PP/GC/PO/81 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning the Belgian government and Belgian diplomatic relations, 4 March 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: he knows Palmerston has received a letter from Monsieur Barthelemy. The facts in it are correct. Barthelemy is the homme d'affaire of Comte de Celles and the father in law of Gendebien. He is also a rogue. Le Hon is going to Paris the following day to replace de Celles as minister for Belgium. General Belliard has no official position at Brussels. It is claimed that he has come to induce the Belgian government to carry out their engagements to the Conference. Ponsonby presumes what Palmerston said at Paris about Maastricht has caused this mission. The government has found money to employ the workmen for another three weeks, so there may not be an "explosion" yet. There has been some discussion in Congress that day. Lebeau asked questions about the mission from Brussels to France and why England had been treated with less respect than France, in order to embarrass the government. Van der Weyer made the best reply he could, but still a bad one. Ponsonby has heard a secret that the government wish to send Comte d'Aerschot to London in some diplomatic capacity. "I must tell you beforehand that he is a most dirty fellow, and not very wise. He is ready to belong to anybody. He is a man of excellent family and good fortune." The plan for the dissolution of Congress continues. It is intended to call the two Chambers together, that is, the new Chambers established by the constitution. The government will do everything in their power to prevent this. Congress will adjourn on Monday. The government proposes that this adjournment lasts until May, but others will propose that it lasts for only one month. The whole country is likely to cry out for the Prince of Orange. Large numbers are now in favour of a union with Holland with the Prince as Viceroy, as was talked of during the revolution. The report of Mellinet having gone over to the Dutch with two thousand men gains ground and the government is very alarmed. Belliard talks only of peace. He writes in a great hurry in order to catch the tide at Ostend. He has had to be out to collect the facts he has mentioned. He asks Palmerston to keep what he has said about d'Aerschot secret. 4 Mar 1831 The letter is marked: "Private".
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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
Antoine Barthelemy, member of the Belgian Congress
Antoine Charles Fiacre, Comte de Wisher de Celles, member of the Belgian Congress, Belgian representative at Paris
Alexandre Gendebien, Belgian Minister of Justice
Charles Aime Joseph, Comte Lehon, or Le Hon, incoming Belgian minister plenipotentiary at Paris
General Auguste Daniel, Comte Belliard, later French Joint Commissioner of the London Conference to the provisional government of Belgium
Maastricht, Netherlands
Jean Louis Joseph Lebeau, member of the Belgian Congress
Sylvain van der Weyer, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Philippe Jean Michel, Comte d'Arschot Schoonhoven, alias Aerschot, member of the Belgian Congress
William Frederick, Prince of Orange, later William II, King of Holland
General Francois Aime Mellinet, French commander of the troops blockading Maastricht
Ostend, or Ostende, or Oostende, Belgium
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