extradition of Hungarian and Polish refugees, and deploring the position of the British fleet in the Dardanelles, 30 November 1849: contemporary copy
Copy, in the hand of a secretary, of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, Foreign Office, Whitehall, London, to Sir Stratford Canning, British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Constantinople:<P> [Transcript]<P> "* I send you a full statement of our opinions upon the modified demands of Russia and Austria because, in the first place, we wish to place those opinions on record, and because it is just possible that my desp[atch] may reach you before the whole matter is settled. When I talked the other day with Brunnow about these demands, he seemed to think that his government would be content if the converts to Mahometanism were stationed in Asia Minor, or at a distance from the Russian frontier without being shut up; and with regard to the Austrian demands, he said that if the Porte came to an agreement [f.1v] with Russia, she might deal with the Austrian demands as she chose. With regard to the converts, it is to be observed that the majority of them are Austrian subjects, and that as to them Russia can have no claim to demand anything; and it is said that Bem was born at Cracow and is therefore not a Russian subject. * With respect to the Austrian demand, it is quite preposterous and I should have expressed myself in stronger * language * terms about it if unluckily it had not been very much what the Sultan offered in his own letter to the Emperor of Austria; with the difference, however, that the Sultan's offer was to keep watch over these Hungarians for a time and at his own discretion, while the Austrian demand that he should do so until they consent to release him from [f.2r] his duties as keeper. It is scarcely less derogatory to the Sultan \ to be gaoler for Austria than / to be purveyor for the Austrian executioners, but the Manning administration at Vienna have no sentiments inconsistent with their nickname.<P> I am very sorry that you led Parker into the Dardanelles after the great pains which I took by my private letter to you to prevent such a thing happening. As to the quibbles of our worthy vice consul at the Dardanelles, I could not have the face to propound them gravely to any reasoning man. I only hope, however, that our squadron will speedily have left its objectionable position and will not have returned thither. Nesselrode seems to have taken the matter quietly, and no wonder; for such a nibbling at our Dardanelles treaty is just what the Russian would like to see us establish as a precedent and they would not be slow to follow our example.<P> [Postscript]<P> * Of course, what I say of Brunnow's opinion is in strict confidence and not to be quoted or repeated to anybody. *<P> 30 Nov 1849: contemporary copy <P> The two passages are crossed through in pencil, possibly by Evelyn Ashley whilst working on his book THE LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF LORD PALMERSTON, published in 1879
One paper, later "25" 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; exiles, refugees
Poles, Poland; Polish uprising of 1830; Hungarian uprising of 1848
General Josef Bem, Polish nationalist
Francis William Calvert, British vice consul at the Dardanelles
Karl Robert, Count Nesselrode, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs
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