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Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914

Part 4 out of 8

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France annually to protest at the commencement of the Session against
the acts of the Emperor Nicholas, and to make a declaration in favour
of the nationality of Poland. I think that such annual declarations
are illusive; for while they have been made in this manner, they have
been followed up by no measures; they are made by a representative
assembly, without any action following on that declaration. Be it
observed how great is the difference between that and a protest on the
part of a Sovereign. The Sovereign, by prerogative, entrusted with
this power of making treaties, is forced of necessity to some opinion
or other--of tacit acquiescence, of favourable and applauding
concurrence, or one involving remonstrance and reproach--some course
or other is forced upon the Executive Government of the country. But
with regard to the House of Commons, it is not necessary, in the
ordinary course of foreign affairs, that this House should at all
interfere or declare its opinion on these subjects. I can see no
advantage in altering that usual course. I do not think there would
be any advantage in bringing these subjects frequently or constantly
before the House, with a view to a declaration of opinion--I think the
House would gain no respect by a deviation from its usual custom. That
is my reason, therefore, while I could have no objections to urge in
opinion against this resolution--for I have already declared what
is my opinion with regard to the extinction of the free state of
Cracow--why I object to its being made a resolution of the House of
Commons; and on that point I should be disposed to move the previous
question. With regard to the other resolution, I should act in like
manner. That resolution says that--

'Russia, having withdrawn that adhesion (to the Treaty
of Vienna), and those arrangements being through her act
no longer in force, the payments from this country on
account of the loan should be henceforth suspended.'

Now, that is entirely a different question. The arrangements at
the time of the Treaty of Vienna involved an union of Belgium with
Holland; and there being a debt in Holland which was payable, and
the interest of which was payable by Russia, Great Britain took upon
herself the payment of the interest of that debt, in consideration of
Russia being a party to that arrangement. When, after that, these two
countries were separated, Russia no longer attempted to maintain that
arrangement; and, therefore, by the letter of the treaty, England
might then have said, 'You no longer maintain the union of Belgium
with Holland; and therefore as you do not comply with the letter of
that treaty, we are free from the discharge of the interest of that
debt.' But although this would have been in perfect and entire
conformity with the letter of the treaty, it would have been most
inconsistent with the justice of the case; because the Power that had
favoured the separation, and which, from the moment the insurrection
in Belgium was successful, favoured, recognized, and aided that
separation, was especially England; and for England to come forward
and say, 'You did not maintain the union between Holland and Belgium,
an union which we did not wish, which we wanted to see dissolved, we
declare ourselves free from the payment of that debt'--to have said
so would have been such an evasion of an engagement, that I certainly
could not have taken any part in adopting it. But it was not evaded.
England being free from the letter of the engagement, made a new
engagement with Russia; and in that engagement she agreed to continue
the payment of the interest of that debt. The actual ground for
continuing the payment of that interest was, that Russia did abide by
the general arrangement of the Treaty of Vienna; and that it was
only in consequence of the acts of England herself that she did not
maintain the union between Holland and Belgium. But undoubtedly the
words were introduced into that convention which were a security to
Russia for payment of

'her old Dutch debt, in consideration of the general arrangements
of the Congress of Vienna, to which she had given her adhesion
--arrangements which remain in full force.'

Now, these words were certainly used. They were introduced at the
request of the representatives of Russia in this country. They were
put in, in order to show that, whilst Russia had departed in one
principal respect from this arrangement, yet she was not to be accused
of any violation of the general treaty, of any bad faith in the
matter, because she had only done so at the request of England. But
still, as I think, the original arrangement and the general reason
of the arrangement remain in full force; and what was that original
arrangement? It was, that Russia had agreed with England with respect
to the territorial disposition of Holland and Belgium. There was no
question at that time of any other arrangement, or of the Treaty of
Vienna being violated or disturbed. Russia desired these words to be
inserted in the treaty. So far as England was concerned, she did not
wish those words to be inserted. It was not the expression of any
desire of hers that they were so; but it seemed to be a matter of
good faith, that as Russia still maintained the original arrangement,
therefore it was right to continue to pay the interest of the debt.
Now, I say with respect to the spirit of the agreement, that I do not
think it would be just to take advantage of the insertion of these
words, and that Russia having, so far as Belgium and Holland are
concerned, faithfully preserved those stipulations, having never
attempted either to disturb this arrangement, and still less refused
her aid to England with regard to any question respecting them, I
do not think, in point of fair dealing, we should be justified in
refusing to pay the interest of the debt. I do think, however, that
according to these words, we might now, as we formerly might have
done, refuse to pay this interest. We might say to Russia: 'You have
permitted these words to be inserted--they were inserted with your
sanction; and, as they were inserted with your sanction, we will take
advantage of these words, and we will refuse any longer to pay the
sum.' That would be conformable to one interpretation of the treaty.
Those whom we consulted, who were the highest authorities that we
could consult with regard to the interpretation of Acts of Parliament
bearing upon treaties--the legal authorities who are usually consulted
on those subjects--have told us, that they think, according to the
spirit of the arrangement, according to the spirit of the convention,
the money ought still to be paid. It is at most, state it as
favourably as you can for the hon. gentleman's motion, a doubtful
point, upon which, if you wish to take advantage, you might claim
that advantage from words inserted in the convention. According to my
opinion, you would be acting against the spirit of the treaty in order
to take advantage of a plea which, I think, in a court of law, might
perhaps be urged in order to get rid of a contract, but which as
between nations, ought not to be used. I think, in so considering this
question, we should lower our position. I think we should deprive
ourselves of that advantage which we now have if we were to reduce
this to a transaction of pounds, shillings, and pence. I consider that
in late transactions in Europe, although, on more than one occasion,
and by different Powers, our wishes have not been complied with,
our desires have not been listened to, our protests may have been
disregarded, yet there does remain with us a moral strength nothing
can take away. There is no treaty the stipulations of which it can be
imputed to England that she has violated, evaded, or set at naught. We
are ready, in the face of Europe, however inconvenient some of those
stipulations may be, to hold ourselves bound, by all our engagements,
to keep the fame, and the name, and the honour of the Crown of England
unsullied, and to guard that unsullied honour as a jewel which we will
not have tarnished. With that sentiment, Sir, if I should ask my noble
friend to go to the Court of Russia, and say, 'To be sure you have
violated a treaty--to be sure you have extinguished an independent
state. We have allowed this to be done. You shall hear no threat of
war. We will not arm for the purpose. We will admit that the state of
Cracow is extinguished. We will admit that her inhabitants are reduced
to subjection. The names of freedom and of independence to them are
lost for ever. But this we will do. There is a claim of some thousand
pounds which we can make against you, which we now pay, and which we
will now throw upon your shoulders; and in that way we will revenge
ourselves for your violation of treaties'--we should be taking a part,
we should be using language which is not becoming the position England
has hitherto held; which is not becoming the position I wish her in
future to hold against the world. Having thus stated as shortly as I
could the views I entertain upon the subject, I ask you not to come
in this House of Commons, which does not usually interfere with the
foreign relations of this country, to any idle resolution upon which
you don't intend to act; and I ask you, in the next place, not to
lower this question to a mere question of money value, not to go and
demand how much this Russian-Dutch stock may be worth in the market,
but to preserve that which, as I think, is of inestimable value; I
wish you to allow, as this House has hitherto allowed, by its silent
acquiescence, the protest which the Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs has delivered, to remain in full force, as a declaration upon
our part--a declaration which will have its value, depend upon it,
in regard to future transactions--that we do not abstain from the
observance of treaties which we believe to have been violated; and let
us be able to say that we have sought no interest of England in this
matter. We have not looked to any interest, either large or petty, in
regard to ourselves; we have regarded the great interests of Europe;
we have desired that the settlement which put an end to a century of
bloodshed should remain in full force and vigour. We have declared
that sentiment to the world, and we trust that the reprobation with
which this transaction has been met, will, in future, lead all Powers,
whoever they may be, who may be induced to violate treaties, to
consider that they will meet with the disinterested protest of
England, so that her character shall stand before the world
untarnished by any act of her own.


Let us take the whole Polish question at once, for that is really what
the hon. member means by this part of the motion. I am not aware of
any commercial rights enjoyed by Great Britain which have been much
affected in Poland by any changes that have taken place. Nor do I
recollect any commercial rights which have been affected, except those
of individuals, which might in some degree have been so by changes in
the tariff. The charge made by the hon. member is in effect this--that
when the Polish revolution broke out in 1835, England, in conjunction
with France, should have taken up arms in favour of the Poles, but
she did not do so; that she abandoned France in her attempt, and thus
deprived the Poles of their independence; and finally--and here the
hon. member made an assertion I was astonished to hear--that we
prevented Austria uniting with France and England for the same object.
[Mr. Anstey: I said, Austria was ready to have joined with us if we
had acted differently.] Well, then, the hon. member says we balked the
readiness of Austria to interpose in favour of the Poles, when we had
many reasons to adopt a different course. This question has been so
often discussed that I can only repeat what I have said in former
Parliaments. It is well known that when we came into office in 1830,
Europe was in a state which, in the opinion of any impartial man, and
of the best political judges, threatened to break out into a general
war. I remember being told by a right hon. gentleman, in the course of
a private conversation in the House, that 'if an angel came down from
heaven to write my dispatches, I could not prevent Europe from a war
in six months'. Well, Sir, not months, but years, rolled by, and no
war took place. It was the anxious desire of the Government of Earl
Grey to prevent war; and the maintenance of peace was one of the
objects at which they expressly aimed, and succeeded. What were the
dangers which threatened the peace of Europe? There had just been a
great revolution in France, there had been another in Belgium, and
these had been followed by a great rising of the Poles against the
sway of Russia. In these struggles there was a conflict of principle
as well as one of political relations. There was the popular
principle in France, in Belgium, and in Poland, to be resisted by
the monarchical principle of Austria, of Russia, and of Prussia. The
danger apprehended in 1831 was, that these three Powers should attempt
by a hostile attack to control France in the exercise of her judgement
with respect to who should be her sovereign, or what should be her
constitution. The British Government, under the Duke of Wellington,
with the most laudable regard for the public interests, not only of
England but of Europe, hastened to acknowledge the new Sovereign
of France, and to withdraw their country from the ranks of any
confederacy against her; and this conduct laid the foundation of that
peace which it was our duty to maintain and cultivate. The great
anxiety of England was that peace should be maintained. There was no
doubt great sympathy with the Poles in their contest against Russia;
and it was thought there was a chance of their succeeding in their
attempt. The result, however, was different; but then it was said by
the hon. member, 'Oh, it is the fault of England that she did not
establish the independence of Poland. If she had joined with France
and Austria (which now for the first time I am told was anxious
to favour the cause of Poland), the Poles would have been in full
enjoyment of their constitutional freedom.' The hon. gentleman
actually said that Austria, in 1831, was in favour of the Poles, who
were closely pressed by the Russians and Prussians, who had already
got possession of Militsch, and felt, if the kingdom of Poland were
independent, the chances were that she (Militsch) would rise also to
assert her liberties. This statement is excessively extraordinary. I
am quite surprised even that the hon. member for Youghal should have
made it. I will tell him what was passing in his mind when, he said
so, and what led him to make this statement; for I am at least
desirous of giving a rational solution to it as far as I can, under
his correction. The fact of which he was probably thinking was this:
In 1814, when the issue of the war between Napoleon and the other
Powers of Europe was doubtful, a treaty, of which part has been
made public, was signed at Reichenbach between Austria, Russia, and
Prussia, for the entire partition of Poland between them, in the event
of their success against France. The effect of this treaty would have
been to extinguish the name of Poland as a separate and independent
element of European geography. In 1813, after Napoleon had been
repulsed from Russia, and the war had retired to the westward of
Germany and of Europe, where shortly after it was brought to a close,
discussions took place at Vienna as to what should be done with
Poland. Austria called for the execution of the compact, and, with
England, demanded that either the Treaty of Reichenbach should be
completely carried out, and Poland divided equally into three
parts for each of the contracting parties, or that she should be
reconstructed and made anew into a substantive state between the three
Powers. Russia was of a different opinion, and contended not for the
execution of the Treaty of Reichenbach, but for the arrangement which
was subsequently carried into effect, namely, that the greater part
of Poland was to be made into a kingdom and annexed to her Crown,
and that the remaining parts should be divided between the two other
states. After a great deal of discussion the Treaty of Reichenbach was
set aside, and the arrangements of the Treaty of Vienna were made. I
suppose this is what led the hon. member to his statement that
Austria would join with us, because in 1814 she was favourable to the
re-establishment of Poland as a separate kingdom, as one alternative
in contradiction to her partition; for any other ground than this I
cannot conceive for his assertion. If Austria were favourable to the
Polish insurrection subsequently, I can only say that it is a fact as
unknown to me as was the existence of the four days of danger, and
I am inclined to place both assertions on the same foundation. The
interest of Austria was in fact quite different; and it was owing to
her feeling respecting Poland, that the Russians ultimately succeeded
in crushing the insurrection. But then, says the hon. and learned
member, you should have accepted the offers of France. I have often
argued the question before, and what, I said before I say again. If
France had gone to the extent, of proposing to England to join, with
her against Russia, this would have been nothing more nor less than
the offer of a war in Europe, which, as our great object was to keep
down such a war, we should never have thought of accepting. It would
have been a war without the chance of anything but a war, for let us
look to the position of the kingdom of Poland--let us consider that it
was surrounded by Austria, by Russia, and by Prussia, that there was a
large Russian army actually in Poland, and that there was a Prussian
army on her frontiers--and we shall at once see that at the very first
intimation that England was about to take up arms with France for the
independence of Poland, the three armies would have fallen on the
Poles, the insurrection would have been crushed, the spark of Polish
independence extinguished; and all this having been done, the three
Powers would have marched their armies to the Rhine, and said: 'We
shall now make France and England answer for their conduct.' This
course would have been sure to involve the country in a Continental
war, for a purpose which would be defeated before the war could be
terminated. But, says the hon. member, you have very powerful allies,
who would have assisted you. France is a large military power, capable
of great efforts. Then you have Sweden, too, burning with desire to
break a lance with Russia, on the question of Polish independence.
What man in his sober senses, even if Sweden made such a proposition,
and were ready to join us against Russia, would not have said, 'For
God's sake, remain quiet and do nothing?' [Mr. Anstey: I said,
that Sweden was arming her fleet, with the intention of making a
demonstration against the Russian provinces in the Baltic; but the
noble Lord remonstrated with Sweden for doing so, and induced her to
disarm.] Well, there is not much difference between us. I do not think
a demonstration by a Swedish fleet on the shores of the Baltic would
have been long maintained without a corresponding demonstration of the
Russian fleet in Cronstadt, and it is pretty clear which of them would
go to the wall; and then we should have had to defend Sweden against
Russian attack; and unless we had been prepared to send a large army
to her aid, we should have sacrificed her to no purpose. I say, Sir,
the man with the interests of Russia most dearly at his heart, could
have done nothing better for Russia than stimulate Sweden into a
dispute with Russia, by inducing her to make an armed demonstration
on her shores, and thus to draw down upon her the vengeance and
overwhelming power of that empire. If Sweden had been ready to make
such a demonstration with her gunboats on the coast of Russia, and had
asked us for our advice, the best thing we could have said would have
been, 'Don't do anything half so foolish; we are not prepared to send
an army and a fleet to defend you, and don't give Russia a cause to
attack you.' But there was another empire burning with desire to
join us against Russia. Turkey, we were told by the hon. and learned
member, with 200,000 cavalry, was ready to carry demonstration to the
very walls of St. Petersburg--perhaps to carry off the Emperor himself
from his throne. What was the state of Turkey then? In 1831 she had
engaged in a war with Russia, in which, after two campaigns, her arms
were repulsed and driven back into their own empire, so that she was
compelled at Adrianople to accept conditions of peace, hard in
their nature, and demanding a sacrifice of an important part of her
territory, but to which she was advised in friendly counsel by the
British Ambassador to submit, for fear of having to endure still
worse. We are told that, two or three years after this great disaster,
Turkey was of such amazing enterprise and courage, and was furnished
with such a wonderful quantity of cavalry, that she was prepared to
send 200,000 horse (which she never had in all her life) over the
frontiers of Russia, and sweep her territory. Now this is, of all
the wild dreams that ever crossed the mind of man, one of the most
unlikely and extraordinary. But supposing all this had been true,
and that Turkey really was prepared to do all the hon. and learned
gentleman said she was, I should have given her just the same advice
that I should have offered Sweden under the same circumstances, and
should have said, 'Have you not been beaten enough? Are you mad? Do
you want the Russians to get Constantinople instead of Adrianople?
Will nothing satisfy you? We cannot come and defend you against your
powerful neighbour. She is on your frontiers, and do not give her any
just cause for attacking you.' Then the hon. and learned gentleman
told us of the Shah of Persia, how the gunboats of Sweden, the troops
of Austria, the fine cavalry of Turkey, the magnificent legions of
Persia, were ready all to pour in upon Russia in revenge for the
injuries which the inhabitants of the Baltic coasts inflicted upon
Europe in former centuries, and would have stripped Russia of her
finest provinces. Now, what had happened to Persia? In 1827, she
had very foolishly and thoughtlessly, against advice, rushed into a
conflict with Russia, and had seen herself reduced to make a treaty,
not only surrendering important provinces, but giving Russia the
advantage of hoisting her flag in the Caspian. She had gone to
war with a powerful antagonist, and been compelled to submit to
humiliating concessions. Can you suppose that Persia, in that state of
things, would have been ready to march against Russia for the sake of
assisting Poland? In the disastrous struggle which ensued, Poland
was overthrown; the suspension of its constitution followed, and the
substitution of what was called the 'organic statute'. The Russian
Government pronounced that civil war had abrogated it, and they
re-entered Poland as conquerors. I am not asserting the justice of
that, but the contrary; we always maintained a different view. I need
not remind the House how deep a sympathy the sufferings of Poland
excited in this country. Many things have passed in Poland since that
time which the British Government greatly regrets, and in respect to
which the rights laid down by treaty have been violated. But when we
are asked why the British Government have not enforced treaty rights
in every case, my answer is, that the only method of enforcing them
would have been by methods of hostility; and that I do not think those
questions were questions of sufficient magnitude in their bearing on
the interests of England, to justify any Government in calling on the
people of this country to encounter the burdens and hazards of war for
the purpose of maintaining those opinions. Then comes the question of
Cracow. I deny the justice of the reproach which the hon. member
has directed against me on that head, of an infraction of the just
requirements of good faith. It is perfectly true, that in a discussion
in this House we stated our intention of sending a Consul to Cracow;
but we were not at that time aware of all the objections entertained
to that step by other Powers who had an interest in the question,
and who possessed great influence in Cracow. Communications and
correspondence took place, not only with them, but with the Cracovian
authorities, and we were plainly told, that if our Consul went to
Cracow he would not be received. What were we to do under those
circumstances? The Government of Cracow, though nominally independent,
was practically under the control and protection of the three
protecting Powers; and whatever they ordered that Government to do,
it was plain they would do. It therefore became the Government to
consider whether there really was any cause for the presence of a
British Consul at Cracow, which was of sufficient importance to make
it worth while to insist on his presence, at the risk of not obtaining
the end. We should then have been exposed to an affront from the
miserable little Government at Cracow, not acting on its own
responsibility, towards whom nothing could have been directed in
vindication of the honour of the British Crown; and our only course
would have been a rupture with the three Powers, after we had been
warned of the rejection of our Consul. Well, then, considering the
importance attached in this country, not merely to peace, but to a
really good understanding with foreign Powers, wherever there are
great interests and powerful motives to amity which would be violated
by hostilities, I thought the best course would be to abandon the
intention we had entertained, and which we had announced in the
discussion in this House. It does not follow, when a Minister
announces in Parliament an intention to perform a public act, that it
is to be considered like a promise made to an individual, or by one
private man to another, and that it is to be made a reproach to him
if the intention be not carried out. We are here responsible to the
country for the advice we give the Crown. We are responsible for all
the consequences which that advice may bring on the country. We are
not dealing with our own affairs; it is not a question of what we may
do with our private property; but when a Minister finds he cannot do a
particular act without compromising the interests of the country, and
that these will suffer from his executing his intention, it is his
duty to give up that intention, and to consult the interests of the
country in preference to every other consideration. That is the
history of the Consul who was to have been at Cracow. We have been
asked to produce the correspondence relating to the transaction; and I
do not know that there would be any particular objection to doing so.
It consists of angry notes on one side and the other, and I cannot
think we should be promoting a good understanding with, the three
Powers by producing it; but as far as concerns its being a record of
anything I have done, or have not done, I have no objection. The hon.
member asks for all the correspondence which may have passed from the
year 1835 downwards on the subject of the Russian fleet in commission
in the Baltic. I do not recollect that any particular communications
took place on this subject between the British Government on the one
hand, and those of Russia or France on the other. Of course, it is
utterly impossible for a Power which, like England, depends mainly for
its security on its naval defence, not to watch with attentive anxiety
the armaments or the state of naval preparation which from time to
time may exist in other great countries. Therefore our attention may,
no doubt, have been more or less directed, especially when questions
of great difficulty and delicacy have been pending between Russia
and England, and a state of mutual distrust to some extent existed,
towards the naval footing of Russia both in the Baltic and Black
Sea. Of course, also, though I do not particularly recollect the
circumstance as having happened in 1835 or 1836, the immense amount
of naval preparation in France must always form an element in the
consideration of the Government of this country, in taking into
account the means which England must possess to maintain its station
amongst the empires of the world. I have now gone through, as far as
memory and time permitted, the principal topics on which he touched.
It was only last night I was able to put together the observations I
have ventured to offer to the House. I have taken them in the order he
stated them in the motion of which he gave notice. Upon the general
character of my public conduct I can only repeat what I said when last
I had the honour to address this House. I can only say, if any one in
this House should think fit to make an inquiry into the whole of my
political conduct, both as recorded in official documents, or in
private letters and correspondence, there is nothing which I would not
most willingly submit to the inspection of any reasonable man in this
House. I will add, that I am conscious of some of those offences which
have been charged against me by the hon. and learned member. I am
conscious that, during the time for which I have had the honour to
direct the foreign relations of this country I have devoted to them
all the energies which I possess. Other men might have acted, no
doubt, with more ability--none could have acted with a more entire
devotion both of their time and faculties. The principle on which I
have thought the foreign affairs of this country ought to be conducted
is, the principle of maintaining peace and friendly understanding with
all nations, so long as it was possible to do so consistently with
a due regard to the interests, the honour, and the dignity of
this country. My endeavours have been to preserve peace. All the
Governments of which I have had the honour to be a member have
succeeded in accomplishing that object. The main charges brought
against me are, that I did not involve this country in perpetual
quarrels from one end of the globe to the other. There is no country
that has been named, from the United States to the empire of China,
with respect to which part of the hon. member's charge has not been,
that we have refrained from taking steps that might have plunged us
into conflict with one or more of these Powers. On these occasions we
have been supported by the opinion and approbation of Parliament and
the public. We have endeavoured to extend the commercial relations of
the country, or to place them where extension was not required, on a
firmer basis, and upon a footing of greater security. Surely in that
respect we have not judged amiss, nor deserved the censure of the
country; on the contrary, I think we have done good service. I hold
with respect to alliances, that England is a Power sufficiently
strong, sufficiently powerful, to steer her own course, and not to
tie herself as an unnecessary appendage to the policy of any other
Government. I hold that the real policy of England--apart from
questions which involve her own particular interests, political or
commercial--is to be the champion of justice and right; pursuing that
course with moderation and prudence, not becoming the Quixote of
the world, but giving the weight of her moral sanction and support
wherever she thinks that justice is, and wherever she thinks that
wrong has been done. Sir, in pursuing that course, and in pursuing the
more limited direction of our own particular interests, my conviction
is, that as long as England keeps herself in the right, as long as she
wishes to permit no injustice, as long as she wishes to countenance no
wrong, as long as she labours at legislative interests of her own, and
as long as she sympathizes with right and justice, she never will find
herself altogether alone. She is sure to find some other state, of
sufficient power, influence, and weight, to support and aid her in
the course she may think fit to pursue. Therefore I say that it is a
narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked
out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no
eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are
eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.
When we find other countries marching in the same course, and pursuing
the same objects as ourselves, we consider them as our friends, and we
think for the moment that we are on the most cordial footing; when we
find other countries that take a different view, and thwart us in the
object we pursue, it is our duty to make allowance for the different
manner in which they may follow out the same objects. It is our duty
not to pass too harsh a judgement upon others, because they do not
exactly see things in the same light as we see; and it is our duty not
lightly to engage this country in the frightful responsibilities
of war, because from time to time we may find this or that Power
disinclined to concur with us in matters where their opinion and ours
may fairly differ. That has been, so far as my faculties have allowed
me to act upon it, the guiding principle of my conduct. And if I might
be allowed to express in one sentence the principle which I think
ought to guide an English Minister, I would adopt the expression of
Canning, and say that with every British Minister the interests of
England ought to be the shibboleth of his policy.


JULY 20, 1849


Whoever, my Lords, would undertake the discussion of any difficult and
delicate question touching the foreign policy of the country, ought,
above all things, to free himself from every feeling of hatred or of
anger, and from all personal and from all national prejudices, which
might tend to disturb the equanimity of his judgement. For, when the
mind labours under any such feelings, expressions are apt to be used
which, whether they are well understood or ill understood, give
umbrage elsewhere, and endanger the peace as well as the policy, in a
word, all the highest interests of the country. I present myself to
your Lordships to handle the important subject of which I have given
notice, under the deep impression of sentiments such as these; and it
will be no fault of mine if I am betrayed into any discussion, or even
into any passing remark, which shall give offence in any quarter, at
home or abroad, and shall thus endanger what is most essential to the
interests of the country, a good understanding with, and a friendly
feeling towards, foreign nations. It gives me great satisfaction,
seeing that I have to express a difference of opinion from my
noble friends opposite, and to blame the measures which they have
adopted,--it gives me great satisfaction, I say, to commence what I am
about to state, by declaring my entire approval of such sentiments as
I am about to cite, in language far better than my own, used by them
when they instructed our envoy at the Court of the Two Sicilies to
give the 'strongest assurance of the earnest desire of the British
Government to draw, if possible, still closer the bonds of friendship
which had so long united the crowns of Great Britain and the Two
Sicilies'. It is therefore grateful, most grateful to me--whilst I
join in their sentiments, which are better expressed than I could
have expressed them, but not more warmly expressed than I would have
expressed them--that, in the remarks which I am about to make, and
which are wrung from me by the accusations brought against the
Ministers, the authorities, and the troops of Naples, I shall, in the
true sense of the passage I have just quoted, have to defend those
Ministers, those authorities, and those troops from attacks which
have been made upon them by the authors of that passage injuriously,
inconsiderately, and unjustly.

The dispatch to which I have just alluded, is dated December 16, 1847.
But, somehow or other, events happened soon after which make it hardly
possible to suppose that the same hand which wrote that dispatch,
could have written the subsequent instructions, or that the same
agents who had to obey the former instructions, and to represent the
feelings of old attachment, of which it was impossible to draw the
bonds closer, could have been instructed so soon afterwards as January
18, 1848, to take a course entirely and diametrically opposite.

It would give me great satisfaction if, having thus accidentally
touched upon the transactions of Southern Italy, I could proceed at
once thither in the progress on which I am now asking your Lordships
to accompany me. But I find, my Lords, from what has been taking place
within the last few weeks, how reluctant so ever I may be to discuss
the events of the northern divisions of Italy, and recur to questions
often agitated here, and by none of your Lordships more ably than by
the noble Earl near me (Lord Aberdeen), that I must allude to the
conduct of his late Sardinian Majesty, to the still unfinished
negotiations between Sardinia and Austria, to the still unremoved
fleets of Sardinia in the Adriatic, to the beleaguering of Austria in
her Venetian dominions, and to the prevention of her employing her
undivided resources in crushing the rebellion in the eastern parts of
her empire; and that I cannot examine the whole foreign policy of
this country without adverting to the events which have happened in
Northern Italy. It was at the beginning of the present session of
Parliament that I had occasion to foretell before your Lordships the
speedy discomfiture of the then monarch of Sardinia by the victorious
troops of Marshal Radetzky. After a temporary success the year before,
his Sardinian Majesty had been repulsed, had been compelled to repass
the Ticino, had been driven to seek protection within the walls of his
own capital, and had only not been pursued within those walls because
his opponents had mercifully abstained from urging their victory
to the utmost, and had preferred the redemption of their pledge of
maintaining the Treaties of Vienna and the settlement of territory
made under them, to the enlargement of their dominions and to the
exaction of security against any repetition of the offence which
they had so signally chastised. The firmest friend of Sardinia,--the
stoutest champion of that distribution of territory to which I have
referred,--my noble friend himself near the wool-sack (the Duke of
Wellington), who completed by his skill in negotiation the still more
glorious triumph of his arms in the field, not one of these parties
could have objected to the Austrians crossing the Ticino, exacting
vengeance from Sardinia, and taking from its monarch, according to
all the laws of war, according to the strict law of nations, ample
security against the repetition of a similar transgression. Marshal
Radetzky, however, acted a merciful part, and was wiser in so doing
than if he had justifiably acted with greater severity. He and his
imperial master showed that they were above all sordid, all selfish
feeling. I only lament that the marshal stopped so short of that
which he had a right to do. An acre of land I would not have taken to
increase the dominions of one sovereign, or to diminish the territory
of the other; but I would have shown the monarch of Sardinia, I would
have shown the world, that it was not from fear, but from magnanimity,
that I had resolved to stop short of the full rights of victory. Then
it was said, 'Oh, but now we shall have peace.' Mediation was talked
of, and mediation was offered--the mediation of Great Britain, of the
success of which I never entertained any hopes. That any great benefit
would arise from such a proceeding, I thought just as unlikely as that
in private life, when two individuals have quarrelled about a disputed
right, had gone to law to ascertain which had the better title, and
one of them had gained a verdict and had entered up judgement, this
winning party would accept an offer to refer all the matters in
dispute to arbitration, just before execution issued. In such a case
the matter in dispute is at an end, and though the party who has lost
the cause may have no objection to such a reference, it will never be
so with the party who has gained it. I therefore told my friend, Sir
H. Ellis, who was appointed to superintend the proceedings of our
mediation, that as the matter in dispute between Austria and Sardinia
was at an end, I did not anticipate that with all his skill he would
have any success as a negotiator in this strange arbitration. 'Oh,'
I was told, 'Austria will abide by it.' Yes, I know that Austria
certainly would, if she submitted to the mediation and perhaps
Sardinia also; but little did I know Sardinian counsels when I said

I stated, however, that very same night, to your Lordships in this
House, that it was my deliberate belief, that before the end of a
few weeks there would be an end of the Sardinian monarchy. On that
occasion I was, indeed, a true prophet. Almost while I was speaking,
the King of Sardinia broke the armistice, again attacked the
Austrians, was again defeated, and then abdicated his crown. That
monarch was much to be blamed for the former part of his conduct, but
was much to be pitied for its close; he was driven on by the fear of a
mob--the most paltry and the most perilous of all fears. He was urged
on to his ruin by the worst of all advisers, those fears. He threw
himself into the hands of the Red Republican party of Paris and of
Turin, and, worse than all, of Genoa; and he has paid, in consequence,
the penalty of giving ear to evil counsellors. Then there was more
of negotiation, although one would have thought that, when Radetzky
stopped in the full career of victory, there would have been an end
of all resistance on the part of Sardinia. The negotiation which then
began has been continued from day to day up to the present hour,
and, if common fame can be trusted, there is less chance now of that
negotiation leading to the pacification of Northern Italy than there
was three or four months ago. I deeply lament this, my Lords. Every
friend of the true policy of England, and every friend of the peace of
Europe, must lament it. I hear it said, our Foreign Office lends its
aid to the delay of peaceful measures in Turin; and I hear it with
wonder, considering what has passed within the last two years. But I
am afraid that there are some natures far too sanguine--some whom no
failure can cure of the most extravagant hopes--who, while they
are sinking, cling to the feeblest straw, and derive hope from the
slightest change, and who, because things are not just as they were
twenty-four hours before, expect that better times are coming, and
hope even against hope itself. I think that what has recently taken
place in Hungary, in Croatia, and in Transylvania, has been the
foundation of the hopes recently entertained by the friends of
Sardinia, and that some parties in England, but still more in Turin,
have conceived expectations that Austria, if these negotiations are
allowed to drag their slow length along, will be frustrated in her
designs of--what? Aggrandizement? Oh, no. If that were all, the
difficulty might easily be removed. For look, my Lords, how the matter
stands. Here is craving ambition on the one side, against a steady
adherence to a pacific policy on the other; here is a desire to
enlarge dominion against the solemn faith of treaties on the one part,
and a resolution not to swerve a hair's breadth from that faith on the
other, even when tempted by aggression the most unjust, and crowned
by success the most absolute and complete. Here is good faith
unsurpassed, almost unexampled moderation in victory, met by incurable
thirst of aggrandizement, and reckless love of change under the most
grievous disaster.

Thus stand the rival powers of Sardinia and Austria opposed to each
other. I hope that I view these matters more gloomily than the real
state of things warrants; but I certainly feel not a little uneasy
when I reflect on the great length to which these negotiations have
been sedulously spun out. And here, my Lords, I must observe, that
this brings me, among many of the views which I now, anticipating
somewhat, have taken of the present state of the Powers, to the
conviction that the various matters now in dispute can only be
settled by some general congress. This would at once close the Turin
Conference. I have before mentioned to your Lordships that the favour
which the Government of England has shown to Sardinia, and the
prejudice against Austria, has exhibited itself--indeed, I may
say, has broken out very conspicuously, in two portions of these
transactions. First, it was displayed in the general difference of the
language used to Austria and to Sardinia. To Austria we have held out
everything short of threat--we have addressed her in language gentle
indeed in outward appearance, but amounting in substance to downright
menace. 'You had better not go', we said, 'into Italy--you had better
not invade any ally of ours--you had better not think of going to
Turin or to Rome, for if you do, we shall consider it a matter
deserving of grave consideration.' That was not the language in which
we addressed the other party. To Austria we were _suaviter in modo,
fortiter in re_. But Sardinia was gently and amicably told, 'If you do
so act, it will be very much against your true interests. It will be
wiser not to do anything of the kind. Pray don't for your own sake.'
But no threat, nor anything like a threat. Sardinia was not told, as
Austria was, that it would be matter of great importance if she budged
a foot out of her own dominions. And all this diversity of treatment,
all this reprimand of Austria, was designed to be made known, and to
gain credit and popularity with the republican rabble. For then came
that proceeding--so ludicrous at once, and so mean, that I have never
read anything like it in the whole course of history. While we were
anxiously advertising to all Europe, and more especially to the rebels
at Milan, and to the red republicans in Paris, that we had held out to
Austria this menace, we had at the very time in our pockets an answer
from Prince Metternich to our menacing dispatch, saying, 'What is the
matter with you? It is not yet the month of November, when the malady
of your gloomy climate prevails, but it is the cheerful month of
September. What ails you? Are you distracted in your brain to talk
of our going to Turin? We have no more thought of going to Turin or
Naples than we have of going to the moon. On the contrary, if any one
presumes to disturb the security of any country, above all to threaten
Sardinia, we will stand by you to defend Sardinia, and to maintain
inviolate with all our forces and all our resources all the
arrangements of the Treaties of Vienna.' Not one word of this answer
from Austria did we suffer to be known while bragging of our threats
to her, threats which assumed her having the design of attacking
Sardinia. Then, when the impropriety of keeping such a document in
your pockets was mooted in this House, my noble friend opposite (Lord
Lansdowne) said, 'Oh, we were ready to give you that dispatch as soon
as you asked for it.' Yes, when I did ask for it I got it; for, on the
18th of last September, my noble friend (Lord Aberdeen) was not at
that time in the House, but in Scotland. I said, 'I have that dispatch
in my hand, and I will read it, every word, if you do not consent to
give it to the public.' _Non constat_ that it would have been given
if I had omitted to give that direct challenge to Her Majesty's
Government. I don't blame my noble friend opposite for all this; he,
good easy man, knew nothing at all about it; he was not instructed;
the Foreign Office let him remain innocent and ignorant; but the sum
and substance of all this is, that every indulgence was extended to
Sardinia, whilst threats, downright threats, were held out to Austria.
Now, for one moment stop to recollect the language which we used
in the dispatch addressed to the Court of Austria on the 11th of
September, 1847. It was as follows:

Any aggression on the rights of independent States will
not be viewed with indifference by Great Britain. The
independence of the Roman States is an essential element
in the political independence of Italy; and no invasion of
that territory can be attempted without leading to consequences
of great gravity and importance.

The answer which we received to that note from Austria was, 'We never
dreamt of any such thing, but are ready at all times to stand by the
integrity of all Italy.' That declaration brings me, my Lords, from
considering the affairs of Northern Italy to the subject of Central
Italy, and more particularly of Rome itself; and I naturally ask, in
the words of my first resolution, whether that full and satisfactory
explanation which we have a right to receive has been given of 'those
recent movements in the Italian States which tend to unsettle the
existing distribution of territory, and to endanger the general peace
of Europe'? First there is the occupation of Ancona by an Austrian
army, then there is the occupation of Bologna by the main force of
another Austrian army. I say nothing of the occupation of Tuscany. I
put Tuscany out of the question, as it is a sort of family estate of
the House of Austria, in which she has a right by treaty to interfere.
But that is not all. There is also in the heart of Italy, in its very
centre, in its capital, an army, not Roman, not Austrian, not Italian,
not composed of its native soldiery, but a French army, consisting
of 40,000 or 50,000 men, and with a park of artillery consisting of
120,000 guns. I crave your pardon, 120 guns. [_Laughter attended this
mistake_.] This army did not fall from the clouds. The troops advanced
on the surface of the earth. The Eternal City was invaded with all the
usual pomp and circumstance of war. Some thousand men with a few guns
were in the first instance sent from Marseilles to Civita Vecchia,
and some explanation was given why they were sent, more or less
satisfactory. But if any man has seen that explanation, stating that a
force of 16,000 men and a strong fleet had been sent to Civita Vecchia
by France, and has been told that the army was to stop there and to
do nothing further, and that their sole object was to rearrange the
balance of power--such was the Government explanation--to adjust
the balance of Europe at that port; if any man, having seen that
explanation, can take it as satisfactory, all I have to say is, that
he is a man very easily satisfied. It does not satisfy me--indeed it
seems very like treating us with contempt to give such explanations.
Be that, however, as it may, the other events which followed, plainly
demanded full explanation. That army, sent in the first instance to
Civita Vecchia, afterwards marched onwards, and in three days arrived
at Rome. What was it doing there? To an unskilled observer, to a
non-military man like myself, who could not tell the difference
between 120,000 and 120 guns, it did look as if it were going to make
an attack upon the Eternal City.

Well, then, there is another question, still more apposite, and in
answer to which I think that we should have had some explanation, and
it is, 'What shall be done, supposing that this army should attack
Rome, and, as is most probable, carry it?' Up to this hour I, for my
part, do not know whether such a question has been put, or, if put,
whether it has received an answer. 'What are the French doing before
Rome, and what will they be doing after they have gained possession of
it?' is the question that should have been put.

To say that they are there for the cause of humanity, or for the sake
of maintaining the balance of power, these are words of which I cannot
understand the connexion with the undenied facts, and with the
march of 40,000 or 50,000 troops with 120 guns, which does require
satisfactory explanation, because such proceedings are not an
adjustment, but a subversion, a destruction of the European balance. I
must forget all that I have ever read of the rights of nations before
I consent to admit that circumstances like these can be allowed to
pass over unnoticed. Here, my Lords, I should be doing injustice to my
own feelings if I did not express my entire admiration of the conduct
of the French army before the walls of Rome. What the French army had
to do there--whether the French Government were entitled to send
it thither--is another matter, and on this men may have different
opinions. Whether or not it was in perfect consistency with the
professions of the new half-fledged French Republic to send an army to
put down another nascent, a newly-hatched republic, whether that step
was in harmony with the views of the statesmen who had ruled France
ever since the unhappy 24th of February--a day which I must ever
consider deplorable for the peace of Europe, for the institutions and
thrones of Europe, and, above all, most unhappy for the improvement
and tranquillity of France itself--whether that step was in strict
keeping with all the professions of all the parties who had been in
power since that event had changed the face of France, and arrested
the progress, the rapid, the uninterrupted progress, to comfort and
happiness which France was making under the constitutional monarchy,
by the development of her prodigious resources--whether it was in
harmony with their professions of peace to send an army to overthrow
the infant Republic of Rome--I will not stop now to inquire. Suffice
it to say, that the assistance of France was invited by the Pope,
as he says in his allocution from Gaeta, but not severally or
distinctly--it was invited in conjunction with that of Austria, Spain,
and Naples; and it is one of the very few criticisms which I am
disposed to make upon the French Government, that the second
difficulty in this question is the manner in which the French army
went alone to Rome when the Pope asked them to come conjointly with
the forces of the other Powers; for it, seemed as if they meant to
anticipate others, and to gain a footing in Rome before the Austrians
could take the field.

But all my unfavourable remarks touching France are now at an end, for
no Government, no army, could have acted more blamelessly--I should
rather say, more admirably--than that French army and its commanders.
In the first place, can any man doubt that they could have taken Rome
long ago if they had not been averse to the effusion of blood? Little
do they know the gallantry of French troops who entertain a contrary
notion. Then they were strongly impressed with the idea that it was
not right the innocent should suffer with the guilty. Again, they felt
that they were not going against the Romans, but against those who had
usurped and exercised an intolerable tyranny over the Romans, properly
so called. They were marching against Mazzini and Garibaldi, that
Garibaldi for whom a noble friend of mine (Lord Howden), whose eulogy
is really praise, bespoke your sympathy so strongly a few evenings
ago. But my noble friend, perhaps, is not aware that this person--a
clever man, undoubtedly, of great military talents--was, like Mazzini,
a professional conspirator; that the object of his first plot was,
like that of a great conspirator in our own country (Guy Fawkes), who
was not, however, quite so popular, to blow up the Royal Family of
Sardinia in the theatre of Genoa; and that the discovery of that
gunpowder plot drove him out in exile, first to Brazil, and afterwards
to the Rio Plata, where he began to act as a partisan, and afterwards
acquired considerable influence. On the breaking out of the last
revolution in France he returned to Europe, and shortly afterwards
agitated the provinces of Italy, repeating in their northern
districts, and in Rome itself, those valorous feats of arms which
gained him reputation in the New World. Mazzini is a man of less
courage, though of great ability, for few men are so bold as
Garibaldi; but Mazzini, in conjunction with Garibaldi, got possession
of Rome, the one eminent for his civil, the other from his military
qualifications. There they established a dictatorship under the name
of a Triumvirate, and disciplined several thousand soldiers, of whom
scarcely one was a native Roman. Among them were Frenchmen, Monte
Videans, Poles, Italians of the north, but Romans few or none.
Therefore it was, I said, that General Oudinot was cautious how he
bombarded Rome, as he could not direct his hostility against one class
of men, and yet entirely spare all. Lastly, my Lords, I cannot shut my
eyes to the merits of the French army, of which all ages must testify
their sense as long as any regard remains among men for the precious
remains of antiquity and for those more inestimable treasures of
modern art which form the pride and glory of the Eternal City. General
Oudinot had carried on the siege of Rome as if he would avoid the
effusion of a single drop of human blood, and as if he were anxious
not to expose the great monuments of art to the injuries of shot and
shell. In this state of things, the delay of the capture took place,
while many at Paris were impatient at the suspension of their triumph,
but whilst many more were anxious that in future ages the French
should not be ranked with the Goths and Vandals of past times; and I
feel that the greatest gratitude is due to the French general and to
the French army for the humane and generous spirit that tempered the
valour which they displayed before Rome. What they are to do now there
is a very different question. I believe that their difficulties are
not yet over. I believe they are only now begun, and that is one
reason why I urge to my noble friend opposite, the propriety of
calling a general congress for the settlement of the disturbed
affairs of Europe. The difficulties of the French army and the French
Government at Rome are so great that an acute people, like that of
France, cannot shut its eyes to them. They must see how little they
have gained even of that for which the Red Republicans of France are
so eager--military glory. If that was the aim of the Paris multitude,
which I more than suspect, of their rulers it could not be the
purpose, unless they yielded up their better judgement to the
influence of the rabble, for assuredly, while exposing them to every
embarrassment in their foreign relations, and augmenting their
financial difficulties, they must have seen that it was an enterprise
in which success could give their country little glory, while failure
must cover it with disgrace. But what signifies to France the loss of
such renown as victory bestows? What to her is the forgoing of one
sprig of laurel more in addition to the accumulated honours of her
victorious career? The multitude of Paris rather than France, the
statesmen of the club and coffee-house, the politicians of the salons,
the reasoners of the Boulevards, may retain their thirst for such
additions, such superfluous additions, to the national fame. The
sounder reasoners, the true statesmen, have, I trust, learnt a better
lesson, and will teach her gallant people to prefer the more virtuous
and more lasting glories of peace.

But whatever the Paris mob, in the drawing-rooms or in the streets,
may have desired, I am confident the Government, if left to itself,
had one object only in view, the rescue of Rome from the usurpation of
a foreign rabble, and restoring the authority of the Pope, whom that
rabble's violence had driven from his States. And here let me say a
word which may not be popular in some quarters, and among some of
my noble friends, upon the separation of the temporal and spiritual
authority of the Pope. My opinion is that it will not do to say the
Pope is all very well as a spiritual prince, but we ought not to
restore his temporal power. That is a short-sighted and I think a
somewhat superficial view of the case. I do not believe it possible
that the Pope could exercise beneficially his spiritual functions if
he had no temporal power. For what would be the consequence? He
would be stripped of all his authority. We are not now in the eighth
century, when the Pope contrived to exist without much secular
authority, or when as Bishop of Rome he exercised very extensive
spiritual authority without corresponding temporal power. The progress
of the one, however, went along with that of the other; and just as
the Pope had extended his temporal dominions by encroachments of his
own, and by gifts like those of Pepin and Charlemagne, the Exarchate
and Pentapolis, uniting the patrimony of St. Peter, and adding to it
little by little until he got a good large slice in Italy, just in
proportion as his temporal authority increased did he attain so
overwhelming influence over the councils of Europe. His temporal
force increased his spiritual authority, because it made him more
independent. Stript of that secular dominion, he would become the
slave now of one Power--then of another--one day the slave of Spain,
another of Austria, another of France, or, worst of all, as the Pope
has recently been, the slave of his own factious and rebellious
subjects. His temporal power is an European question, not a local or a
religious one; and the Pope's authority should be maintained for the
sake of the peace and the interests of Europe. We ourselves have
7,000,000 of Roman Catholic subjects, Austria has 30,000,000, Prussia
has 7,000,000 or 8,000,000. France is a Catholic country, so is
Belgium, so are the peninsulas of Italy and Spain; and how is it
possible to suppose that, unless the Pope has enough temporal
authority to keep him independent of the other European Courts,
jealousies and intrigues will not arise which must reduce him to
a state of dependency, and so enable any one country wielding the
enormous influence of his spiritual authority to foster intrigues,
faction, even rebellion, in the dominions of her rivals? Probably, as
General Oudinot has sent the keys of Rome to the Pope at Gaeta, it is
his intention to restore the temporal authority of the Pope. There are
difficulties in the way of the French General remaining at Rome, the
inhabitants of which naturally do not like to see an army of some
thousands encamped in their town, and there are difficulties in the
way of his leaving Rome; but there is no way so easy of overcoming
those difficulties as a general congress to settle the affairs of
Europe; and I do not consider that a clearer course can lie before
France than to propose it, or that she can find a safer and a more
creditable way out of her present embarrassments in Italy.

I now come to a part of the subject which I have only originally
glanced at, the state of our relations with the southern part of the
Italian peninsula. On the 16th of December, 1847, the noble Lord at
the head of Foreign Affairs (Lord Palmerston) wrote to Lord Minto,
directing him to request an audience

for the purpose of conveying to his Sicilian Majesty the
strongest assurances of the earnest desire of Her Majesty's
Government to maintain, and if possible draw still closer,
the bonds of friendship which have so long united the
Crowns of Great Britain and of the Two Sicilies.

Here, then, the Government were vowing eternal friendship with the
Neapolitan. But, on the 10th of January, there broke out a rebellion
in Sicily, and then 'a change came over the spirit of their dream',
for there appeared no longer the same ardent desire for amity with
Naples, or lamentations that it was not possible to 'draw still closer
the bonds of friendship between the two Governments'. Now came a scene
which I have read in the mass of papers before me with feelings of
very sincere regret. I cannot easily imagine a more imbecile judgement
than presides, or a more mischievous spirit than pervades, the whole
of the diplomatic correspondence, the whole correspondence, not only
of our professional politicians, our Ministers, our Secretaries, our
Consuls, our Deputy-Consuls, but also a new class of political agents,
who appear on the scene, the vice-admirals and captains of ships of
the line, who all seem, in the waters of Sicily, to have been suddenly
transformed, as if by the potent spells of the ancient enchantress
who once presided over that coast, stripped of their natural military
form, if not into the same sort of creatures, whose form she made
men assume, yet into monsters, hideous to behold, mongrel animals,
political sailors, diplomatic vice-admirals, speculative captains of
ships, nautical statesmen, observers, not of the winds and the stars,
but of revolts: leaning towards rebels, instead of hugging the shore;
instead of buffeting the gale, scudding away before the popular
tempest; nay, suggesters of expeditions against the established
Governments of the Allies, with whom their Government lamented it
could not draw the bonds of friendship more closely--a new species,
half naval and half political, whose nature is portentous, in whose
existence I could never have believed. Mr. Temple, a prudent and
experienced Minister, is absent, unfortunately, from his post, and his
place is filled by Lord Napier, a worthy man, and an active, above
all, an active penman, a glib writer if not a great; writing,
not quite, but very nearly as well as the captains and admirals
themselves. We find this gentleman, like them, ardently hoping that
revolt may prosper, and doing his endeavour to realize his desire;
dealing out every sort of suggestion and recommendation, lecturing as
if he sat in the Foreign Office, administering rebukes like a Foreign
Secretary, telling the Neapolitan Government they had better do so and
so; if they did not, it would be the worse for them, and it would be
viewed with 'great gravity'; and yet supposing that no one but himself
was sensitive, for he takes care not to show respect by salutes, and
addresses, and those matters about which monarchs are supposed to
care a great deal; making very free in his, I will not say rude and
unmannerly, but certainly his rough treatment of others, yet all the
while excessively annoyed at the 'tone', as he calls it, of some of
the communications addressed to him. But after carefully studying the
papers, to catch what this offensive tone of the Neapolitan Minister
was, I have found it so evanescent that I really cannot discern it,
and suppose there must be something in the manner, or in Lord Napier's
state of mind at the time, which overset him.

On the 18th of January, 1848, Sir W. Parker, than whom a more able
and gallant officer could not adorn the service, but who cannot be
everything--for there are very few who, like my illustrious friend at
the table (the Duke of Wellington), or my renowned master, under whom
I first served in a diplomatic situation, the late Earl St. Vincent,
are equally great as captains and statesmen--Sir W. Parker wrote to
say that, the rebellion having broke out again, he had given general
orders to the captains of British vessels to afford protection to
individuals of either side who were flying for their political
conduct. It is easily to be seen which of the two sides these
instructions are intended to protect. Sir W. Parker concludes by
saying, 'I shall await with anxiety the result of the outbreak in
Sicily, and the effect it may produce at Naples.' Why, what had Sir
W. Parker to do with that? The truth is, he was in the hope and the
expectation that the rebellion in Sicily would extend across the Faro,
and lead to a rising of the Calabrese upon the neighbouring continent.
In page 352 we have Captain Codrington, a most able officer, no
doubt, giving a long political disquisition, and many speculations,
respecting the rebellion and its effects elsewhere, in which he
predicts a rising in Calabria, and foresees the danger which would
subsequently accrue to the Neapolitan Government. The gallant captain
writes as if he were a soothsayer, sent out to foretell the effect
of the Sicilian force landing in Calabria, in shaking the Neapolitan
throne. Nay, not content with being Minister and Ambassador, as
well as naval officer, the gallant captain must needs act, at least
speculate, as a Secretary of the Treasury, or whipper-in for the
Sicilian Commons; so he proceeds to discuss the returns for the new

'Should the small Sicilian force', says he, 'recently
landed in Calabria--probably under 1,000 men--succeed
in raising the inhabitants of that part of the country
against the present Government, they may be able to
beat the 12,000 Neapolitan troops at present in Calabria,
and then by getting possession of Scylla and Reggio, the
Sicilians will gain the control of the Straits, and ultimately
so distress the citadel of Messina, by cutting off its communication,
as well as by other military operations, as to
bring on its surrender. In the meantime, the character
of the return of members to serve in the coming Parliament,
to meet in the early part of the next month, is adverse to
the present Ministry. In some places, the electors on
meeting have merely made a _proces-verbal_ affirming the
validity of their previous election, and reasserting the
candidates then chosen as their actual representatives; in
others they have proceeded to a new election; but in almost
every case the very same individuals as before have been
returned as members for the Parliament. This gives a
considerable check to the Government, and shows the state
of public opinion in the provinces. If on the meeting of
Parliament the discussions are free, we may expect strong
differences, if not collisions, between the King's Government
and the Parliament, from recent events, from present
difficulties, and above all from the want of experience
of all parties in carrying on public business. If the
Government control the discussions by force or prevent
the meeting of Parliament, or suddenly get rid of it, and
govern the country by means of the army, the provinces
will then be almost sure of rising generally, particularly
Calabria, excited by the Sicilian landing, and then not only
will Messina be gone, but Naples and the throne of Ferdinand
will be in the greatest danger. But if the King's
Government were at present to act with great prudence
and moderation, and if they believe them sincere in it,
there would be no such general rising in the provinces as to
render the Sicilian landing of importance, and then that
small body of men would be crushed by the large Neapolitan
force at present in Calabria. This would put the
King's Government in a far more commanding position
for terms in any future negotiations with Sicily, and probably
put off a final settlement by inducing claims too
exorbitant to be agreed to by Sicily.'

What had Captain Codrington to do with the going out or coming in of
the Ministry? What, in the name of Neptune and Mars, and all deities
having charge of ships of war, had a naval officer to do with the
returns to Parliament, the results of votes in that foreign House of
Commons? Observe, my Lords, the papers are selected out of the mass
of documents at the Foreign Office, and I will venture to assert very
confidently that, besides those which have been produced, there are
half a dozen times as many which the Foreign Office has not produced;
so that if we find anything in these papers showing faults to have
been committed by those who produced them or by their agents, we may
assume that, if the whole of the papers were given, not a few more
faults of the same kind would be found to have been committed.

The noble Lord opposite (Lord Minto) went from Rome to Naples, and if
he had been alone there I should have had greater confidence in the
proceedings of the Government, for I have had long experience of his
good sense, and sound judgement. But the noble Earl had a very active
and zealous man under him; and while wading through this volume I
have often had occasion to reflect upon the wise opinion of Prince
Talleyrand, who used to reckon in diplomacy that zeal in young men is
the next thing to treachery, and that sometimes it is just as bad as
treachery, for the zealous are clothed with the garb of merit, and you
have little hold over them. Well, the zeal, the honest zeal, no doubt,
of Lord Napier, moved my noble kinsman from Rome to Naples. The noble
Earl (Earl Minto) on the 2nd of February, 1848, wrote to the Foreign
Office, that he had been so urged by Lord Napier to go to Naples that
he had resolved to set off. But Lord Napier also tells us that on the
3rd of February he had an interview with the King of the Two Sicilies,
and that he got the King, out of his zeal and his address working with
it, to ask Lord Minto to go to Naples. Well, my noble friend and Lord
Napier, representing the British Government, were decidedly for the
Sicilians and against the Neapolitans. There was no attempt to hold
the balance even between the two parties, but every expression was
used, every proposal made, every captious objection taken in favour
of the Sicilians under pretence of holding even the balance. In that
country my noble kinsman and Lord Napier are what we term in the
language of this country 'Repealers'. They are all for what they call
a native and independent parliament in Sicily, just as the Repealers
are for a native and independent Parliament in College Green. The
noble Lord (Lord Minto) says, in a very vehement manner, that the
sufferings of the people of Sicily under their thirty years' tyranny
were so intolerable that the Sicilians had a much better ground for
their rebellion than we had against James II in 1688. A consul,
writing on the 24th of April, having given most flourishing accounts
of the universal insurrection of the Sicilians (accounts which differ
entirely from those I received from travellers in that country, as
well as from public functionaries), informed Lord Napier that the
Sicilians were going to choose the Grand Duke of Genoa as King of
Sicily. This intelligence was received in London about the 4th or
5th of May. There was not a moment's delay in acting upon the
notification, though it was only a prediction. If we were so very fond
of our Neapolitan allies, if we lamented that we could not draw more
closely the bonds of friendship between the two countries, protesting
all the while our desire to keep the two crowns on the head of
Ferdinand, it is very odd that our Minister should, on the very
instant it was known that the Grand Duke of Genoa was likely to be
chosen, and that the Sicilians intended to dethrone King Ferdinand
namely, on the 8th of May, proceed to give these instructions to my
friend, Mr. Abercrombie:

'Her Majesty's Consul at Palermo having reported that
it is understood that the crown of Sicily is to be offered to
the Duke of Genoa, I have to instruct you that if it should
come to your knowledge that such an offer has been made,
you will state to the Sardinian Government that it is of
course for the Duke of Genoa to determine whether it will
or will not suit him to accept this flattering offer, but that
it might be satisfactory to him to know that if he should
do so he would at the proper time, and when he was in
possession of the Sicilian throne, be acknowledged by Her

Let it be known, said the noble Lord at the head of Foreign Affairs,
that if the Duke of Genoa accepts the offer of the Sicilians, we shall
lose no time in recognizing him, the Grand Duke of Genoa, under
the Treaty of Vienna, as the King of Sicily, and in accepting the
dethronement of our own ancient ally with whom we lament there is no
possibility of 'drawing closer the bonds of our ancient friendship'.
Oh, how easily snapped are the bonds that knit prince to prince, and
State to State! Oh, how feeble the most ancient ties of the firmest
political friendship! When the ink was hardly dry with which the
profession was made of this earnest desire to draw more closely, if it
were but possible, the bonds which united us to the King of the Two
Sicilies, that Her Majesty's Government should, behind his back, and
without a word of notice, avow their intention deliberately, but
instantly, to acknowledge the usurper upon whose head his insurgent
subjects were about to place the crown they had wrested from the brow
of their lawful King! But my noble friend (Lord Minto) is strongly
impressed with the advantages of a free constitution--not, however,
more strongly than I am. Above all the free constitutions of the
world, it is natural that the Sicilians should admire that admirable
form of the purest of all governments, which, uniting the stability
of order with the freedom of a popular constitution, which we happily
enjoy, and upon the possession of which we have reason to pride
ourselves beyond all the other bounties which a gracious Providence
has showered down upon this favoured isle. No wonder the Sicilians
should be prepared to admire and regard with reverence a constitution
which unites in itself the advantages of all other forms of
government, the freedom of democracy, the vigour of monarchy, and the
stability with the peacefulness of aristocracy. If I were to say
that I am niggardly enough to keep this blessing at all hazards to
ourselves, not to desire the extension to others of this happy form of
government, I should do injustice to my own feelings; but if I were to
say I am slow to believe that the British Constitution is of a nature
to be easily exported, and transplanted in other countries, I should
only give vent to the opinions which the wisest have held, and which
every day's experience of foreign affairs tends more deeply to root in
all reflecting minds. The British Constitution is the work of ages,
the slow growth of many centuries, and if it could be transplanted to
countries so totally unprepared for its reception, and there made to
take root, it would be as great a miracle as if we were to take a
mature plant and set it to grow on a stone pavement, or a great wooden
stick, and plant it in a fertile soil, there to bear fruit. The plant
and the soil must be of congenial natures; the constitution must fit
the nation it is to govern. The people must be prepared by their
previous experience, their habits, their second nature, their
political nature, to receive such institutions. I know not that I can
ever sufficiently express the affection I bore to my late noble friend
(Lord W. Bentinck) who, in 1812, instituted in Sicily the experiment
of transplanting thither the British Constitution. But your Lordships
now know from his experience what was the consequence of attempting
to establish our own constitution in another country. A traveller
happened to be in Sicily at the time, and I will read the account he
gave of the solemnity which he witnessed. He is speaking of the most
important of all proceedings under that transplanted system; he is
describing the conduct of the people's chosen representatives; he is
painting the scene of their legislative labours, in the temple of
freedom; he is admitting us to the grand, the noble spectacle of the
most dignified of human assemblies, the popular body making laws for
the nation in the sanctuary of its rights. See, then, this august
picture of a transplanted Parliament. Mr. Hughes says:

'As soon as the President had proposed the subject for
debate, and restored some degree of order from that confusion
of tongues which followed the announcement of the
question, a system of crimination and recrimination was
invariably commenced by the several speakers, accompanied
with such hideous contortions, such bitter taunts,
and such personal invectives, that blows generally followed,
until the Assembly was in an uproar. The President's
voice was unheeded and unheard; the whole House arose;
patriots and antagonists mingled in the fray, and the
ground was covered with the combatants, kicking, biting,
striking, and scratching each other in a true Pancratic

It is to restore this grand political blessing of the 1812 Parliament
that all our late efforts have been pointed. The great object of
our negotiations has been the establishment of such a precious
representative assembly; but the result is, that those efforts have
been all thrown away. The King of Naples was said at that time to have
agreed to certain concessions; he offered the people such terms as our
negotiators thought they ought to have accepted; and, up to that time,
indeed up to this hour, Ferdinand has behaved most fairly. He did not
scruple to make such proposals for conciliation as our own negotiators
thought the insurgents ought to have accepted. But all ended in their
refusal. War broke out. Neapolitan troops were sent over. Messina was
attacked, bombarded, and, after some four or five days, was taken.

Now, to show your Lordships the tendency there was in these
negotiations to take advantage of every circumstance, accidental or
otherwise, for the purpose of blackening the conduct of the Neapolitan
Court, I will only state one particular, and that is with respect to
the continuance of the bombardment. A most indignant denial has been
given to this charge by the general officers and others engaged; and
it turned out that our consuls and vice-consuls, all animated by
the same spirit, all in favour of rebellion and against the lawful
sovereignty, all agreed in one fact as the ground of the charge,--they
all said that eight hours after the resistance had ceased the
bombardment was continued. It might naturally be supposed that, with
this continued bombardment, much blood would be spilt; and when all
our agents are dwelling on this continuance as a cruelty, every reader
must conclude that needless carnage was perpetrated, and much blood
shed. But no such thing; not one drop could be spilt, and why? Because
every creature had left the town before the eight hours had commenced
to run! But the bombardment was continued for two reasons. In the
first place, every house, as in Paris, was a fort; and, secondly,
the Neapolitan commander could not possibly trust the white flag
immediately after he had lost a whole battalion by a false flag being
hoisted to decoy them into ambush, where the ground was mined. But no
single fact of needless cruelty has been proved against the King of
Naples, though I know, from a person attached to our Navy, and in
those seas at that time, whose account I have read, as also from that
of a traveller accidentally on board of one of the Queen's ships
at the time, that there were cruelties of the most disgusting and
revolting description committed by the Sicilians, and not one word of
reference to which can be found in all the curiously selected papers
that load your table. In the mass things are to be found, indeed,
much against the wishes of the selectors, and also of their agents in
Sicily and Naples. This is owing to their clumsy design of telling
what they think will exalt the rebel and damage the loyal party,
without always perceiving that these statements cut more ways
than one. Thus, a number of consuls sign a statement that all
the inhabitants had left Messina. This is contrived to show that
resistance had ceased; but it also proves that no cruelty could be
committed by the bombardment. Again, we are told that 1,500, by one
zealous agent's account, had been slain of the King's troops: but Lord
Napier's hotter zeal is not satisfied with this number, and he makes
it 3,000. The object of putting forward this statement is to exalt the
rebel valour, and give a more formidable aspect to the revolt. But the
zeal in one direction forgets that the same parade of numbers also
shows how necessary severe measures had become on the King's part,
and how little blame could attach to the gallant troops who, thus
assailed, had imposed on them, by the duty of self-defence, the
necessity of quelling so bloody an insurrection.

I have given one sample of the not very even-handed justice which
pervaded the correspondence. But I will proceed further. After the
battle of Messina 700 or 800 rebels escaped towards the Ionian
Islands. They were taken, and it was said by a stratagem: that by
hoisting the English flag a Neapolitan cruiser was enabled to
near them and take them. It was further alleged--and much of the
correspondence is addressed to this point--that they were taken,
contrary to the law of nations, within three miles or cannon-shot of
the Ionian Islands, and therefore within the British waters. Very
elaborate arguments are given in the correspondence to prove
that position, and a great deal of indignation is expressed; and
satisfaction was also demanded on account of the abuse of the English
flag. An elaborate argument is prepared and sent by the Foreign
Secretary to show that because the ships were first seen twenty miles
off, and in half an hour more they were more clearly perceived,
therefore at some unknown and unspecified time after the half hour,
they must have been close in with the shore. I suppose on the
principle that a sailing vessel going without steam, moves at the rate
of twenty or thirty miles in the hour. However, such is this zealous
argument to prove the favourite point that the rebels are always right
and the Government always wrong. Alas! that so much good information
and subtlety of argument should be thrown away. This able and
argumentative paper crossed on its way out another from our own
Admiral on its way homeward, in which he said he had inquired from the
Governor of the Ionian Islands, and had ascertained that the ship
was at least eight miles from the shore--so there was an end of the
argument upon distance; and that of the insult to our flag was as
shortly disposed of by a letter from our own Admiralty, stating that
it was only a stratagem which our own Navy constantly employed, freely
using the flags of other nations for its own purposes.

I rejoice to say, and your Lordships must he rejoiced to hear it, that
I am approaching the end of this subject, but I cannot abstain from
observing, to show how completely we took part with the one side
against the other, that we treated the Sicilian prisoners as if they
had been our allies, our own subjects. They were taken in rebellion,
with arms in their hands, against their lawful Sovereign. But Lord
Napier complains to Prince Cariati of his treatment of the prisoners,
and says it would be observed upon in England, would raise a strong
feeling on its exposure and publication, and that the feeling would be
such that Her Majesty's Government could scarcely fail to take notice
of it. But how? For those prisoners were guilty of municipal offence
against the municipal law of their own country. Suppose, contrary to
all probability and possibility, hostilities had ensued upon the late
attempt at rebellion in Ireland, and some of the prisoners having been
taken and sent to Bermuda or Australia, that the Ministers of France,
Holland, Belgium, or any other country had taken it into their heads
to object to our treatment of those prisoners and to say, 'Don't
treat them in that way. Give them their native Parliament on College
Green--you are acting cruelly in sending them to Bermuda or Australia.
I shall write home to France, I shall write home to Holland, I shall
write home to Belgium; and depend upon it your conduct will raise such
a ferment of execration and hatred against you, that the President of
the Republic, the King of Holland, and the King of Belgium will be
absolutely obliged to take notice of it.' How should we have received
that intimation? I think with a horse-laugh, and there was no reason
why the Neapolitan King should not receive that dispatch of Lord
Napier's in the same way, except that he, no doubt, gave it
good-naturedly a more polite and courteous reception. Now we thus
presume to interfere with the domestic affairs of Naples as neither
France nor Holland would dare interfere with ours, and as we never
durst interfere with theirs. True, we never should dream of urging the
great Republic to treat its rebellious subjects, when charged with
treason, otherwise than as its Government pleased! True, Naples is
a feebler Power than France! But is that all the ground for the
proceeding? Is that all the warrant for reading lectures such as those
we have read, for doing the things we have done, threatening the
things we have threatened, claiming the right we have asserted of
protecting criminals imprisoned for rebellion from the justice of
their lawful Sovereign? I say that to a generous nation, to a manly
feeling heart, to a person of true British honour and true British
gallantry, it is the very reverse of a reason, and makes our conduct
the less excusable as it ought to be the more hateful.

But far from words being all we used, far from interfering by
requisition and remonstrance being all we did, the British diplomacy
and the British Navy were actually compelled to force an armistice
upon the Neapolitan Government on behalf of its revolted subjects,
and when their revolt was nearly quelled! After Messina had been
completely subdued, its forces routed, its walls crumbled, its
strongest place captured, our Admiral, having a fleet in those waters,
was resolved it should not be there for nothing. Hitherto he and his
captains had only expressed sympathy with the insurgents, and hatred
or contempt of their lawful Sovereign. Now that the rebellion was on
the point of being put down, by the capture of Catania and Palermo,
which, but for us, must both have immediately fallen, now that the
last hope of subverting the Throne of Sicily and installing a usurper
on its ruins was about to vanish from the eyes of the British seamen,
our Admiral, acting in concert no doubt with the British envoy, and
inspired with the feelings of our Foreign Office, required a respite
to be allowed the insurgents, and determined to back his requisition
with his ships. But he was not, we must admit, the principal in this
offence against the rights of an independent and friendly State. He
has not the blame to bear, or, if you will, he has not the praise to
receive, of having decided upon this intervention between the King and
his insurgent subjects. The French Admiral was the contriver of the
scheme. Admiral Baudin formed his own determination, doubtless in
order to gratify the mob of Paris, as well as the rebels of Palermo;
and our commander, afraid of being outstripped in his favourite
course, at once yielded to the Frenchman's request, the one looking to
the Boulevards of Paris for approval, the other to the Foreign Office
of London. Orders were issued to all our fleet, that they should use
every means to prevent the Neapolitans from following up their
victory at Messina; and sealed instructions were sent to direct their
proceedings should these peaceable efforts fail. Why not make the
instructions public? Why not give notice openly of our intentions? It
might have prevented the necessity of using force. However, the orders
were sealed, and they directed that first the guns should be fired
without shot; next, that they should be shotted, but not fired so
as to injure the crews of our ally's ships; and, finally, that they
should be used as hostilely and destructively as was necessary to
accomplish the purpose of forcing Naples to let the Sicilian rebels
alone. But then it is said, and it is the pitiful pretext of equal
treatment to both parties, that the orders were alike to prevent
action of the King's troops and the revolters. Was ever there a more
wretched shift, a more hollow pretence, than this? Keep the Sicilians
from breaking an armistice enforced to save them from utter and final
destruction! Keep the beaten Sicilian rebel from overpowering his
victorious masters! Keep the felon convicted from rushing to the
gallows in spite of the respite granted him! Can human wit imagine a
more ridiculous pretext than this, of affecting to hold the balance
even, when you are preventing the conqueror from improving his
victory, and only preventing the vanquished from attempting what
without a miracle he cannot do, cannot, even with all your assistance,
venture to try? But such was our just conduct in an interference which
we had not the shadow of a right to take upon ourselves. We showed our
friendly feelings towards an ancient ally by forcibly screening his
revolted subjects, and compelling him to delay for nearly seven months
the total defeat of those rebels and the complete restoration of
tranquillity. From the 10th of September, when Messina fell, to the
30th of March, when we were kindly pleased to let the armistice
expire, the English fleet persevered in reducing the King to inaction,
and saving his rebellious subjects from the operation of his armies.
But for our own fleet, there is not a doubt that Catania and Palermo
must have fallen in a fortnight, but we nursed, and fostered, and
prolonged the insurrection for above half a year. Talk of your
humanity! Boast of your Admiral and his French associate interposing
to save bloodshed! Whose fault was it that Catania, having profited by
the respite you forced the King to grant, still held out, instead of
opening her gates as soon as Messina had fallen, when the insurrection
must have been crushed in its cradle? Who but your commanders and
envoys are to blame for the necessity under which they placed
the King's troops of fighting a battle on the 6th of April? That
engagement no doubt put down the insurrection; but many lives were
lost in it. Five-and-twenty officers were killed and wounded on the
King's side, and some hundreds of men must likewise have expiated
their loyalty with their lives, to say nothing of the insurgent loss.
Palermo fell without a struggle, after all the boastings of your
envoys and captains, and consuls and vice-consuls. Would she have
resisted more fiercely in September? The insurgent chiefs fled, and
got on board the _Vectis_, one of the two vessels of war which you
suffered the Sicilian rebels to fit out in your ports, when you
refused all help to your ancient friend's ambassador in checking this
outrage on the law of nations, and when by a celebrated 'inadvertence'
you suffered those rebels to obtain from the Tower a supply of arms,
wherewith to fight your ally's armies.

My Lords, I cannot trust myself with the expression of the feelings
which are roused by the whole of the papers, to which I have only
referred occasionally; they are the feelings with which all men of
sound principles and calm judgement will read them all over Europe. I
will refer to them no further than to read the indignant denial which
the veteran General Filangieri, Prince of Satriano, gives to the
charge of cruelty brought against his gallant and loyal army by our
envoys and our consuls, and, I grieve to add, our naval commanders.
(Lord Brougham here read the vehement, and even impassioned, terms
in which the General refutes these foul calumnies, charging him, an
officer of above half a century's service, with suffering his troops
to commit enormities which no military man, of however little
experience in his profession, could have permitted.)

Rely upon it, my Lords, that if anything can make more offensive the
conduct of our agents in fostering revolt, and injuring the lawful
government of our allies, it is the adding foul slander to gross
indiscretion, revenging themselves on those whose valour and conduct
has frustrated their designs, by blackening their characters, and
committing that last act of cruel injustice, calumniating those you
have injured, through your hatred of those to whom you have given good
cause to hate you.

There is, my Lords, but one course for this country to pursue in its
dealings with other States; she must abstain from all interference,
all mischievous meddling with their domestic concerns, and leave them
to support, or to destroy, or to amend their own institutions in
their own way. Let us cherish our own Government, keeping our own
institutions for our own use, but never attempt to force them upon the
rest of the world. We have no such vocation, we have no such duty,
no such right. Above all, we have no right to interfere between
sovereigns and subjects, encouraging them to revolt, and urging
them to revolution, in the vain hope that we may thus better their
condition. Then, in negotiation, let us avoid the same meddling
policy--shall I falsely call it?--the same restless disposition to
serve one State at another's expense; showing favour and dislike
capriciously and alternately, guided by mere individual and personal
feelings, whether towards States or statesmen, displaying groundless
likings for some and groundless hatred for others; one day supporting
this Power in its aggression upon that, and when defeated, justly and
signally defeated, like Sardinia, clinging to the wish that it should
obtain from the victorious party an indemnity for its own foul but
failing aggression. Most of all let us abide by the established policy
of the country towards our old and faithful friends, not Naples
merely, but Austria, whose friendship has been, in all the best times
of our most eminent statesmen, deemed the very corner-stone of our
foreign policy, ever since the era of 1688; above all, since King
William and the Ministers and Government of his successor laid the
foundations of that system. But now I can see in every act done,
almost in every little matter, a rooted prejudice against Austria,
and the interspersing of a few set phrases does little to prevent
any reader from arriving at the same conclusion. 'Our feelings are
friendly towards Austria,' and 'God forbid they should be otherwise!'
I say Amen to that prayer, but when I read the dispatches with the
light shed on them by the acts of our Government, and of all their
agents and Ministers, when by these acts I interpret the fair words
used, I perceive the latter to mean exactly nothing, and that those
expressions which perpetually recur of an opposite kind speak the
true sense of our rulers. But this policy is opposed to the uniform
authority of our greatest statesmen. Even Mr. Fox, who was sometimes
believed to have a leaning towards Russia, from the accidental
transactions of 1791, when charged with undervaluing the Austrian
alliance in comparison, took immediate opportunity earnestly to
disavow any such opinion, and declared that our friendship with
Austria was the grand element of our European system.

My Lords, I have detained you longer than I could have desired; but I
felt it absolutely necessary to give your Lordships an opportunity of
fully considering this momentous subject. That such things as have
been done by the Government in Italy and elsewhere during the last
twelve months, should pass without awakening your attention, and that
your examination of the details should not call down a censure, if
for no other purpose than to warn the Ministers against persisting in
fatal errors, appears to me hardly within the bounds of possibility.
I have, therefore, deemed it my duty to give you an opportunity of
expressing the opinion which I believe a majority of this House holds,
and which I know is that of all well-informed and impartial persons in
every part of the world.


My Lords, I have to lay upon your table, by command of Her Majesty,
the Protocols of the proceedings of the Conference upon the affairs of
Denmark and Germany, which has just been brought to a close. In laying
these papers upon your Lordships' table I propose to follow the course
which was pursued by the Earl of Liverpool in 1823, and I am confident
that in following that example I am pursuing a course which is
perfectly fair to this House and to the country. In that case the
English Government had been carrying on negotiations first at Verona,
the Conference at which place was attended by the Duke of Wellington,
and afterwards at Paris, on the subject of the invasion of Spain.
The Government of that day declared that the invasion of Spain was
contrary to all the principles of English policy, and that it was an
interference which was entirely opposed not only to the sentiments of
this country, but to the settlement of Europe which had been come to
some years before. They, therefore, protested against it, while at the
same time they thought it advisable to preserve peace and declare a
neutrality between this country and France. Upon the present occasion
I have to discuss a question which is of a very intricate nature, and
which for a long time was considered to be one that might go on for
many many years without raising any exciting interest, and which was
almost too complicated and too wearisome to engage much of the public
attention. For the last, year, however, that question has been in a
very different condition.

My Lords, before I refer to the proceedings of the Conference it is
necessary to take some notice of those engagements which have been the
origin of these disputes, though they were intended to put an end to
all differences between Germany and Denmark. Your Lordships are well
aware that in these times it is necessary that a treaty should
not only have the signatures of envoys and the ratifications of
Sovereigns, but that in its working it should be made to accord with
the sentiments and wishes of the people who are to be governed under
it. A remarkable instance of difference in this respect has occurred
with regard to the operation of the Treaty of Vienna of 1815 with
respect to Lombardy, and the operation of the same treaty with
reference to Genoa. Your Lordships are aware that for many years
great discontent prevailed in Lombardy, which was only removed by the
separation of that province from Austria. On the other hand, in Genoa,
by the wise and patriotic conduct of the Kings of Sardinia, all the
objections, all the repugnance, which originally existed in Genoa
against their rule have been finally overcome and removed, and
Piedmont and Genoa are now in perfect harmony. Unfortunately the
Treaty of 1852 in regard to Denmark, and the engagements which
were entered into in the previous year, 1851, with respect to an
arrangement between Germany and Denmark, were in their operation
exceedingly unsatisfactory. It was declared, and has lately been
repeated in the Conference, that an attempt was made by the King of
Denmark, contrary to the engagements of 1852, and contrary also to all
sound policy, to make the people of Schleswig change their national
character, and so to interfere with their churches and schools as to
keep up a perpetual irritation, thereby violating the spirit of the
engagements between Denmark and Germany. How far those accusations
were true as regards the exact letter of those engagements I will not
stop to inquire; but it is quite certain that there was prevailing in
Schleswig great dissatisfaction at the manner in which the Duchies of
Schleswig and Holstein were governed, and that great complaints were
made on that account against the Danish Government. It was for a long
time the public opinion in this country that Germany had no reason
to complain of Denmark as violating her engagements; but I am afraid
that, by an impolitic course at all events, the Danish Government
produced the feeling in Germany that the subjects of the King of
Denmark of the German race were not fairly governed. Oppression there
could not be said to be. The Government was a free Government, and,
generally speaking, the people living under it were prosperous; but
there was in the two Duchies much of that irritation which prevailed
in Belgium previous to its separation from Holland. On the other side,
it must be said that the German Governments, instead of asking that
which might fairly have been demanded--instead of asking that the
engagements should be kept in their spirit, and that arrangements
should be made (which could easily have been devised) to give
satisfaction to the people of the Duchies--made proposals
inconsistent, as it appeared to me, with their engagements, pushing
beyond their legitimate sense the words of those engagements, and
suggested arrangements which, if they had come into operation,
would have made Denmark completely subject to Germany. Among other
proposals--indeed, one of the chief--was that the 900,000 people who
were said to be of German race, and even the 50,000 of the Duchy of
Lauenburg, should have a representation equal to that of the 1,600,000
inhabitants of the kingdom of Denmark. This was evidently so unfair
and calculated to be so destructive of Danish independence and
nationality, that Denmark refused to accede to it. It was, in fact
such a proposal as if Scotland and Ireland were to demand each
an equal number of representatives with England in the Imperial
Parliament. The consequence of these disputes, unfortunately, was,
that instead of the treaty taking root and fully satisfying the wishes
of the people of the Duchies, there was a kind of never-ceasing
irritation which burst forth as occasion arose; and, as Germany was
greatly more powerful than Denmark, it was but too probable that the
latter would have to suffer one day on account of the complaints which
were made by the Germans. It was impossible not to foresee that such
would probably be the consequence, and that the irritation to which I
allude would not go on for ever without exciting great dissension and
perhaps war. Therefore, in September, 1862, when I was at Brussels in
attendance on Her Majesty, I explained to Sir Augustus Paget, who was
shortly about to return to Denmark, a plan of pacification which it
appeared to me would keep the Duchies under the rule of the King of
Denmark; which would be satisfactory to themselves; which would
give them a Minister for Schleswig and a body of representatives; a
Minister for Holstein and a body of representatives, and would thus
put an end for ever to the demand that at Copenhagen there should
sit a majority of representatives for the Duchies. The Danish
Government--as I think unfortunately--utterly rejected that proposal,
and matters went on in the same unsatisfactory state. The diplomatic
correspondence which the British Government proposed should take place
did take place between Germany and Denmark, but it only produced
increased bitterness and further irritation. At length in October,
1863, the German Governments at Frankfort declared that they must
proceed to Federal Execution. If, my Lords, that Federal Execution had
been founded on any infringement of the rights of Holstein--if it had
been founded solely upon the misgovernment of Holstein, or on any
violation of the rights of the Confederation, no Power would, I think,
be entitled to complain of it. It embraced, however, a point which had
nothing to do with Federal rule--the point of an equal representation
at Copenhagen. It was then that the British Government declared that
that could not be a matter of indifference, because it aimed, in fact,
not only at the integrity, but at the independence, of Denmark. Things
remained in this state until the death of the King of Denmark, which
produced an entire alteration in the state of affairs. It was then
contended on behalf of Germany that, after looking closely into some
very intricate questions of representative and hereditary succession,
they were bound to declare that the King of Denmark had no right to
succeed to the Duchies, but that by the law of the Confederation
the Prince of Augustenburg was the proper heir to the throne. This
declaration, adopted almost throughout the whole of Germany,
was received with applause not only by the popular, but by the
Conservative party: by persons of the highest rank as well as by the
general mass of the community; and every Government that pretended to
adhere to the Treaty of 1852 was denounced as recreant to the cause of
Germany. In this state of affairs the Governments of Austria and of
Prussia took a somewhat singular and not very defensible course. In
the beginning they declared in the Diet that, having a majority
in favour of this declaration, they would proceed to Federal
Execution--thereby, to all appearance, making the present King of
Denmark responsible for that which was done by the late King, and
to all intents and purposes, as it would seem, acknowledging his
sovereignty over Holstein. They, at the same time, however, somewhat
privately and without the general knowledge of Europe, declared that
they reserved the question of the succession. It did not appear to the
Danish Government, nor did it appear to Her Majesty's Government,
that Federal Execution could be resisted without increasing the
complications of the position. But, immediately after that took place,
Austria and Prussia declared that they must occupy the Duchy of
Schleswig in order to obtain the fulfilment of the engagements
of 1852. Your Lordships are well aware that shortly before that
declaration the Government of Denmark announced that they were ready
to repeal the Constitution of November, 1863, which was the apparent
ground of the proposed Federal Execution. Unfortunately, they had not
acceded to that proposal when Lord Wodehouse went to Copenhagen, and
when the concession might have been effectual. The German Governments,
in their hurry to go to war, and being evidently determined on going
to war--in the first place in order to gratify the German sentiment
on the subject--took no heed of the proposal which was made by the
British Government, and which was supported by France and Russia, that
a protocol should be signed by the different Governments, binding
Denmark to a repeal of the Constitution of November, and the German
troops of Austria and Prussia entered Schleswig. I think it was
impossible for the British Government to give any advice on this
occasion. It was evidently the invasion of a territory which did not
in any way belong to Germany, and a territory to which according to
our view the King of Denmark had the fullest right. It was said that
it was to be occupied as 'a material guarantee'; but no country is, I
conceive, obliged to submit to an occupation of its territory which
it believes it has the power and right to resist. Your Lordships are
fully aware of the events of the war which subsequently took place. It
resulted, as must naturally be expected, in the defeat of the Danes
and the occupation of the Duchies by an overwhelming force of Austrian
and Prussian troops. That being so, and the Austrian Government having
always said that they were ready to agree to a Conference, and Prussia
assenting to that proposal, Her Majesty's Government proposed that a
Conference should be held. The Danish Government refused an armistice,
but declared themselves ready to enter into a Conference. The Austrian
and Prussian as well as the French Government expressed a wish that it
should be attended by a Plenipotentiary of the German Confederation,
and after some delay one was sent. The Conference was not assembled
regularly until the 25th of April, and some delay then took place with
a view of obtaining, if not an armistice, at least a suspension of
arms for a considerable period. The Danish Government would not agree
to an armistice; but a suspension of arms they did agree to, which was
only to last for the period of four weeks. My Lords, it was difficult
in matters so intricate, and on which passions had been so much
roused, to come to any agreement beforehand; but Her Majesty's
Government thought it their duty to proceed to the Conference, in the
interests of peace, even without any such agreement. On the 12th of
May, after the suspension of arms had been agreed to, I asked the
Austrian and Prussian Governments to declare what it was they asked
for in the interests of peace. Now, be it observed that although
the Prussian Government, and the Austrian Government likewise, had
continually declared that they had certain engagements to insist upon
which had not been fulfilled, they never yet had agreed to specify
what these engagements were which would secure peace, and by which
they would be bound. When Lord Wodehouse went to Berlin on his way
to Copenhagen he endeavoured, according to the instructions he had
received, to obtain some explanations from the Prussian Government
on this point. The Prussian Government replied, 'Let the Danish
Government first repeal the Constitution of November, and we will
afterwards see what arrangement they propose to put in the place of
that; we will judge of that proposal and give our opinion upon it.'
Nothing, I must say, could be less explicit, or a less justification
for the course they were pursuing; because at the same time they were
ready to carry on war to the extremity, to use all their means to
invade Schleswig with all the dreadful consequences, without making a
distinct declaration of their terms. When, however, the Powers were
assembled in Conference, and the Plenipotentiaries of Austria and
Prussia were obliged to meet the Plenipotentiaries of Russia, France,
and Sweden as well as of Great Britain, they found themselves
compelled to make some statement of the terms which they would
require. Be it observed that throughout--even up to the 31st of
January--the two German Governments had declared that they adhered to
the Treaty of London, and the execution and occupation were proofs
that they still adhered to the integrity of the Danish Monarchy. Her
Majesty's Government, therefore, had no reason to suppose that their
proposal would be of a different character. We were told, however,
upon authority so high as to be almost official, that there was an
intention on their part to propose what was called a personal union;
and that personal union was to be of this nature--that the whole Duchy
of Holstein and the whole Duchy of Schleswig were to be united; they
were to have a separate army and navy from those of Denmark; that they
were to have complete self-government; and, in fact, that the King of
Denmark was to have scarcely any influence over the two Duchies. In
one of the last meetings of the Conference, M. Quaade, one of the
Danish Plenipotentiaries, declared that if that personal union had
ever been proposed, it would have been impossible for the Danes to
agree to it. Indeed, it was likely that, with the disposition
which prevailed in Germany, German agitation would have produced a
declaration of separation on the part of the two Duchies, and
German arms would then have supported the Duchies in that wish for
separation. Therefore, though nominally maintaining the integrity of
Denmark, and though nominally adhering to the Treaty of 1852, the
proposition of a personal union would have been, in fact, a separation
of the Duchies from Denmark under a very thin transparent
disguise. That, however, was not the exact proposal of the German
Plenipotentiaries. In the meeting of the 17th of May the first
Plenipotentiary of Prussia declared that--

What the Austrian and Prussian Governments wished
was a pacification which would assure to the Duchies
absolute guarantees against the recurrence of any foreign
oppression, and which, by thus excluding for the future
any subject of dispute, of revolution, and of war, would
guarantee to Germany that security in the North which
she requires in order not to fall again periodically into the
state of affairs which brought on the present war. These
guarantees can only be found in the complete political
independence of the Duchies and their close connexion by
means of common institutions.--_Protocol_, No. 5.

Now, this declaration on the part of the two Powers is not a little
remarkable. Your Lordships will observe the phrase, 'guarantee against
foreign oppression.' That oppression meant the oppression of the
Government of the King of Denmark. But he was Duke of Holstein _de
facto_ and _de jure_, his title had never been disputed, and his
government, if it was oppressive, could only be a domestic oppression.
The two Powers, therefore, of Austria and Prussia, to whom Europe had
a right to look for respect for the faith of treaties, declared at
once that the government of the Danish Duchies was of the nature of a
foreign oppression. At the same time, the declaration 'for a security
against any subject of dispute, war, and revolution', was so ambiguous
that none of the Plenipotentiaries could tell what its meaning was.
The Russian Plenipotentiary said he was quite at a loss to know what
it meant. The French Plenipotentiary followed in the same tone; and
for a long period we were quite unable in the Conference to say what
was really the intention of the two Powers. We asked who was to be the
Sovereign of these two Duchies which were to be thus governed? The
answer of the German Plenipotentiary was that that was a question
to be decided by the Diet. Austria and Prussia, but more especially
Austria, had declared hitherto that the Treaty of 1852 was a question
that was decided--that the late King of Denmark had a right to settle
the succession, and that his decision in favour of Prince Christian,
the present King of Denmark, would be respected by those Powers.
It was equally notorious that the Diet, if it met, would, by a
considerable majority, declare against the title of the King of
Denmark. Count Bernstorff did not deny that, and the Plenipotentiary
of the German Diet declared at once that the majority of the Diet
would never consent to an arrangement which even in an eventual or
conditional form, would sanction a union between the Duchies and
Denmark. Thus, while the two Powers, Austria and Prussia, were in
appearance consenting to the maintenance of the Treaty of 1852,
telling us that the Diet might ultimately decide in favour of the King
of Denmark as the legitimate heir, the German Plenipotentiary, who, in
fact, had greater power than either the Plenipotentiaries of Austria
or Prussia, because they never at any time ventured to oppose that
which he declared to be the will of Germany, declared that Germany
would never consent to the restoration of the Duchies to Denmark.

My Lords, at the next meeting of the Conference, which took place on
the 17th of May, there was a more positive declaration. Austria and
Prussia then declared that they could no longer acknowledge the King
of Denmark as Sovereign of the Duchies; that the whole of the two
Duchies ought to be separated from Denmark and placed under the
sovereignty of the Prince of Augustenburg; that he should be declared
the rightful possessor of the throne of these Duchies, and that that
was a declaration which would be hailed throughout Germany and would
meet the wishes of the German people. Before this declaration was
made, in preparation for such an event, the Plenipotentiaries of the
neutral Powers had met to consider the situation. The Government of
France had had some communication with the Government of this country.
The French Government had declared that they thought the personal
union could not be the foundation of a lasting peace, and that the
only mode of obtaining such a peace would be to separate the Danish
nationalities in the Duchies from the German nationalities. After
these communications I consulted the other neutral Plenipotentiaries,
who met at my private house for the purpose of considering the matter.
We came to the conclusion that it was useless to propose that the two
Duchies should remain under the King of Denmark. It was quite obvious
that unless we had been prepared--I should say all of us prepared--to
carry on a great war for the purpose, after the hostilities which had
taken place, after the declarations which had been made by the German
Powers, if anything like a personal union had been established there
would at once have been a declaration on the part of the Duchies and
on the part of the German Confederation, supported by Austria and
Prussia, that the Prince of Augustenburg was entitled to hold the
Duchies, and that he was the rightful Sovereign; and that if the
Danish troops entered to dispute possession of the Duchies, they would
be opposed by Austria, Prussia, and the whole Confederation. We had
therefore to consider what we could propose which would be most
favourable to Denmark under the circumstances which I have stated
to your Lordships. Of course we could only propose something of
a diplomatic nature, which we thought likely to be accepted. We
accordingly prepared a proposition, which I as President of the
Conference was to submit, and which I was assured would be supported
by the Plenipotentiaries of France and Sweden, and as far as possible
by the Russian Plenipotentiary, though he had not then received
definite instructions. What we proposed was that the King of Denmark
should yield to Germany the Duchy of Holstein and the Southern portion
of the Duchy of Schleswig--that the boundary should be drawn as far as
the Schlei, and should go along by the Dannewerke: that there should
be no menacing fortresses on the boundary; that the German Powers
should not interfere any further or any more in the internal affairs
of Denmark; and that a general guarantee should be given by the
European Powers for the rest of the Danish possessions. With regard to
this proposal, the Danish Plenipotentiaries made a declaration which I
think did that Government the highest honour. They declared that the
King of Denmark had accepted the Crown of that country according to
the Treaty of 1852, thinking that his doing so would tend to the peace
of Europe and to preserve the balance of power; but, as the surrender
of a great part of his territory was now demanded, he was ready
to make that concession, provided that entire independence and
self-government were left to the remainder of his dominions. The King
of Denmark declared he was ready to accept the line of the Schlei as
proposed: and without defining it he declared it was necessary there
should be a military and commercial line drawn for the sake of the
independence of Denmark; and he declared moreover that there should
be an European guarantee for the possession of the remainder of his
territory. The German Governments, while they accepted the proposal
for the partition of Schleswig--while they no longer demanded the
whole of that Duchy--declared that, according to their views, the line
of demarcation must go much further north. They said that the line
must be from Apenrade to Tondern; and that they could not assent to
the line proposed on the part of the neutral Plenipotentiaries. They
declared, at the same time, they were perfectly ready to agree that,
with regard to the territory to be left to the King of Denmark, there
should be no right of interference and no interference whatever with
the independence of Denmark. I confess, my Lords, it appeared to me
that the proposal we submitted was the best arrangement that could be
made. It was not to be expected that those Duchies could be retained
under the nominal sovereignty of the King of Denmark without giving
rise to fresh disputes and fresh complications. It was obvious, also,
that if that sovereignty had been admitted to be vested in the King of
Denmark, there would be constant interference on the part of Germany,
and that interference, which has gone on for the last twelve years,
giving rise to continual disputes, would cause constant contentions in
future. It would be far better that Denmark should have a restricted
territory, with the understanding that in her restricted territory her
own Government should have absolute control, than that she should
be subject to perpetual interference and control on the part of the
German Powers. The French Government more especially took that view.
The French Plenipotentiary declared it had always been the opinion of
his Government that the division of the nationalities was the cause of
all the complications which had taken place, and that nothing could
be settled satisfactorily until there had been a separation of the
nationalities; but he declared in the name of the Emperor, at the same
time, that it was necessary great forbearance should be shown towards
Denmark as the weaker Power; that the part evidently and confessedly
German should be given to the Duchy of Holstein; and with regard to
the mixed districts, as well as the Danish part, they should be left
to Denmark as a means of preserving her independence, and giving her a
mercantile and military line. Unhappily, my Lords, upon this occasion,
as throughout those questions, the German Powers, instead of taking
those views of generosity and forbearance which were urged so well by
the Emperor of the French, determined to insist on what, undoubtedly,
was their right if the right of conquest was the only one to be
considered. They stood on the right of conquest: they stood on the
victory they had gained on the disputed territory; but with respect
to generosity and forbearance towards a Power so disproportionate to
themselves--with respect to a due consideration for the peace of
Europe--with respect to the absence of a desire to rush again into
war in order to retain that which by right of conquest they might
say they had acquired--I should not be treating your Lordships
with sincerity if I said there was any such forbearance, any such
generosity, any such regard for the peace of Europe, manifested on the
part of Austria, Prussia, and the German Confederation. I must say
likewise, my Lords, that there was an assumption which was not
justifiable on the part of Denmark, and in reference to which my
noble friend Lord Clarendon made a clear and pointed statement at a
subsequent meeting of the Conference. The Danish Government considered
that the line which we had proposed in the name of the neutral Powers,
and after consulting the neutral Powers, as a basis of pacification,
was an English proposal--an English proposal by which England was
bound to abide, and which she was bound to maintain at all hazards.
Nothing of the kind, however, was ever stated by the British
Plenipotentiaries; nothing of the kind had Denmark a right to expect.
I did inform the Danish Plenipotentiary, when there was a question of
continuing the Armistice, that I should not propose nor support any
division but the line of the Schlei without the consent of Denmark;
but I never gave him to understand that England would support that
line otherwise than by urging its adoption in conjunction with the
other neutral Powers at the meetings of the Conference. The last
suspension of arms was only for a fortnight, and it remained for us to
consider what should be done--the two parties being obstinately bent
on the maintenance of their different rights--the Germans insisting on
the line from Apenrade to Tondern, and the Danes insisting first
upon a line extending more to the south than that which the British
Plenipotentiary had proposed in the Conference, and afterwards
agreeing to that line, but declaring that they would make no
further concessions. What could be done to bring about an amicable
understanding? In this situation of affairs, knowing that Denmark
would not consent to any other line--indeed, not knowing whether
the German Powers would concede any other line--the Prussian
Plenipotentiary said that he was ready to recommend to his Government
a line which should proceed from the north of Flensburg to Tondern,
but that he was not authorized to propose that line in the name of his
Government. The Austrian Plenipotentiary did not accede at first, but
afterwards said that he would recommend it to the consideration of his
Government. But the Danes at once refused it, and the proposal fell
to the ground. It then remained to be considered whether, without
proposing any other line, some means could not be found by which peace
might still be preserved. We considered that question very anxiously,
and it came to be a subject of reflection whether we could not, even
at the last moment, propose something which might bring the two Powers
to an agreement. It was obvious that many and great difficulties had
to be removed. The King of Denmark was ready to yield a part of
his dominions of which he had been deprived by war. The German
Plenipotentiaries were ready to say that a part of the Duchy of
Schleswig should remain under the rule of the King of Denmark. Both
Powers were ready to accept the proposal that there should be no
interference in future in the internal government of Denmark; and
all the Powers, I think, would have been ready, if there had been
an agreement on other points, to give a guarantee--a European
guarantee--to Denmark, which would have left that Power, indeed,
without any sovereignty over the German population, but still
possessed of an independent territory, and still possessed of a free
and happy Government, not subject to foreign interference. Well, the
question was, whether, there remaining only this line of frontier to
be decided, it could not be arranged in some way to which both Powers
would agree. We thought it possible that in that case the spirit of
the Protocol of Paris might be adopted. The Protocol of Paris said,
that when serious differences arose between any Powers, and there was
danger of those differences being carried to hostilities, the good
offices of a friendly Power might be resorted to, and it appeared

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