Title:
PP/GC/PO/347 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the proposal to move British and French ships into the Black Sea, 5 September 1838
Date:
05/09/1838
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: he thinks the measure he suggested to the Ottoman ministers, as mentioned in his despatch, may be carried through. If so, it will checkmate Russia, and British ships will be able to move into the Black Sea immediately. It might also confound Mehemet Ali, whom Ponsonby is pleased to see has the same opinion of the status quo as he does, although Mehemet would put an end to it by getting the British government to betray its faith to the Sultan, and other "base and cowardly acts". Ponsonby completely disagrees with Metternich. Ponsonby is certain Mehemet Ali intends to act unless his ally Russia stops him. "I confess I think Metternich's opinion is nonsensical. I doubt his entertaining it." If Turkey is lost, what can be done against Persia ? If Turkey is saved, there will be many ways of preserving India from danger. "Submission on the ground of expence will cost you a thousand times more than honorable resistance. It is in fact as extravagant in expenditure as it is poor in spirit and I say God forbid the Whigs should be disgraced by it." Ponsonby has not mentioned to Roussin what he has done about calling up ships. Roussin is not trustworthy, for his tells his interpreter everything, who cannot be trusted. Palmerston should tell the French government about the plan, and have it communicated to the ambassador in that way. Ponsonby always envisaged French ships joining with the British. The Porte distrusts the French, but will do anything Ponsonby desires, and he wants the French to be confided in together with the British. The ministers, Mustapha and Nouri, seem devoted to Britain, and Ponsonby assumes they know the Sultan's feelings. Husrev betrayed the Sultan's secret in General Chrzanowski, to the Prussians and the Russians. Ponsonby has denounced him to the Sultan for it. Haudgerle renewed his attempts against the General, under Bouteniev's orders, "but in a very foolish, weak way and he has wholly failed". Bouteniev has returned to Constantinople. Ponsonby promises send word of what passes between him and the ministers. Palmerston could have Turkey at his disposal, if he wished, and will always regret it if he lets the opportunity pass. "My conscience is clear. I have neglected nothing. I have not failed to obtain what was necessary to have. The ball is at your feet." 5 Sep 1838 The letter is marked: "Private" and it is noted that it was received on 23 September 1838.
Extent:
Two papers, punched for disinfection
License:
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Subject:
Muhammad Ali Pasha, alias Mehemet Ali, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
Clemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Prince of Metternich-Winneburg
Admiral Albin Reine Roussin, French ambassador at Constantinople
Mustapha, Ottoman minister
Muhammad Nouri Effendi, alias Mehmed Nuri Pasha, Turkish Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Mahmud II, Ottoman Sultan
Husrev Mehmed Pasha, alias Chossrew Muhammad Pasha, former Seraskier of Turkish Minister of War
General Adalbert Chrzanowski, alias Skranowsky, Polish General in English employ in Turkey
Prince Haudgerle or Hauchery, dragoman to the Russian embassy at Constantinople
Apollinariy Petrovich Buteniev, alias Butenev, Russian envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Constantinople
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