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either to avert debates, or, if they must of censure—to the effect that, unless occur, to bring them on, when men have there is something unexplained, someto perform the thankless operation of thing in the background, the Governbeating iron cold, or by the lateness of ment ought to have done more to prethe Session bring the ashes of their vent or to retard the definitive conclusion mind in contact with the rising floods of of a Commercial Treaty between Austria Parliamentary indifference. My Lords, and Roumania, when they viewed it as whatever may be thought on other ques- regretable. I readily admit my obligations, the House, I am convinced, will tion to support this Resolution. Indeed, favour my decision of adding Resolu- the point is so important that here I tions to the Notice. A noble Duke upon should desire to bring a short and easy the other side, who has long engaged train of reasoning under the judgment the deference of all who belong in any of the House, which may perhaps be way to Scotland (the Duke of Buccleuch), calculated to force the gravity of the has quite recently laid down that if you transaction home to minds which have want debate you must have Resolutions. not previously considered it. The prinIt would also have been arrogant on my ciple of the three Powers, whose union part to expect any of your Lordships to has been so often serious to Europe, listen to an exposition of the Papers from the anarchy of Poland, at the end which could not lead to a result. Be- of the last century, down to the extincyond that, it seems to me that when any tion of Cracow in 1847, is that the one has taken up a subject of this cha- Vassal Principalities of Turkey shall racter the House has a right to ask negotiate Commercial Treaties, indepenthat he should point out some mode by dently of the Empire in which they are which their judgment may be felt, by incorporated. A congeries of minute which their power may be usefully arguments has been heaped up to show exerted with regard to it; although he that trade requires the arrangement. does so at considerable risk, and although But the noble Earl the Secretary of the House has a complete discretion of State has justly pointed out that the adopting his proposal or rejecting it. question is not commercial, but political. The practical effect at which these Reso- It is not a question of what tends to imlutions aim may be uncovered in a mo- portation, as if revenue was the single ment. It is to localize and to restrict object of societies, but of what the Law an infraction of the Treaties of 1856, of Nations interdicts and sanctions. acquired by the blood and consecrated Now, the Law of Nations indicates disby the honour of Great Britain-an in- tinctly that the power to negotiate Comfraction which the noble Earl the Se- mercial Treaties is the power to negotiate cretary of State condemns, but which, without restriction upon everything. In as regards the conduct of one Power, at the early spring, and again within the least, he has not succeeded in averting. last few days, I felt bound to look My Lords, I need not dwell at all upon through all the chapters upon Treaties the former Resolution, since it is one of in Vattel. He is still the recognized approbation and concurrence as regards authority of Europe, and I first learnt the Government. It seems to be a just to refer to him from Lord Palmerston and proper tribute to their resistance of himself. Nowhere does he sanction the the Identic Note which the three Powers distinction which the three Powers have addressed to the Ottoman Porte on the affected to establish. Nowhere does 20th of October. As to the nature of he view Commercial Treaties as legitithat demand, Her Majesty's Government mate, unless they are the exercise of a offered, as you may see in all of their general negotiating faculty. Wheaton, despatches, an unqualified opinion. They whose treatise is received on the other deserve the greater credit because none side of the Atlantic, has a passage which of the other Western Powers were so ought not to be passed over, because it placed as to hold decided or effective solves the question by deduction. It is language on the subject. It is true, -and I could give the page to noble indeed, that Austria, as the Papers show, Lords—to the effect that the validity of evidently doubted the legality, but was treaties ceases when either of the connot on that account less forward in her tracting parties forfeits independence. action. With regard to the second What follows? That their validity will Resolution, it is one of admonition, not not begin until dependence has been

Lord Campbell

abrogated. We learn, therefore, from ment bound the country; that it was Vattel, that to negotiate Commercial free to linger in repose; that policy Treaties is to negotiate all treaties, and alone sufficed to govern its decision. In from Wheaton, that the vassal princi- spite of my noble Friend the war ocpalities must throw off their dependence, curred. It culminated in the guarantee before any contract can bind or regulate I have alluded to. The question would their conduct. Every one is thus led to not now be one of prudence, but of faith. see-without too much mental effort, Great Britain would be compelled to that the arrangements proposed by the take up arms or sacrifice her honour. three Powers would be a large and a And while this great debate was agidecided movement in the path of sepa- tating Parliament, millions of British ration. But although untenable in prin- capital, the fortunes of many men who ciple, they might still be no more than have promoted the development of Ottothe assertion of an heretical and unpro- man resources, would be in utter inseductive theory, if the communities in curity. The whole chain is now before question were not imbued with any sepa- the House. Under these circumstances, rative tendency. Here facts come in to it was evidently a British object, if you enlighten us. We know and the noble could, to divert Austria from an appliEarl, the Secretary of State, himself has cation of the principle the three Powers reprimanded—the aspirations of the Rou- had laid down, and which is fraught manian Government for a nationality with danger to this country. So long they would be incapable of holding as Austria refrained, the principle of against the Powers on their frontier. which the Ottoman authorities had exWe know the restless movements of the posed the character, might never have Servian principality from the time when, been executed, and even speedily rein 1863, the withdrawal of the Turkish nounced. Here, then, we are bound to garrison was urged upon our Govern- ask my Lords, has the Secretary of State ment. The scheme of the three Powers done what could be done for so legitiis not then a barren declaration, but a mate a purpose; has he pointed out to living torch, addressed to an inflammable Austria the many grounds on which the material, which rushes forward to accept final step might be retarded ; has he it. The next link is one the House can shown that at the best it was a question easily appreciate. When the Danubian between commercial and political advanPrincipalities are severed from the Em- tages of which the latter far outweighed pire which controls them, Commercial the former; above all has he given proTreaties would be themselves a constant minence to the very guarantee I have pretext for occupation by the neighbour- alluded to of April 15th, 1856, which ing authorities. They have merely to binds Austria with Great Britain and allege that a stipulation has been vio- with France in the defence of Ottoman lated, and send an army to the Danube integrity? The position in which Austria to promote the execution of it. But all stood as defined by that compact was those who call to mind the campaign of remarkable and gave the noble Earl a Catherine II. against Turkey, or the locus standi for remonstrance-although campaigns of 1828-9, or that of 1853, friendly-which could not possibly escape will be agreed that the Danubian Prin- him. Austria had the strongest interest cipalities are the route to Constantinople, in avoiding whatever tended to endanger in a strategic sense, as distinctly as Herat the stability she might be called on to is thought by eminent authorities to be defend. She had besides the strongest the gate of India. No sooner, there- obligation to avoid it. When a Power fore, are they occupied than the gua- undertakes by force of arms to guard a rantee of April 15th, 1856, which en- system from infraction, no one would gages you by arms to support Ottoman deny that she is equitably bound to abintegrity, begins to force itself upon you. stain from measures which, positively And here, let me remark, that the mo- are, or demonstrably tend to be, one. Inent would not be similar to that of If any one was under an engagement 1854, when my noble Friend the noble to protect an edifice from fire, you would Earl on the cross-benches (Earl Grey) not say he was at liberty to act, from came down to this House, and gave all time to time, as an incendiary within it. the arguments against going to war, A mass of arguments beyond my power explaining, as he did, that no engage to convey, beyond the patience of the House to listen to, might be constructed necessary, he was bound to resort to by despatch writers so competent as the some other he preferred, or to succeed noble Earl and his supporters, to arrest by abstinence from any. When it turns for a long time the course which Austria out that, according to his own Papers, was meditating, and which has now be- which for six months have been reviscome a grave event, although it is not ing, to which he might give any form yet appreciated properly. Have those he chose, he has done literally nothing, arguments been used although they are when that inaction has been accompanot given in the Papers ? Neither be- nied by failure, no Opposition, however fore nor since the Identic Note is any enervated and divided, no Member of trace of them exhibited. If modesty an Opposition, however favourable to has led the noble Earl to keep them the Government, could pass his conduct back, when this appears, I shall be ready without question. The second Resoluto acquit him. There is one circum- tion, therefore, was inevitable; but it stance, however, which ought to be al- leaves it open to the noble Earl to say luded to in passing-although I shall that judicious measures were adopted at not dwell upon it. On the 19th of April, Vienna, although without success, and I moved for the production of the Treaty that he does not think it prudent to which binds Austria so remarkably, and convey them to the Legislature. So far, fixes her position on the Eastern ques- I well know your Lordships go along tion, because I knew from the best au- with me. But it is not enough to prove thorities that its production at that mo- the justice of the Resolutions, unless ment was the only chance of acting, one can establish their utility. The in our sense, on the still hesitating, House may fairly say that they are not still undetermined attitude of statesmen bound to move out of their way to upat Vienna. Without any argument at hold the Secretary of State when he has all, the noble Earl repelled the Motion, taken a sound line, and to admonish in a way by which his own responsibility him when he has been feeble or inadewas seriously heightened. In short, he quate, unless a good effect upon the took a course which nothing could de- Continent of Europe can be traced to fend, except the opposite result to that their proceeding. I approach that conwhich has arisen. Had the negotiation sideration, and all the more because it of Austria and Roumania blown over- may be rapidly disposed of. Let the and there was considerable hope of it- House only glance at the exact stage of the noble Earl might have come down the transaction. The three Powers laid to this House and said—“Your propo- down a new principle. The Ottoman sition was superfluous. We have gained authorities immediately exposed its inour point without you. It was not es conveniences. The British Government sential to produce the Treaties you re- upheld the Ottoman authorities.

No quired. We have saved the country kind of refutation was elicited. The eighteen pence or half-a-crown which whole thing remained suspended, and their production would have cost it, thus might have disappeared. One Power showing how adroitly we can blend alone, after a labyrinth of difficulties, finance and foreign policy together." resolved to execute the project of which And it is, my Lords, a great fight of the standard was unrolled. My Lords, statesmanship to do so. But the result it is a perfect fallacy-although some has shown—what I was thoroughly con- who think with me were first inclined vinced of—that the proposal was not to adopt it—to assume that nothing now superfluous, but opportune and indis- remains to be contended for, and that pensable. Up to the end of time, the the Austrian step disposes of the subject. noble Earl can never possibly establish The extent of the blow to Ottoman that, had he acted differently, had he integrity, the extent of the disparageacted as usage would suggest, and ment which falls upon the system of something more obligatory called for, the 1856, will be proportioned to the mass negotiation then suspended would have of States who follow that example, who come to the maturity, which he, as well so act as to encourage and confirm the as I, was anxious to avert. The only separative forces of the Vassal Princiinference I draw from this regretable palities. If no one joins, the evil will proceeding is that, if the noble Earl re- be localized. If many join, the crisis pelled one method as improper or un- we are anxious to avert will be precipi

Lord Campbell

tated. Neither Russia nor the German one. To describe it briefly, it amounts Empire, although they shared in the to a new and ingenious road across the Identic Note, have, since the Ottoman lines of public law to the dismemberreply, done anything whatever. But ment of Empires. It is just, therefore, even in Italy and Franco-although that a House like yours—which, although there is not time to prove it-a struggle night by night, we see it plunged into appears to be going on between com- the business of a vestry or a school mercial and political ideas, of which the board, will not forget its mission as termination is uncertain. The opinion a guardian of sound principles and of this House-which, as I have often elevated interests—should do something seen, has a prestige abroad even supe- to restrain the Powers which only verge rior to that which it enjoys within the upon, which only contemplate an error, limits of the kingdom-would be the unworthy of themselves, injurious to us, very barrier to check and guard the and tending to the loss of national coheoscillating Powers. And the opinion of sion in large and complex States, whatthe House would be sufficiently con- ever age, whatever clime they may veyed in both the Resolutions. Both belong to. My Lords, one among many imply that the position of the Identic views which leads me to think the evil Note is not to be sustained. Both imply may be localized, is that the Cabinet of that the Austrian measure ought not to Germany have not the slightest motive be generalized, while both are qualified to extend it; that, as these despatches to isolate it. My Lords, if anyone show, they were drawn into the Identic maintains that the undetermined Powers Note reluctantly and doubtfully; that cannot be held back; that they are too many European Governments look up to intent on the supposed material advan- them for counsel at this moment; that tages of these direct engagements with they are themselves directed by a mind the Vassal Principalities; there is one to which, ideas more just, or more compart of the subject he has not yet at- plete than those which guided it at first tended to. My Lords, the three Powers have often been admitted. But everyone themselves, when they resolved on the may form his own opinion on this subIdentic Note, can hardly have observed ject, which I scarcely touch upon in the lever they were going to furnish to passing. My Lords, it is not unusual to the general disturbers of political 80- anticipate objections on a Motion of this ciety. Indeed, the more we mingle in sort, and to reply to them. The pracaffairs, the more we see that critical de- tice seems to me a dangerous one, as it cisions are often come to in a hurry. is likely to fatigue the House, and inNo sooner is it laid down that depen- deed I know but one mode of thought dencies may enter into Treaties which with which the Resolutions are in coninvolve a general negotiating faculty, flict. It is that mode of thought-and and lead on by easy passages to the many hold it conscientiously—which right of making peace and war, than looks to a regular alliance between every State which is not perfectly com- Russia and Great Britain as a specific pact and homogeneous becomes threat for the maladies to which Europe is ened. If those who rule at Constanti- exposed. It cannot be denied that any nople are forced to tremble for Molda- course which discourages or limits the via, Wallachia, and Servia, France may execution of the Identic Note, is unbe disquieted for Algeria and Corsica, favourable to the objects Russia has the Italian Kingdom for Sardinia and been long accustomed to pursue in the Sicily, Great Britain for various posses- Danubian Principalities. The eloquent sions among the quarters of the globe. historian, Lamartine, pointed out that On the Austrian Empire the principle is the sword of Russia had composed the calculated to rebound with a disinte- Treaty of Kainardji, by which Turkey grating force which clearly has not been was so much humiliated in 1774. Since anticipated. For the House will bear then, her policy in the Danubian Prinin mind that you cannot possibly main- cipalities has never been reversed, altain a special right upon this subject though late events may sometimes have in the Vassal Principalities of Turkey. interrupted it. To adopt a Motion to The despatches of the noble Earl com- disturb it, or to check it, is not the part pletely overthrow that proposition. The of men who wish to substitute an intiprinciple is not a local, but a general mate relation with that country, for

those paths which Mr. Canning and complicated by a very extraordinary Lord Palmerston bequeathed to us. But Paper that was brought before the the House might be justified in asking, Foreign Office, and which was signed by how far that alliance can be compassed, Prince Ghika, in which it was asserted except by sacrificing all the objects for that a modification of the Customs syswhich our foreign policy continues. At tem of the Principalities could only be present, it is usual to remark that the effected in virtue of a special Convention European balance has been wholly concluded between Rcumania and a superseded. It may be so. But it is Foreign Power. That was a most illoonly superseded and eclipsed because gical and untenable proposition. It Russia draws into her system important might be alleged that the material intePowers which used to counteract her. rests of Roumania and those of the Should Great Britain fling herself as an Ottoman Porte were distinct; but the additional and a subordinate ingredient Porte itself acknowledged that to be so, into that sinister, dark, and overgrown and it promised to consult with the preponderance, the dismay of those Principalities in regard to their distinct States which prize their independence interests, and to accede to any special without large armies to uphold it will arrangements which might be necessary be as boundless, as it must be certainly, for them. All that the Porte required well-founded. Even, therefore, should was that the Principalities should not it be proved to-night that Resolutions assume a power which did not belong to such as these are little favourable to them. It was clear that the noble Earl united action with St. Petersburg, they the Foreign Secretary regarded the Conought not on that account to be rejected vention with Roumania as utterly indeby your Lordships. Nations which aspire fensible, for he had declared that Her to exist can hardly be unfaithful to the Majesty's Government were convinced purpose which renders their existence that the pretensions of Roumania were sacred to the world. The noble Lord inconsistent with the terms of existing concluded by moving the Resolutions. treaties, and that they could not believe


of the Powers who had signed Moved to resolve, That this House concurs the Treaty of Paris would infringe that with Her Majesty's Government as to the illegality of the demand addressed to the Ottoman important international instrument. That Porte by the Three Powers, Austria, the German vigorous language, however, had not Empire, and Russia, in their identic note of been backed up by any vigorous action20th October 1874.-(The Lord Stratheden and all that the noble Earl did when the Campbell.)

matter came to a head was to make a THE EARL OF ROSEBERY said, he proposition to the German Ambassador, did not wish to complain of the delay which he promised to communicate to which had occurred in the presentation his Government-and the matter then of the Papers which the noble Earl the disappears from the Blue Book. In Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs another despatch the noble Earl let down promised on the 25th of February last the three Powers in rather an easy manshould be laid on the Table of the House ner, remarking that too much imporin the course of a few weeks, although tance should not be attached to the that delay seemed to him to be some political aspect of the question, which what unusual. It was, however, fully lost much of its significance from the decompensated for by the contents of the claration of those Governments that they Papers themselves, for he did not believe had no intention to weaken the ties that so many extraordinary propositions which bound the Principalities to Turkey. had ever been contained in so small a The direct action of the three Powers in compass as were to be found in the negotiating with the Principalities had space of this Blue Book. Some time done as much as could possibly be done last year, it appeared, a demand was to sever those ties; and if Her Majesty's addressed by Austria to the Porte for the Government were satisfied that the three right of concluding an independent Com- Powers had no intention of doing what mercial Treaty with Roumania, and they actually had done, diplomatic action several propositions were laid down by would seem to be useless. It was clear Count Andrassy with respect to Servia, that the object of those Powers could which, by some misapprehension, he not be a merely commercial one, because omitted to prove. The question was such an object could have been attained

Lord Campbell

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