« PreviousContinue »
bring into view the Austrian policy in any of those documents, which we might possibly deem it necessary to bring before Parliament, in case we should be obliged to produce papers. The line we take is also, I persuade myself, the most convenient to his Court, provided the Neapolitan Government will manage so far wisely and liberally as not to force upon us an interference which we really wish to avoid.
Ever, my dear Charles, &c, Castlereagh.
Lord Castlereagh to Lord Clancarty.
Foreign Office, September 6, 1816.
My dear Clancarty—From your private letter, coupled with some other information that has reached me, I have reason to believe that Pfeffel, the Bavarian Minister here, may mislead his Court upon the projet you mention, and which Rechberg brought forward to you for still effectuating a contiguity in the Bavarian provinces. Pfeffel communicated this projet to me some time since. I told him I could enter into no discussion on its merits here, and could only receive it and forward it to you, which I have some reason to think, in the hurry of business, and taking it for granted it would reach you from the Bavarian Minister on the spot, I may have forgot to do.
Pfeffel afterwards carried his projet to Prince Leopold, who, wishing thereby to assist his brother's exchanges, forwarded it to me with a request that I would promote it as far as I properly could, as a means to assist the Duke of Coburg's interests. In my answer, I told his Serene Highness he might rely on your doing everything you could to serve his brother, of which you had already given proofs, and that you had my directions to do so. This answer having been shown to Pfeffel, he interprets it, as I understand, into a support of his projet, instead of the Duke's interests. You will at once see the distinction; and if they quote my letter, you will say that you have instructions to promote, as far as you can, the Duke's
VOL,. XI. V
interests, but that upon the practicability of the Bavarian projet no opinion was expressed; but, on the contrary, M. Pfeffel was informed that it could alone be judged of at Frankfort.
However much I should wish to render a service to the Bavarian Government, and to see their territory consolidated, I quite agree with you that we must not throw loose the negociation in search of unattainable objects. This projet is framed upon the supposition of adequate indemnities being forthcoming to reconcile Bajlen to these further sacrifices. Amongst others, they count upon the fortification money and the Neapolitan funds: the first is negatived, whilst the second is yet at sea, and, if obtained, is, as the Emperor of Russia not unnaturally requests, to go to Beauharnois, in the first instance, and not to Bavaria. The indemnities, therefore, are nowhere to be found for effectuating so extensive a cession, unless Bavaria can herself furnish them.
I have troubled you with this explanation, that this little intrigue here may be productive of no complications at Frankfort. You will, I have no doubt, find it easy to check any false hope on the part of the Bavarians, doing justice, at the same time, to the friendly disposition the Prince Regent feels to promote their interests; taking care at the same time to leave Prince Leopold as much in favour with them as you
Ever faithfully yours, Castlereagh.
PS. Perhaps it may be advisable to send Charles a copy
of this letter, lest the Bavarians may be working at Vienna
upon this false interpretation.
Lord Castlereagh to the Duke of Wellington.
London, September 6, 1816. My dear Lord—I am very much obliged to you for your Memorandum on Spanish affairs. I send you a copy of my letter to Vienna on this subject. You will see I have gone as far as I well could to carry the point of the reversion for Spain. If Austria declines or hesitates, I am clear Spain ought to accede, notwithstanding, to both treaties, by which she will secure much, and, in fact, lose nothing, as the reversion remains equally open to future negociation. Her holding off, so far from operating in favour of her object, may create an expectation that Lucca, &c, by her obstinacy, may also become disposable, and thus both possessions pass into other hands.
I have told Fernan Nunez how the case now stands, and that we have done our best to settle the point in their favour. I have also given him my opinion as to the line his Court should pursue in either alternative, which is not to hesitate in giving their accession; but whilst we have thus endeavoured to serve Spain, we must not be understood to be committed beyond the present time, with respect to the reversion of the Duchies; not that we have any present intention of giving another destination to it, and certainly see serious objections to its going to the little Buonaparte; but, in all such cases, it is right to preserve our free agency; and there certainly is no motive for pledging ourselves blindly to such a Government as that of Spain on any question, without reference to combinations and circumstances, to which the future may give birth, if the Allies cannot at the present moment be brought to agree in closing the question as we have proposed.
I have only to-day received your confidential letter from Paris of the 31st ult. I am not aware of the cause of this delay; possibly the late gales have obstructed the passage. I send you a copy of my letter to Sir Charles Stuart, in reply to his on the reduction of the Allied force in France, in which I have placed the question as we agreed. I rather incline to think that, to give the French Government the full advantage of this measure in point of influence, the Duke de Richelieu ought to address himself officially to the Allied Ministers without delay, and that they, giving as much hope as their instructions will permit, as to the future, snould, upon conference with you, adjourn the final decision of the question till after the Chambers shall have taken their measures for the service of the ensuing year. This will keep you free, and put the French Government in a situation to make the new Assembly feel that the prospect of relief depends upon themselves.
I am not able to judge of the probable success of the intended measure of Parliamentary Reform. It certainly is a bold measure, but it is not necessarily wrong on that account. It seems necessary for the King and his Ministers to do something decisive to acquire the means of going on, and I don't know that any more feasible course presents itself.
I shall neglect no means to awaken the Government of the
Netherlands to the danger, I should rather say the ruin, they
will sooner or later bring upon themselves, if they do not ceaso
in time to make their press and their territory the instruments
of general mischief. We may offend by our constitutional
license, because we have the sea for our frontier; but such a
State as the Netherlands will never be tolerated in doing so; I
quite agree with you, however, that Prince Metternich's
despatch on this question is very ill-considered, and that
the Allied Ministers must be very cautious of obeying his
I am, &c, Castlereagh.
Mr. G. W. Chad to Lord Castlereagh.
The Hague, September 9, 1816. My Lord—I understand from M. de la Tour du Pin that he has addressed a very strong note to M. de Nagell on the subject of the Belgian press, and that his Excellency has in consequence informed the French Minister that the project of a law to restrain the license of which complaint is made will be submitted on Wednesday next to the Council of Ministers.
The punishment proposed to be inflicted on persons convicted of a libel is public whipping and branding with a hot iron. The severity of this enactment is, in the opinion of M. de la Tour du Pin, likely to defeat the object, and to cause the proposed law to be rejected by the States-General. An enactment of the same nature as the Alien Bill was suggested by the French Minister, as a more effective and less objectionable measure; but it is said that, as such a law would be an infraction of the 4th Article of the Constitution, the King has declared his repugnance to a measure which his Majesty considers as a violation of his coronation oath.
I have the honour to be, &c, G. W. CHAD.
Count Fernan-NuTiez to Lord Castlereagh.
Londres, ce 11 Septembre, 1816.
Mon cher Lord Castlereagh—À la suite de la conversation que j'ai eu avec vous Dimanche dernier, je ne peux vous donner une plus grande preuve de ma confiance, ainsi que des sentimens du Roy mon maître qu'en vous envoyant la traduction des dernières dépêches que j'ai reçu du Cabinet par la voie du Secrétaire des Affaires Etrangères.
"Le Gouvernement Britannique doit être persuadé que l'Espagne, étant forte, ne succombera jamais à l'influence d'un puissant voisin (comme la France) qui le sera toujours, malgré ses derniers revers, puisqu'elle conserve la richese du sol, de la population, des lumières, l'industrie, son armée, sa marine, sa position géographique, &c L'union de l'Espagne avec l'Angleterre est celle de deux Puissances qui ont un ennemi commun, puisque ennemi et voisin sont synonymes.
"L'intérêt propre de l'Espagne l'unit aussi bien que la politique à l'Angleterre, car l'Espagne, ayant des colonies, elle doit servir de marché aux manufactures Anglaises, n'en ayant point des nationales, ni ne pouvant en avoir même dans plusieurs années. Si elle doit les conserver et le gouverner, elle a besoin d'une très-forte marine, pour correspondre avec elles;