Title:
PP/GC/PO/339 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning Ponsonby's relationship with the French ambassador at Constantinople, 30 July 1838
Date:
30/07/1838
Content:
Letter from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, [ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: the French ambassador paid attention to a lot of nonsense about Ponsonby's intentions with regard to his communications with Reschid Pasha, and spoke to Ponsonby in a tone and manner which required checking. They ended up better friends than ever. The ambassador is now convinced that, far from urging the Sultan to make war on Mehemet Ali, Ponsonby had pointed out the advantages he already had over the Pasha by stating to England and France that he heeded their advice and would abstain from war or acts calculated to cause it. The Pasha, on the other hand, had declared his resolution to break through the limits that Turkey had assigned to him. Ponsonby had no authority to offer a loan to the Sultan nor to say anything to him officially, since he had had no instructions from Palmerston about Mehemet Ali. He had used the conversations to try to find out the Sultan's real intentions and feelings about his position, and is convinced that the Sultan has no intention to attack the Pasha at present. Ponsonby told the French ambassador the real reason for having sent off a messenger so suddenly: to forward a despatch from the vice consul at Erzurum saying that Mr McNeill had left the Persian court. Ponsonby did not tell the ambassador what had passed between himself and the Ottoman minister on Palmerston's confidential questions to Reschid Pasha. He hopes Palmerston will be careful not to commit him to anything in what he says to the French government. He told the ambassador, quite truthfully, that the conversation had concerned the commercial convention, and left him to imagine that this was the main business. Reschid was anxious to keep his confidential remarks from the ambassador, and Ponsonby told him what he had said to the Frenchman so that his story would tally with Ponsonby's. He promised to ensure that this happened. 30 Jul 1838 The letter is marked: "Private" and it is noted that it was received on 24 August 1838.
Extent:
Two papers, punched for disinfection, tied with blue ribbon
License:
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Subject:
Admiral Albin Reine Roussin, French ambassador at Constantinople
Reschid Mustapha Pasha, alias Reshid Mustafa Pasha, Reis Effendi or Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mahmud II, Ottoman Sultan
Muhammad Ali Pasha, alias Mehemet Ali, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
John McNeill, later Sir John McNeill, British envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Teheran
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