PP/GC/PO/162 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning a conversation with Mr McKenna, Constantinople correspondent of THE TIMES, 8 November 1833
Letter from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], Therapia, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he has been speaking recently with Mr McKenna, travelling correspondent for THE TIMES. "As he is the representative of a great power, I have been very civil to him and, I flatter myself, have been able to prevent some very erroneous, and perhaps mischievous, intelligence or views of things being laid before the public." He thinks he has convinced McKenna that the English policy has been sound, and he has not spoken of anything that he did not wish to reveal: he did not say anything when McKenna had asked him about the separate article [in the treaty between Russia and Turkey], even though McKenna had shown that he knew a particular expression in it upon which Ponsonby had commented in his note to the Kiahaya Bey. He had asked McKenna for his opinion on what the English government should do, and McKenna had answered in favour of going to war with Russia, though he could not guarantee that THE TIMES would support this view. Ponsonby thought that THE TIMES was too afraid of the popular cry for economy to dare support wars. "It is like half the English world, penny wise and pound foolish in everything concerning the higher parts of political affairs." THE TIMES, according to Mckenna, would advocate a war with Russia to protect Turkey from subjugation, and public opinion was strongly against Russia because of her actions towards Poland; "this when it should be generally known what great national and European interests were intimately connected with the defence of Turkey." Ponsonby was pleased to hear McKenna's opinions, as the tone he adopts with THE TIMES must only be useful to Palmerston. Ponsonby had been unwilling to talk with a correspondent but, when approached, could only either offend him by remaining aloof or be civil towards him, by giving him information by no means secret and already widely known, "though known in a faulty form and mixed with nonsense for the most part". The MORNING HERALD also has a correspondent, "a great blockhead", in Constantinople, though he has happily not yet approached Ponsonby. Both journalists are about to leave for Egypt via Greece, and then McKenna will return to Constantinople. 8 Nov 1833 This letter is marked: "Private". It arrived on 2 December 1833.
Two papers
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Ottoman empire, Sublime Porte
Mr McKenna, travelling correspondent of THE TIMES
Newspapers; the national press; journalism
Turkey, Russia, Poland: public opinion
Pertev Mehmed Seid Pasha, alias Muhammad Said Pertew, Kiahaya Bey or Turkish Minister of the Interior
Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi or Hunkar Iskelesi between Russia and Turkey
Muhammad Ali Pasha alias Mehemet Ali, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
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