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But the King seems still opposed to intervention; he continues to dread, however unjustly, that such an expedition may be compared to that of 1823; he does not wish to engage his Cabinet and his troops in new complications; he fears, also, that Russia would take advantage of such an intervention, to interfere in the affairs of Turkey. I still believe that, in the Council, M. Guizot is the least opposed to intervention; but, if he were to insist upon it, he would not be listened to by the King.
It is not improbable that Russia would be glad to take advantage of our intervention. The Russian Diplomatists at Paris say aloud that Russia knows of a project of coercive measures towards Portugal, on the part of England and France; that Russia, much more disinterested, is preparing to evacuate Silistria; but that she certainly would have the right to march to Constantinople, if the English and French were to appear at Lisbon.
One might certainly reply to Russian Diplomacy, first, that Turkey does not require their intervention, whilst the intervention might be demanded at London and at Paris by the Cabinet of Lisbon. One might add that in Turkey the Government and the status quo are not now essentially threatened, notwithstanding the conspiracies which Russia has been able to foment at Constantinople, whilst the case is very different in the Peninsula. In fact, one might intervene in Portugal and co-operate in Spain, at the same time that one might prevent the intervention of Russia, if one may make use of that expression, in Turkey. Still the King does not appear disposed to admit an intervention on the part of France.
If the King were to persist in this resolution, which is extremely probable, we might apprehend grave consequences to the Peninsula, in the encouragement thus given to the factious, and in the policy of the North, which, seeing France weakened by the events of the neighbouring countries, would assume a very threatening tone, and might push matters much farther.
As it is, the language of Northern Diplomacy towards France becomes insulting. The same diplomacy which has prepared the troubles in the Peninsula accuses the French Government of
being the author of them, by having afforded succour to the liberal refugees of Spain in 1830.
This reproach is particularly addressed to M. Molé, who be came Minister of the Interior after the Revolution of July. The "Journal des Debats" replies to it to-day, in an article which appears to emanate from the Cabinet of M. Molé.
To tell the whole truth, we admit, on the one hand, that M. Molé did not succour the refugees; on the other hand, we avow and proclaim that the partizans of the Government of July did give succour in 1830, and that the Government countenanced them with pleasure. The writer of these lines can certify that the subscription lists circulated in the offices of the Ministerial journals at Paris; he himself was called upon to put down his name, and he glories in having subscribed. He could indicate the name of the person, at that time intimately connected with the Government of July, who procured the signatures to the lists; he is certain that subscriptions took place at the houses of the Ministers and at Court. The subscriptions were quite as public as those raised in favour of Greece.
People believed that the North would declare war against France; France wished, indeed, to secure her frontiers on the side of Spain, even by means of the Propaganda. If France had had the good sense to apply a remedy to Northern insolence, she might have excited liberal feelings as far as Berlin and St. Petersburg. It is probable that Louis Philippe himself will end by being reduced to such an expedient.
M. MOLÉ, IN 1830.
Conversation between M. Molé and the Prussian Envoy.
MUCH has been said of a diplomatic note which Count Molé, Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1830, addressed to the Prussian government, with respect to Belgium; foreign journals, and even
the "Journal des Debate," at Paris, and the diplomatic circles, have often spoken of this note. This mode of exposing facts might afford Prussia a pretext for denying the circumstance, the substance of which was true; it is important, therefore, to state the facts as they really happened. The details we are about to give have not hitherto been explained.
The note of M. Molé to the Prussian government never existed; but M. Molé held a conversation in 1830 with the Minister Plenipotentiary of Prussia, Baron de Werther, which has the same importance, and which is doubly interesting by throwing light on an historical fact of first-rate interest, and of affording an opportunity for appreciating the character of Count Molé, who is at present Minister for Foreign Affairs, and President of the Council.
When, in 1830, the Belgic revolution broke out, as a consequence of the revolution of July, the Prussian government made a movement to send troops into Belgium; M. Molé, informed of these preparations, immediately addressed himself to Baron de Werther, and as there was some difficulty in bringing about an interview at the Hotel des Capucines, (the new government of France not yet being officially recognised by Prussia) the minister for Foreign Affairs, recalling to M. de Werther the remembrance of their former intimacy in society, invited him to a meeting at his private house in the Rue Ville d'Evêque.
M. de Werther repaired thither, and the following are the principal points of the conversation which followed.
Count Molé. Write to your Court that if a single Prussian soldier sets his foot in Belgium, France will instantly let loose her army, and we cannot foretell where our troops would stop.
Baron de Werther. (Irritated.) How! You expect to be recognized, and you have nothing to utter but threats?
Count Molé. And those threats would forthwith be followed by acts.
This conversation, which was doubtless scrupulously reported by M. de Werther in his despatches to his cabinet, must have necessarily produced an electric effect at Berlin. The Prussian
troops did not enter Belgium, and Louis Philippe was very soon recognized as King of the French.
If the antecedent acts of Count Molé, especially in his relations with Napoleon, had entitled this statesman to the honour of being called by Louis Philippe to his councils, his firmness on the above occasion, followed as it was by so favourable a result, must necessarily have augmented still more, the confidence and attachment of the King. Since that period, modifications introduced into the policy of France, or personal considerations relative to the combinations of the ministry, have removed M. Molé from the cabinet; but Louis Philippe has ended by perceiving that firmness was more useful than concession; other statesmen, not being able to approve of the errors of M. Thiers with regard to continental policy, have leant towards M. de Molé, with whom, indeed, there existed but a slight difference of opinion, with respect to internal policy, on questions which no longer exist. In this manner, the accession of M. de Molé to the presidency of the council is explained.
It is worthy of remark that, notwithstanding the conversation we have reported above, M. de Werther remained at his post in 1830. It might, therefore, be hazardous to infer that he would be recalled in consequence of the accession of M. de Molé. It hardly ever happens that the frank discussions between cabinets and foreign envoys produce changes of ministry, or the recall of diplomatists; such events are rather the result of secret enmities and intrigues being unmasked. Now, between Messrs. Molé and Werther, no intrigues of this kind took place. Both of them supported the interests of their respective cabinets. After having acknowledged the useful firmness of M. de Molé, justice compels us to add that if M. de Werther had advised in his despatches the non-invasion of Belgium and the recognition of Louis Philippe he would have deserved well of his sovereign. In fact, France had nothing to fear; a telegraphic order and two days would have sufficed to raise the tricoloured flag in the Rhenish provinces.
M. MOLE, IN 1830,
Conversation of M. Molé with General La Fayette.
M. Molé has been accused of having remitted one hundred thousand francs to General Lafayette, to assist the Spanish refugees, who, after the revolution of July, endeavoured to return to their own country for the purpose of exciting insurrection against King Ferdinand. This charge, brought forward by writers and journals devoted to revolutionary principles, has manifestly preferred raising M. Molé in the estimation of the radicals, for the purpose of obtaining at the same time a more important object— that of placing him on bad terms with the King Louis Philippe, and with the foreign diplomatic body. We are not the first to refute this accusation, but we have it in our power to contradict it in a more precise manner than has yet been done.
It is no doubt true that French succours were given to the Spanish refugees. Persons connected with the government contributed to these subscriptions. I know positively that the lists were circulated in the office of a paper devoted to the ministry; but the persons even in that office were not apprized of the circumstance which I am about to relate.
General Lafayette was on friendly terms with M. Molé, and called very frequently to see him. When the expedition of Torrijos was in contemplation, the general went to the minister and applied for succour. The minister replied as follows:
"I am not the proper person to apply to in behalf of such attempts. The frankness of my character ought to be more justly appreciated. When I adopt a decision with regard to Spain, I communicate it to the ambassador of that country.
"Even you, general, will not yourself insist upon this attempt. I am officially informed by the agents of the French government, that the authorities in Spain are perfectly acquainted with the plan which it is pretended to execute. To send refugees into Spain is to deliver them up to the sword of the law."