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what were and are the correct principles of the British Government:
*We only admit of such measures as are proposed in countries which have proved their substantial capacity to maintain an independent existence, to establish a national Government, to control their military and naval forces, and to be answerable to other states for the observance of the law of nations and the duties that law imposes. We can only, in a word, recognise what exists. In Spanish America we have recognised no State in which the authority of the mother-country was not already quite extinct, and which had not established for itself a form of government with which we could treat.'
The Duke of Wellington expressly declared, in a letter to Capo d'Istria of October 12, 1827, that the object of the Protocol signed by his Grace at Petersburg was to maintain the peace of Europe more than to advance the interests of Greece; he repudiated the coercive measures which were annexed to it by the Treaty of July, since they were measures of war; and he added emphatically : “Il est difficile et même • impossible de prévoir les conséquences de cette guerre; mais . moi, l'individu qui ai été le négociateur du Protocole du mois d'Avril 1826, je dois protester contre l'idée que cette guerre, ou ses conséquences, soient les conséquences légitimes de cet acte.'. The circumstances which altered the situation were the introduction of the Egyptian fleet and army into the Morea, and the barbarous designs attributed to Ibra him Pasha-designs which the Allied Powers were resolved to prevent. But the utility of referring to these occurrences at the present moment, and the lesson to be drawn from them, consist in this—that our attempts to come to an understanding with Russia on these questions have all begun by a Protocol of apparently a pacific character, and have ended by a demand for measures of war. There is, in short, this radical difference between the policy of Great Britain and Russia, that we have entered into these arrangements with the single purpose of preventing war, and Russia has entered into them for the purpose of drawing us into war, or at least of disarming our opposition to her own policy of aggression.
So, too, it may be pointed out that every one of the diplomatic campaigns opened by Russia from the Treaty of Bucharest in 1812 to the present day--Alexander's intrigues, Nicholas' threats, the Menchikoff demands of 1853, the Austrian Note (which so nearly resembled in its history a more recent Protocol), down to General Ignatieff's last manæuvres ---are all directed to one end, namely, to assert the right of Russia to interfere in the government of the Christian subjects
VOL. CXLV. NO. CCXCVIII.
of the Porte, and to enforce that right by coercive measures if necessary. With equal consistency, the British Government has, under statesmen of every opinion and every character, steadily opposed the right of Russia to assert or enforce any such protectorate. In 1853 Great Britain went to war to resist it. In 1856 she extorted from Russia a peace which absolutely annulled the claim. And Great Britain still holds that if the Ottoman Empire is to exist at all, and as long as it exists, it is impossible for a Sovereign State to surrender to a foreign and hostile Power the government of its own subjects. These are the principles which run through every part of these negotiations, whether they are conducted
by Count Nesselrode or Prince Gortschakoff, by Mr. Canning or the Duke of Wellington, by Lord Palmerston or by Lord Derby; and they are so rooted in the policy and character of the two Empires that it would require much greater men than any of those who now figure on the stage of public affairs materially to change them. But it follows from this radical diversity of principle that the Eastern policy of the two Empires can never cordially agree. It has recently been asserted and argued in Parliament by a great authority that Russia actually did possess, and has possessed ever since the Treaty of Kainardji (signed in 1774) a right of protection of the Christian subjects of Turkey. Some such right was faintly conceded by that Treaty, and by the results of subsequent wars and treaties, at Bucharest, Akerman, and Adrianople, Russia somewhat extended her claims, until eventually, in 1853, it was upon these treaties, then existing, that she based the demands of Prince Menchikoff: the result was the Crimean War. But is it possible that any English statesman can have forgotten that the object and effect of the war and of the Peace of Paris was to annihilate the whole series of antecedent Treaties between Russia and the Porte ? They had hitherto formed a connective chain, each link strengthening and renewing those that preceded it. But after the war of 1855, none of them were renewed—the whole structure was destroyed; Turkey was liberated from a web which it had taken Russia eighty years to weave round her; and in place of those insidious engagements she found herself in one common relation to all the Powers of Europe. To quote the old Russian Treaties at the present day, as the basis of a claim for intervention, is a complete anachronism. They are extinct, and we ourselves took care to make them so.
As there appears to be some misapprehension on this subject which it is desirable to remove, we will quote and publish the following passage from a private memorandum of the late Earl
of Clarendon, dated December 29, 1854, which shows clearly what were the views of the British Government and its allies at that time :
There is no question at present of curtailing the territory of Russia ; there is no question of humiliating her, unless she chooses to regard as humiliation the intention of Europe to be sase from her aggression. England, Austria, and France are agreed about the guarantees upon which that safety will depend. They consider that Russia must no longer have the right, which she now possesses by Treaties, to enter the Principalities and to deal with that portion of the Sultan's territory as her own. They consider that the navigation of the Danube must be secured, not by Treaty as now, which only secures the accumulation of obstacles to it, but by an independent authority at the mouths of that river. They consider that Russian preponderance in the Black Sea is incompatible with the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire and consequently with the equilibrium of Europe. They consider that it would be monstrous to renew that part of the Treaty of Kainardji by the misinterpretation of which the Emperor claims to interfere between the Sultan and twelve millions of his subjects, and virtually to obtain on land the preponderance he has acquired in the Black Sea —in fact, to displace the Sultan, and become the virtual, until he constituted himself the actual, and inexpugnable, possessor of the Ottoman dominions.'
These were precisely the principles and conditions which the allied Powers insisted on and obtained fifteen months later at the Congress of Paris.
M. Gentz supplies us with a very curious and apparently acurate account of the origin of the Duke of Wellington's Protocol, in his reports to the Hospodar of May 31 and November 1, 1826, and we shall borrow from him some of these details. The object of the Duke's mission to Petersburg was nominally to congratulate the Emperor Nicholas on his accession, but in reality to divert the new Sovereign from giving effect to the warlike schemes of his predecessor. Mr. Canning's instructions to the Duke of February 10, 1826 (which are printed in the third volume of these Despatches), are a masterly survey of the whole question, and might very well serve as a vindication of the policy of her Majesty's Government at the present time. The primary object of Great Britain was to prevent Russia from making war on Turkey; the secondary object to obtain terms of separation or autonomy for the Greeks. Nicholas told the Duke that if he did go to war be would not ask for, or take, a single village of Turkish territory; he also said that he cared nothing for the Greeks, whom he regarded as rebels against their lawful sovereign. The Duke told the Czar that if he went to war, he could as soon turn the course of the Neva, as determine beforehand the limits of his operations. So matters went on, till the last days of the Duke's visit; and then, upon his asking for a written assurance from the Court of Russia, in conformity with the verbal promises and declarations he had received from the Czar, a Protocol was somewhat hastily drawn up, by the authority of the Duke himself. It is to this celebrated document that the following observations relate:
* This agreement was only inspired to the ministers of England and Russia, and by the mutual jealousies and fears, caused on the one hand by the threatening appearance of war imminent between Russia and the Porte; and on the other by the secret designs attributed to the British Government in Greece. [Mr. Stratford Canning had recently made a separate attempt at mediation between the Greeks and the Turks.] The parties to the Protocol, far from attaching much importance to it themselves, regarded it rather as a means of precaution, to be used on either side, in case the other party attempted to possess itself of the question. The document was drawn up in so vague and careless a manner that Mr. Canning would probably have disavowed it, if the name of the Duke of Wellington had not shielded the transaction. Such was the state of things down to the return of Count Lieven to London, when a change occurred, due in great measure to personal influence, of so delicate a nature that I can only describe it with considerable circumspection.
• Count Lieven is a man of mild and agreeable disposition, whose talents are by no means brilliant. His mother held a place at court. The Emperor had just made him a prince, and Lieven would probably have been perfectly contented with his modest diplomatic situation, had it not been for his wife, Madame de Lieven, born Benkendorf. She is a woman of superior talents and excessively active, passionately fond of politics, and capable of treating them with the intelligence and acuteness of a consummate minister. She has carried on for the last eight years an intimate correspondence with Prince Metternich, to which the Prince has always attached the greatest value, because it gave him the most accurate information on the interior of the British Government and the Court of England. During the absence of her husband, Mr. Canning, usually indifferent to the charms and the society of women, prevailed on himself to approach Madame de Lieven ; and by flattering her vanity, and showing her a degree of confidence rare in a man so close and impenetrable as he is, he succeeded in gaining her to his interests. Her own ambition contributed to this result. Madame de Lieven discovered in this connexion (which was exclusively political) a means of raising herself and her husband to a point of credit and influence to which she had in vain aspired. She hoped to play an important part, as well at Petersburg as in London; and to become the central point of a union, more or less durable, between England and Russia. Lieven gladly availed himself of so brilliant an opportunity; and as he, as well as his wife, exercise great influence over the flexible and feeble mind of Count Nesselrode, it was not difficult for them to engage him too in this strange coalition.'
The Duke of Wellington left Petersburg with the conviction that he had secured the peace of Europe by his Protocol. But it seems that the Russian Government and the combination organised in London between the Lievens and Mr. Canning took a different view of that instrument. Hence arose what afterwards became an open and vehement dissension between the Duke on the one hand, and the Minister acting with the Russian Ambassador on the other. Princess Lieven had a sincere regard for Mr. Canning; she sympathised with his generous sentiments; she admired his eloquence and his wit; and she always maintained that he had been ill-used by the Duke. However this may be, it is certain that the Court of Russia saw in Mr. Canning a Minister not unwilling to concur in the very measures of hostility to the Porte which the Duke had sought to avert. Mr. Canning's own views became more adverse to Turkey on the failure of his attempt at a separate mediation; and the Treaty of London, signed during Mr. Canning's own brief Administration, was the result.
When the Duke arrived at the head of affairs, six months later, on the dissolution of the Goderich Cabinet, the battle of Navarino had been fought-Great Britain and France had been led to assume a position nearly akin to that of open hostility to the Porte—the Ambassadors had been withdrawn from Constantinople—the affairs of the Ottoman Empire were in desperate confusion, and the Emperor Nicholas, not satisfied with the further concessions he had extorted by the Treaty of Akerman, was preparing for war. The Duke considered the declaration of the Czar that he now felt at liberty to consult ses convenances et ses intérêts,' as a direct breach of the assurance given to himself by word of mouth at Petersburg. The first campaign was costly and unsuccessful; and the Duke's reflections upon those operations (in 1828) will be found in the volume immediately preceding that now before
In the following year the Russian invasion was carried on with more success, and by July Diebitsch had won a victory which laid the Balkan and the road to Constantinople open to his forces. It is at this crisis, which seemed likely to prove absolutely fatal to the Ottoman power, that we resume our examination of these papers. The Duke's observation on it was as follows:
Walmer Castle, July 14, 1829. • My dear Lord Aberdeen,—We must expect that this victory will raise the Russian demands, and I can't say that the Porte has any means of resistance.
We are certainly interested in preventing the extension of the