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relatif à l'accession au traité Ionien, non encore donnée par la Porte, et au maintien par elle du continent Vénétien dans l'état déjà antérieurement fixé. Je me suis empressé dans le tems de vous donner connoissance des instructions que sous ce second rapport j'avois reçu d'ordre de sa Majesté l’Empereur. Vous n'ignorez pas non plus que j'en ai ajourné l'usage jusqu'à ce que vous-même soyez en position d'entamer et de suivre cet objet près la Porte.”
The latter part of the communication had escaped my memory, nor can I now recall it. But, at all events, the instructions I had received do not bear upon the general question of the four Venetian States, nor authorize me to mention the subject to the Porte, as connected with the cession of Parga. And they are even incompatible with the information which was given me by M. d'Italinsky.
The only solution which I can find for this difficulty is by supposing that, at the time of writing that despatch to M. d'Italinsky, the Court of St. Petersburg invited the British Government to concur in the measure which the Russian Minister here understood and represented to me as actually determined on. However it may be, I have thought this incident sufficiently remarkable to justify my troubling your lordship with an account of it under this form.
I have the honour to be, &c., B. FRERE.
Lord Castlereagh to Lord Clancarty and Lord Stewart.
Cray Farm, August 7, 1816. My dear Lords—After I had in fact closed my despatches to be entrusted to Lord Clanwilliam, Adamberger, the messenger, arrived with the despatches from Vienna and from Frankfort. Having only had time to read the interesting and important communications cursorily over, and unwilling to detain Lord Clanwilliam, I shall state, in the shape of a private letter, addressed to you both jointly, such remarks as
may serve to assist you in any measures you may be called upon to adopt till I am enabled more regularly to reply to these despatches.
I am, upon the whole, extremely well satisfied with their contents, and do full justice to the zeal and ability of those to whom I am indebted for such copious details. I shall, without further preface, trouble you, in the shape of Notes, with such remarks as occur, not feeling it necessary to recall any of the reasoning, which had occurred before the arrival of the messenger, and which you will receive precisely in the shape they had previously taken.
I adhere to my impressions on this point, that the Emperor of Russia will not in the end be found impracticable upon it. Under fine phrases, he will let his beau-frère down as easily as he can. I do not believe that his Imperial Majesty means to make the Grand Duke master of the negociation, nor yet to admit a negociation substantially degré à grg, because, if so, why talk of sacrifices?—exchanges and equivalents would be the proper expressions. The principle of indemnity is claimed in his favour, and the Emperor fairly enough objects to an ultimatum before discussion. He will get for his kinsman as much as he can, and will not very much object to make Austria contribute; but he will not let the negociations fail by the Grand Duke's unreasonableness: and, if this intervention on the part of his Imperial Majesty is well managed by the other Plenipotentiaries, he will make them hear reason at Carlsruhe. It must be impressed upon the Russian Negociator that, if Baden is permitted to take her claims so high, notwithstanding the Treaty of Frankfort, I know of no ground upon which Great Britain can, as a mediator, press Naples to liquidate Prince Eugene's claim. The King was restored without any condition: from Austria he has a guarantee.
The agreement at Vienna, to which, however, we were no parties, may be binding upon the three Powers, who entered into it amongst themselves, but it cannot affect his Sicilian Majesty's rights; and, if the Grand Duke is to be supported by Russia in opposing himself to a final settlement, upon the plea of right, I don't see how we can further press the question with justice upon Naples, except upon the ground of a corresponding and previous indemnity, on the adequacy of which his Sicilian Majesty himself would, in parity of reasoning, be to judge.
NATURE OF INDEMNITY. I see no reason, but the reverse, to alter my opinion on the Fortification question. The opinion of Russia is explicit upon the incompetence of the four Powers to divert this fund from the object to which it has by treaty been assigned. What can be the object, after such a statement, of professing a willingness to concur with the general feeling? Possibly, to throw the refusal upon us—probably to avoid being left alone, in case we gave way—but in neither supposition can it alter our duty, or the propriety of the thing itself. And I even persuade myself that Prince Metternich, after he has made the attempt, which I have no doubt his financiers have compelled him to undertake, will be the first to admit that the British Government have done what was right.
This principle of indemnity once set aside, the reversions and the military defence of the Upper Rhine by Austria may properly be suggested as an alternative. If money must enter into the arrangement, the Treaty of Munich has already decided on whom the charge must fall, namely, upon Austria.
This question seems at present to languish at Naples, but the Austrian instruction will give a useful impulse. Our
Algerine measure, if successful, will facilitate, if the whole is not thwarted by an undue indulgence to other Powers; but it must always be kept in view at Frankfort, and pressed upon our Allies, that, if things stand still on the Baden point, the motive for pressing the other fails.
LUCCA. I agree with the Russian reasoning that, to mix this question with the settlement now pending is to throw the whole loose, and to expose it to interminable delay. It would be both unfair and unwise to take Spain and the Queen of Etruria too abruptly at their word upon this point, and apply these indemnities to other objects. Such a course would be peculiarly hazardous for Austria, unless she was sure of maritime support; and it becomes those Powers to whom she would look for support in such a case to use due precautions to obviate such an occurrence as naval reprisals on the part of Spain against that Power.
I had intended to write fully to Vienna on this point by the present conveyance, having received from the Chevalier Labrador, through Sir Charles Stuart, a proposal that the Queen of Etruria will accept of Lucca, &c., but upon conditions, to which I foresee very obvious objections on the part of Austria ; but still it shows a disposition to treat, which, for the security of her possessions in Italy, it is not the interest of Austria to preclude. The possibility, however, that she may, in the negociations, plead her European titlebut enough of this at present ! the subject being extensive, and Sir C. Stuart's despatch by some accident mislaid.
Upon the course to be given to a final measure upon this subject, the Russian suggestion appears to me framed in a proper temper of forbearance and moderation ; and, after the Spanish Government has been made properly to feel and understand the question, it may be very necessary to have recourse to some categorical démarche of this nature.
SEPARATING THE NEGOCIATION ON THE BADEN AND BEAUHARNOIS POINTS FROM THE OTHER TERRITORIAL ARRANGEMENTS.
When this idea was first stated to me by Prince Esterhazy, my first impression was not unfavourable (if the other Powers were agreed) to the closing the business at Frankfort with this limited reserve; but the more I have reflected upon it, and especially after conversing with Lieven, the more inexpedient as well as impracticable the proposal has appeared to me—so much so, that I desired to see Prince Esterhazy a second time on the same day he first mentioned the subject to me, for the purpose of stating the objections that had occurred, adding my belief that Russia would not agree to it.
My present impression is, that to separate them would rather augment our difficulties, and that the parties would become more difficult to deal with, if they could pertinaciously resist, without producing that extent of inconvenience which now urges forward the general settlement.
INTELLIGENCE FROM RUSSIA. The communications received are undoubtedly extremely interesting and sufficiently develop the impulses of various kinds which are operating upon the Emperor's policy ; but they do not alter former probabilities, nor affect the course we are pursuing; they rather augment the motives for preventing external incidents from coming in aid of the tendencies of Russia to become an offensive and conquering State; and my opinion still is that, with proper management, the Emperor's particular character may be made in itself an instrument for neutralizing and counteracting the danger with which that State abounds; but, in this respect, whatever may be the issue—and prophecy in politics is a very idle occupation-sure I am that the policy of Europe towards the Emperor is clear; which is all that can rationally deserve attention at the present moment.