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Those, who were conversant with the state of the negotiations before the present Ministers came into office, received the announcement of the marriage of the Duke of Montpensier with the heiress of the crown of Spain with surprise and indignation, so little were they prepared for that event by the declaration of February." The public of Europe will, as I believe, participate in those feelings, which are common to all English statesmen acquainted with those transactions.
With respect to myself, allow ine to say that I came into office convinced that a cordial understanding with France was beneficial to both nations, and conducive to the peace of the world. I was convinced that M. Guizot shared that sentiment; but, while I am still convinced of the benefits to be derived from an intimate friendship between England and France, I can no longer believe that M. Guizot attaches any value to that friendship.
I cannot believe it because, M. Guizot having received from you a confidential communication of a despatch to Mr. Bulwer-not intended for the perusal of the Spanish Ministers—that despatch was transmitted to Madrid, and employed, no doubt by M. Guizot's directions, to exasperate the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain against the English Government.
How is it possible to act with frankness and confidence towards persons who thus take advantage of frankness, and misuse the confidence reposed in them?
I cannot believe it because the resolution of the Queen's Government in London not to adopt or promote the marriage of Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg with the Queen of Spain-a resolution taken in deference to the declared policy of the King of the French - was used at Madrid for the purpose of hastening the marriage of the Duke of Montpensier with the presumptive heiress of the Spanish crown. How is it possible to act in friendly conformity to the views of France, at the risk of alienating other Governments, if such acts are to be the very weapons employed to do that which is most injurious to British interests, and most offensive to British feelings? So much as to the past.
But M. Guizot seems to apprehend a revengeful conduct on the part of England for the future. Let him
1 In February 1846 M. Guizot had directed the French Minister in London to read a memorandum to Lord Aberdeen, in which he had declared that, in the event of a Bourbon marriage being impracticable, France would consider herself free from her engagements, and would demand the hand either of the Queen or of her sister for the Duc de Montpensier.
be reassured. Nothing that has occurred will induce us to forget what is due to the interests of Spain, to the just claims of France, to the peace of the world. I should be very sorry to see a civil war recommence in Spain, and I have already signified, to those whose ardour might induce them to favour outbreaks, that England neither wished for, nor will encourage, insurrections.
The Government of France has, however, likewise a duty to perform. When M. Guizot announced the marriage of the Duke of Montpensier, he told Lord Normanby that the Infanta would become a French princess, and that the Duke of Montpensier would not become a Spanish prince. In a memorandum, which you yourself showed me, it was stated that France would not interfere in the internal affairs of Spain. M. Guizot, in his despatch in answer to Lord Palmerston's despatch to Lord Normanby, states that France will respect the internal affairs of Spain.
If these declarations are adhered to with good faith, and in the face of temporary difficulties, Spain may be free, prosperous, and independent.
But, if the ordinances of Charles X. are taken as the model for Spanish administration, and if obedience is to be enforced by the threat that what France had done by the pen she will maintain by the sword, the people of Madrid may resist, as the people of Paris resisted, with less provocation, in the month of July 1830, the suppression of the constitution and the violation of the freedom of the press. In such a case it will not be possible for M. Guizot to throw upon others the responsibility of fearful consequences. Lord Palmerston was disposed (as well as his colleagues) to act in concert with France, and by our joint advice to help in restoring the broken liberties, and establishing the permanent tranquillity of Spain.
M. Guizot has chosen to break the links of good faith and friendly correspondence by which these great objects might have been effected. He may endeavour to attain the same objects on his side ; Lord Palmerston and I may attempt to promote them on
Cordial co-operation in Spain is no longer possible. I cannot but notice, though I will do so very shortly, M. Guizot’s accusation against Lord Palmerston. In my opinion he has conducted himself with the greatest moderation and calm reflection throughout this painful transaction. I have the greatest reliance on his sagacious perception of the true interests of his country, and I have the truest satisfaction in constant co-operation with him upon all our foreign relations.--I remain, &c.
Lord John's vigorous language was the more generous, because Lord Palmerston had lately forwarded to Mr. Bulwer a protest, which he had directed him to present to the Spanish Government, containing a passage which Lord John had not merely not approved, but to which he had distinctly objected. 1 In the following February Lord Palmerston took a still more unjustifiable step. He informed the French Ambassador in London, that unless Lord Normanby, who had an unfortunate quarrel with M. Guizot, received an immediate and satisfactory reparation, the intercourse between the two countries would cease. Lord John only accidentally heard of this communication. He was foriunately in time to stop its transmission to Paris, and to insist on Lord Normanby being told to pursue a more moderate course in future.2
In the meanwhile two other matters were occupying the attention of the Foreign Office. Encouraged by the difference between France and England, the three Northern powers ventured on an act of autocracy, and suppressed the little republic of Cracow, whose existence was guaranteed by the Treaties of Vienna. The suppression, which elicited a warm but ineffectual protest from this country, illustrated the growing difficulties which Lord John had to encounter from the presence of Lord Palmerston at the Foreign Office. Prince Albert took a natural interest in the question, and invited an eminent literary man who is still alive to write a pamphlet upon it. This gentleman, before complying with his request, asked permission to consult Lord Palmerston, and the Prince replied that he did not see any necessity for his consulting the
1 The passage in question is, 'The undersigned is now instructed to declare, on behalf of the British Government, that the issue of such the Montpensier] marriage would be held by Great Britain to be disabled by the stipulations of treaties and by the public law of Europe from succeeding in any case to the Spanish throne' (Correspondence relating to the Marriages of the Queen and Infanta of Spain, p. 29). For Lord John's objections, see Greville, pt. ii. vol. iii. p. 121. But Lord John himself said (writing to Lord Lansdowne, vide infra, p. 38), “The despatch to Bulwer concerning the Montpensier marriage was sent to Madrid two days before I saw it, and against the opinion I had expressed to Palmerston.'
Greville, pt. ii, vol. iii. p. 62.
Foreign Secretary, though he had no objection to his consulting the Prime Minister. This little incident shows the distrust of Lord Palmerston which the Court had already contracted. In the winter of 1846–7 a new difficulty arose in Southern Europe, on which the Queen and Prince both felt strongly. The young Queen of Portugal had passed much of her childhood with the Queen of England; she was by marriage nearly connected with Prince Albert; her husband was unfortunately unpopular ; and, at the end of 1846, Oporto, the second city in the kingdom, and the adjacent provinces, rebelled against her authority. The revolt created great alarni in Lisbon; and the Duc de Saldanha, the only capable military man in Portugal, by a forcible coup d'état, dismissed the Ministry and placed himself at the head of the Government. However much this arbitrary proceeding 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.2 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, 1874. 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 St. Aulaire 3 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,
i The story is partly told by Mr. Greville in Memoirs, iii. 14. I have Mr. Reeve's authority for the version in the text.
2 I am repeating language which I have used before (History of England, iv. 531),
3 The Portuguese, Spanish, and French Ministers in London.
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 of a treaty which has expired, the circumstances must be similar, and the object to be attained the same with that of the fulfilled treaty.
The circumstances of Portugal do not resemble with any exactness those which gave rise to the Quadruple Treaty. Dom Miguel has no authority in Portugal, and there is no considerable body of men in arms to support his pretensions to the throne. There is, however, a lamentable civil war, and a serious danger.
The insurrection in Portugal may be said to have a double aspect. Under one aspect the Portuguese in arms against the Queen's authority may be said to have risen against a Court revolution ; to be acting in defence of the constitution of the country; and to be driven to resistance by the arbitrary measures of the advisers of the Queen of Portugal. Under the second aspect they may be viewed as insulting and defying the Queen ; placing the Miguelite General at the head of their forces ; restoring all Miguelite officers to the rank of which they were deprived by the Convention of Evora ; and studiously refraining from any pledge by which Dom Miguel might be excluded if they should prove victorious.
Sir Hamilton Seymour has dwelt on these circumstances in his despatch.
Under the first of these aspects the Junta of Oporto would not