PP/GC/CA/284 Copy of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, to Sir S.Canning, concerning an Austrian plot to entrap Kossuth, leader of the Hungarian refugees, 5 January 1850: contemporary copy
Copy 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> "I can easily conceive that you must, as you say, be overwhelmed with work, but you are doing your work right well and the connciousness of that must make the labor less oppressive than it would otherwise be. What you say of the plot supposed to be planned by the Austrians for decoying Kossuth into an attempt to escape, in order to waylay and murder him, would be incredible as to any other government than the Manning administration of Vienna; but indeed, what the Austrians did in Gallicia, and what they have since done elsewhere, makes one credulous as to any baseness which may be laid to their charge. If that story should turn out to be true, it would, I think, fully justify the [f.1v] Turkish government in sending for Kossuth and the most prominent of his associates and putting them safely on board the next English steam packet bound to Southampton. It would indeed be an excellent thing if the Porte could find any good reason for doing this; it would save them from much future embarrassment and from many squabbles with Austria which would \ either / lead to progressive degradation to the Sultan, if he submitted to the perpetual dictation to which he would be exposed, or else would prevent the re-establishment of a good understanding between him and the Austrian empire, if the Turkish government stood firm and resisted the repeated attempts at detailed interference that would be made. The Austrians might be angry at first at the departure of the Hungarians, but acquiescence in a fait accompli is an Austrian maxim and we are quite [f.2r] and perfectly sure that Austria would not make war on Turkey on such a ground. She might be sulky for a while, and delay the renewal of diplomatic relations for a month or two longer, but nothing more serious than that would be likely to happen; and even if Sturmer were recalled and were afterwards replaced by another minister that need not break Rescid's heart.<P> The two imperial governments have made a great mistake in all this affair, but we have saved them from adding 'un crime' to 'une faute'. If, however, the Turkish government makes a proper use of what has happened, the benefit to Turkey will be great and lasting."<P> 5 Jan 1850: contemporary copy
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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
Hungary: invasion by Russia; refugees, exiles
Poles, Poland, Polish uprising of 1830; Hungarian uprising of 1848
Poland: Galicia
Louis Kossuth, alias Lajos Kossuth, Hungarian nationalist leader
Bartholmeus, Baron von Sturmer, internuncio, Austrian ambassador at Constantinople
Reschid Mustapha Pasha, alias Reshid Mustafa Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier
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