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ing may have tended to preserve order at Lisbon, it furnished the insurgents at Oporto with a new excuse for revolt. The insurrection spread; the partisans of Dom Miguel joined the insurgents, and a war of parties became a war of dynasties." Powerless to suppress the revolt, the Queen of Portugal appealed to the nations which had signed the treaty of 1834 to intervene in her favour, and the English Court desired to give her material assistance. Lord John took the matter into his own hands, and drew up a memorandum, which he enclosed in the following note to Lord Palmerston — March 29, 1847.
My dear Palmerston, The Queen is very anxious for our intervention. I have drawn up the enclosed sketch of what we might do. At all events, Moncorvo, Isturitz, and Ste. Aulaire * are entitled to an answer. We may mention the subject to-day, and bring it regularly before the Cabinet to-morrow. One of the main difficulties is that we cannot trust Saldanha, and the Queen has no other general. Yours,
J. R. The memorandum was as follows:—
The French Government have received, as well as ourselves, a representation from the Minister of Portugal, urging the fulfilment of the Quadruple Treaty by forcible interference on the part of England, France, and Spain, against the Junta of Oporto. The French Government admit the justice of this representation, and ask us to communicate our opinion to them. The Quadruple Treaty in its terms and purport, as the preamble shows, was a temporary treaty, applied first for the purpose of driving Don Carlos and Dom Miguel from Portugal, and afterwards, by a subsequent convention, for the purpose of subduing the Carlist insurrection in Spain. These objects having been accomplished, the Quadruple Treaty has received its literal fulfilment. But it may be said that the spirit of the treaty may be invoked for the purpose of quelling Miguelite insurrection in Portugal and Carlist insurrection in Spain. The Queen's Government have shown themselves ready to adopt this view of the case, and instructions in conformity with it were given to Mr. Bulwer very lately. But, in order to apply the spirit
* I am repeating language which I have used before (History of England,
of a treaty which has expired, the circumstances must be similar,
But the despotism of Marshal Saldanha is not an object so dear to Great Britain that the English navy should be employed to support it.
Whatever may be hereafter the case, therefore, and however much her Majesty's Ministers may lament the disorder and impending ruin of Portugal, there is at present no case for interference either by the letter or the spirit of the Quadruple Treaty."
The Cabinet met at the end of March and considered this excellent memorandum. Guided by the advice which it contained, they decided on advising the Queen of Portugal to grant a full and general amnesty, to revoke all the decrees issued since the coup d'état, to convene the Cortes at the earliest possible opportunity, and to compose a Ministry of moderate men ; and, thus creating the conditions which Lord John had enumerated as essential, call out the northern rebels to return to their allegiance. If the Junta should yield on these conditions, the Cabinet declared that Great Britain would see that they were fulfilled with good faith. If, on the contrary, they were refused by the Junta, “the British Government would concert with the Governments of France and of Spain the best means of affording effectual assistance to the Queen of Portugal.”
The advisers of Donna Maria with some reluctance and after some hesitation assented to these terms. The insurgents at Oporto refused to comply with them ; and the
* During the discussion on the affairs of Portugal an incident occurred which ought perhaps to be mentioned. Lord Palmerston, upon the advice of the Queen's Advocate, directed Sir H. Seymour to claim an indemnity of Ioos. from the Portuguese Government for a Mr. Croft illegally imprisoned at Lisbon. Sir H. Seymour, in a despatch of April 3, 1847, demurred to this policy, stating his reasons against it, and these reasons Lord Palmerston thought bad and insufficient. He accordingly drafted a despatch directing Sir H. Seymour to carry out his orders. This despatch was sent to the Queen, who in the meanwhile had read Sir H. Seymour's letter, and had stated, in a pencil memorandum, that his conduct should be approved. Lord Palmerston, writing to Lord John on April 19, 1847, asked him to ascertain whether the Queen had read his draft despatch before she had written her memorandum, as in that case, since he could not take upon himself the responsibility of approving Sir H. Seymour's conduct, there was nothing left for him but humbly to request her Majesty to accept his resignation.
* Parliamentary Papers relating to Portugal, p. 239. The student would do well to compare the despatch and Lord John's Memorandum with Lord Palmerston's Memorandum in his Life by Mr. Ashley, ii. 20.
Government accordingly proceeded, in concert with France and Spain, to draw up an agreement' for forcibly terminating the insurrection. This decision very nearly brought Lord John's Government to an abrupt conclusion. Conservatives and Radicals, opposed to one another on most matters, were agreed in condemning the Portuguese policy of the Administration. Lord Stanley in one House, Mr. Hume in the other, proposed motions censuring its conduct; and Lord John made up his mind, if he were defeated, to retire from office. But the debates were destined to have a very different result. Mr. Hume overstated his case by declaring that the Whig Government of Lord Grey had been formed on the principle of non-intervention. Whatever merit or demerit may attach to Whig foreign policy, there can be no doubt that no Foreign Minister has ever displayed more desire to interfere than the Whig Foreign Minister Lord Palmerston; and Lord John, who spoke early in the debate, had no difficulty in showing that intervention in the affairs of other countries had been practised not only by Lord Castlereagh and the Duke of Wellington, but by Mr. Canning and Lord Grey. As the debate proceeded, the critics of the Government on both sides of the House saw to their dismay that their chances of victory were decreasing; and on the third night, when most of the Ministers had temporarily repaired to the House of Lords to listen to Lord Stanley, Lord George Bentinck managed to get the House of Commons counted out. This ridiculous termination of the onslaught in one House led indirectly to its abrupt ending in the other. Lord John let it be understood that, though he would have submitted to defeat in the Lords if he had been backed by a majority in the Commons, he could not tolerate a reverse in one House untempered by the approval of the other. This hint settled the question. The Peers, willing enough to give Lord Stanley a triumph, were not willing to provoke a Ministerial crisis. Lord Stanley's motion was brought to a sudden conclusion, and the Government found itself in a majority of nineteen. One good result indirectly ensued from the controversy respecting Portugal. France and England, bitterly estranged * Parliamentary Papers relating to Portugal, p. 362.
in 1846 on the subject of the Spanish marriages, were again drawn together, or at any rate found it possible to act with one another for a common object. But this concurrence of opinion did not at once terminate their mutual jealousy. Many people in France thought that England could not be trusted to pursue an honourable course on any subject which affected French interests; many sober-minded English citizens believed that the French were meditating the invasion and conquest of England. The acrimonious feelings which unfortunately thus prevailed had been originally fanned into heat by Lord Palmerston's policy in 1840; and, though Lord Aberdeen's career at the Foreign Office from 1841 to 1846 had done much to cool the flame, on at least two occasions during this period questions had been raised which under other guidance might have led to war. The first of these was on the affair of Tahiti; the second grew out of the appointment of the Prince de Joinville, one of Louis Philippe's sons, and the author of a very warlike pamphlet, to the command of a French fleet on the coast of Morocco. It is not generally known, but there is the highest authority for saying, that there was a difference of opinion in Sir Robert Peel's Cabinet on our relations with France in the autumn of 1845: that Lord Aberdeen, perceiving that the Prime Minister's opinion of France had undergone an entire change, proposed that he should retire ; and that, though Sir Robert Peel refused his proffered resignation, he declared that the French King and the French Ministers were so beset by the clamour of the French press that he could place no confidence in the ability of either of them to act on their own pacific and friendly inclinations. It would have been hardly possible for a Prime Minister who expressed such an opinion to have avoided considering what means were available for the defence of England in the case of war. During the first four years of Sir R. Peel's Government, the Duke of Wellington had constantly drawn attention to the necessity for fresh defences; but Sir Robert, engrossed in questions of commercial policy, had paid little or no attention to the Duke's wishes. On September 10, 1845, the Duke reverted to the matter in a more formidable memorandum.