« PrécédentContinuer »
[It will have been seen in the above Despatch that England expresses deep anxiety for the welfare and happiness of a Prince, instead of standing forward to maintain the constitutional principle, which must have been an effectual check upon that Prince, which he had taken an oath to observe, and on the faith of which oath alone we consented to his proceeding to Lisbon.
It only remains for us to add a Despatch of the Earl of Aberdeen to the Marquis de Barbacena, in reply to a demand that Great Britain should, according to the stipulations of existing treaties, grant assistance to Donna Maria da Gloria to take possession of her kingdom.
In this Despatch the British Government endeavours to prove that England gave no guarantee against the effect of Don Miguel's conduct.
What must not be the enthusiasm of Russian agents at seeing England reduced to such shifts as these?]
THE EARL OF ABERDEEN TO THE MARQUIS DE
Foreign Office, 4th February, 1829.
THE undersigned, &c. thinks it unnecessary to repeat the statements which he has already had the honour of addressing to the Marquis de Barbacena, &c. in reply to the arguments brought forward by his Excellency, with the view of establishing the claim of her Most Faithful Majesty, under the existing treaties between Great Britain and Portugal, to receive from the King his master those effectual succours which may be necessary for the conquest of her kingdom. For although these arguments have been again adduced by the Marquis de Barbacena, in the note dated on the 27th of January, which the undersigned has had the honour to receive, yet as, in the judgment of the undersigned, they have been already fully disproved, he is content to leave the result of the discussion to the deliberate reflection of the Marquis de Barbacena himself.
It may be maintained that the stipulations of the treaties existing between the two Crowns give no right to claim the succour in question. It may be contended, with equal justice, that the conduct of the Infant Don Miguel, since his return to Lisbon, can afford no valid grounds for imposing upon Great Britain the obligation of complying with the demands of the Marquis de Barbacena.
Had it been the object of the Marquis de Barbacena's note to describe that conduct, and to awaken the resentment of his Majesty, the task, although perhaps superfluous, would not have been difficult, for, in point of fact, his Majesty had already evinced his displeasure, in the most grave and unequivocal manner, without having recourse to the extremity of war. His Majesty resented the conduct of the Infant precisely in the same manner as the Emperor Don Pedro himself, who maintains a commercial intercourse between the sub
jects of Portugal and Brazil, although his diplomatic relations with the Portuguese Government have ceased.
But the question for his Majesty's Government to consider is, not the degree of reprobation which may be due to the measures adopted by Don Miguel, but, whether or not, it can be truly asserted, that his Majesty has given any guarantee against the effects of the misconduct in question. Upon this subject the undersigned entertains no doubt whatever, and the absence of any such guarantee is a sufficient answer to the remonstrance of the Marquis de Barbacena.
The Marquis de Barbacena, probably feeling that neither the stipulations of existing treaties, nor the conduct of this misguided Prince, afford his Excellency any real grounds for demanding from his Majesty succours, of the nature to which he has referred, now proposes that his Majesty should enter into a new treaty with the Emperor of Brazil, expressly for the purpose of effecting the con quest of Portugal. To this proposition his Majesty's servants can by no means advise his Majesty to accede. Such a course, which has not been sanctioned by existing treaties, would, if adopted under present circumstances, be both imprudent and unjustifiable. It is clear to the undersigned that to enter into a treaty with Brazil, as proposed by the Marquis de Barbacena, would be, in point of fact, to throw the whole burden of the conquest on the King his master, while the Emperor Don Pedro would be the nominal principal in the war. The King's servants cannot but foresee likewise that their acquiescence in the proposal of the Marquis, sooner or later, might but too probably involve all Europe in a war, a misfortune which, as it is the greatest they are able to contemplate, they are determined to avert by every means in their power.
The prosperity of Portugal and of the House of Braganza being objects constantly near the heart of his Majesty, no time was suffered to elapse after the disappointment of his Majesty's hopes by the conduct of Don Miguel, before his Majesty sent his ambassador to the Court of Rio de Janeiro, furnished with instructions, which the circumstances of the case appeared to demand, and which might have been effectual in producing a reconciliation between the Em
peror Don Pedro and his brother. It is not necessary for the undersigned to inquire at present into the motives which have induced his Imperial Majesty to desire to transfer the seat of this negotiation from Rio de Janeiro to London, but the undersigned learns with sincere pleasure that the Marquis de Barbacena is invested with full powers and instructions which may enable him to bring the points at issue to a speedy termination.
The obstacles which have been opposed by the conduct of the Infant Don Miguel to the completion of those measures which originated with the Emperor Don Pedro, regarding the future sovereignty of Portugal, are not, in the opinion of his Majesty's Government, so great as to preclude the possibility of their being surmounted by friendly negotiation. Propositions modified by the force of circumstances, but formed upon principles of reconciliation and peace, are such as his Majesty will most approve in any attempt to terminate these unfortunate differences.
The undersigned is ready and impatient to confer with the Marquis de Barbacena upon the important interests with which his Excellency is charged, and to co-operate with him in the endeavour to effect an arrangement, which may restore tranquillity and happiness to Portugal, and fulfil, as far as may be possible, the just expectation of his Imperial Master.
The Marquis de Barbacena.
The undersigned, &c.
PRECIS OF THE DEBATE ON THE AGGRESSIONS OF RUSSIA, APRIL 20.
MR. PATRICK STEWART stated that his motion amounted in substance to the prayer of the two petitions which had just been laid on the table. The discussion which had already taken place this session, on the motions of Lord Dudley Stuart and Sir Stratford Canning, with regard to the aggressive policy of Russia, had only led to further acts of wanton hostility towards our political and mercantile interests, to fresh aggressions on the Poles, and also to interruptions of our commerce in the Black Sea. The question was one of the highest importance; it involved the existence of some of the states of Europe, the independence of others, and the honour of all. After proving the violation by Russia of the treaty of Vienna, and the consequent breach of faith with the seven powers of Europe who signed that treaty, by destroying the freedom of commerce and the constitutional rights expressly secured to the kingdom of Poland, he drew the attention of the House to the importance of our trade with Turkey, a trade which so far as Turkey was concerned, had ever been conducted with a spirit of the most perfect liberality-most fully in that spirit which he doubted not would be found in exact accordance with the views of his Right Hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade. It was perfectly amazing how any British Government could be insensible to the importance of Turkey as an outlet for the manufactured produce of England. He would lay before the House a few short statements relating to the period between 1827 and 1834. The total cotton manufactures exported from the United Kingdom in 1834, amounted to 355,793,809 yards, valued at £14,157,352. of which Turkey took 28,621,490 yards, and paid £828,245. He should now beg the attention of Hon. Members to a comparative statement of the value of shipments of British manufactures to Russia and Turkey, which he begged to read, and as it had been prepared most carefully from authentic sources, he could answer for its accuracy:—
1827. To Russia £1,408,970. Turkey, £531,704.-of which for twist £933,204.-ditto, Turkey, £39,694.
1834.-To Russia, £1,382,309. Turkey, £1,207,941.-of which for twist, £1,037,533.-ditto, Turkey, £109,723.
So that our export trade to Russia had declined 13 per cent. whilst with Turkey it had increased 100 per cent. and more, and was rapidly increasing.