PP/GC/PO/111 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, announcing that he is to return to London, 12 May 1831
Letter from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, [British Joint Commissioner of the London Conference to the provisional government of Belgium], Brussels, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: a messenger passing through Brussels from Vienna has provided an opportunity to inform Palmerston that, after a long discussion with General Belliard, Ponsonby has decided to go to London to speak with Palmerston on the state of affairs in Belgium. Belliard has given Ponsonby a letter to be delivered to Prince Talleyrand, which should be sent now, and he asks Palmerston to forward it, saying how it came to him. Palmerston should give Talleyrand an opportunity to show it to him. Ponsonby is returning without orders, but only because he believes it to be necessary. He will be in London on Sunday evening [15 May]. He has told Lebeau only that there are great difficulties and that he fears Leopold will refuse the crown [of Belgium] as a result. He simply announced the arrival of Monsieur de Broukere, the bearer of the Prince's answer, and added that he feared the answer would not satisfy Lebeau. Ponsonby has asked Lebeau to preserve absolute secrecy, whatever bad news he may have from de Broukere. If Leopold has refused, Belgium would be in revolution within twenty four hours. He has not got time to say more than that the feeling for Leopold is enthusiastic and his election is certain if the other matters can be determined. "There is no gover[nmen]t here, and the country is still in a state of revolution, and you expect from gov[ernmen]t what it has no power even to attempt, and from the people that which they will die rather than submit to. You decide for war. Can you hope that war will be confined to Belgium ? This country is the place where the Parisian Jacobins are, avowedly fighting their battled against their King and against peace. You will give them the victory." 12 May 1831 The letter is marked: "Private" and it is noted on the docket that it was received on 15 May 1831.
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John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, British Joint Commissioner of the London Conference to the provisional government of Belgium
Belgium: revolt; revolution; independence
General Auguste Daniel, Comte Belliard, French Joint Commissioner of the London Conference to the provisional government of Belgium
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, Prince de Benevent, French ambassador at London
Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, later Leopold I, King of the Belgians
Jean Louis Joseph Lebeau, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Charles de Broukere
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