PP/GC/PO/448 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, reporting that he has received the full powers for Sir Charles Smith, the orders for the Admiral, Mehemet Ali and the blockade, 30 September 1840
Letter from John Ponsonby, first Viscount Ponsonby, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he has received the full powers for Sir Charles Smith as commander of the Turkish troops in Syria. Smith has gained in health since his arrival there; Ponsonby has urged him stay a couple of days longer. He has learned from Smith that the Admiral has not received orders from the Admiralty based on Palmerston’s letter of 4 September. Smith believes that it would be impossible for the Admiral to leave Syria under the orders mentioned in the letter. Ponsonby believes Mehemet Ali “is as weak as water in Egypt” and will surrender if attacked. He hopes Palmerston has no thoughts of leaving Mehemet Ali in charge of Egypt. Ponsonby has decided to write in a different style to the Admiral so as not to give offence. He encloses a letter explaining about a house near Pera which could be a fitting residence for the embassy. The blockade only damaged British shipping and interests but did no good. Sturmer’s letter to Ponsonby contains a message about British troops. Ponsonby felt that Turkish troops should take Syria, thus preventing the French from stating that England wished to obtain the country for itself. The same might be said of Egypt. Both countries could be taken by Turkish troops with support from the British fleet. “I would agree to the employment of any troops, or of the devil himself, rather than leave Mehemet Ali in possession.” 30 Sep 1840 The letter is marked “Private”. The docket notes that it was received on 23 October 1840. Enclosed is a letter, in French, from Baron von Sturmer[?] to John Ponsonby, first Viscount Ponsonby, concerning the forces in Syria, n.d. Sep 1840
Four papers
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Muhammad Ali Pasha, alias Mehemet Ali, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
Bartholomeus, Baron von Sturmer, internuncio or Austrian ambassador at Constantinople
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