HC Deb 21 April 1823 vol 8 cc1142-4

No. 1.—Mr. Secretary Canning to Sir Charles Stuart.

(Extract.) Foreign Office, Dec. 3, 1822. Your excellency will take an opportunity of obtaining from M. de Villèle some information respecting the nature of the recent communications between the French and the Portuguese governments.

No. 2.—Sir Charles Stuart to Mr. Secretary, Canning.—Received December 15.

(Extract) Paris, December 12, 1822. In answer to the inquiries I have been authorized to bring forward, respecting the nature of the communications which have taken place between this government and the court of Portugal, the duke Mathieu de Montmorency has shown me the correspondence of the French ministers with M. de Lesseps.

It appears from this correspondence, that M. Oliveira, the Portuguese chargé-ď affaires at this court, called upon M. de Villèle in the course of the summer, for the purpose of representing the anxiety to which the assembling of a representing force on the Pyrenees had given rise at Lisbon, and of expressing a hope that his excellency would give him a full explanation of the views entertained by the French government, with respect to Portugal. M. de Villèle assured him, that nothing could warrant any feeling of uneasiness on the pate of the Portuguese government; that the distance of that country had not permitted him to contemplate the possible effect, which the concentration of troops in France could produce upon a nation, with whose institutions or government the French ministers could have no desire to interfere.

No. 3.—(Translation) The Viscomte de Chateaubriand to the Portuguese Chargé ďAffaires at Paris. Communicated by the Viscomte de Marcellus to M. Secretary Canning, March 7, 1823.


The Portuguese government thinks fit to protest against the principle promulgated in the speech delivered by his majesty on the 28th of January, at the opening of the present session The king of France has a right to hold to his people the language which he thinks proper; and it would be difficult to understand how the Portuguese government can take umbrage at a speech addressed to the deputies of France.

If the French army should be obliged to enter Spain, the Portuguese chargé-ď affaires will be at perfect liberty to quit the French territory, in conformity to the orders he has received from his court.

If the French government is forced to declare war against the Spanish government, it is, not to support political theories, but because her immediate safety and her essential interests are compromised by the internal transactions of Spain. France, not being in the same situation with regard to Portugal, sees no plausible motive to induce the government of his most faithful majesty, to renounce the relations of peace and friendship. France hopes that she shall not have to repel an unprovoked aggression; nor to maintain a defensive war, which would have no other foundation or pretext on the part of those who should declare it, than the promulgation of a principle on which the political law of France is founded.

As to future arrangements respecting the residence of consuls, the French government sees no occasion to enter into any arrangement upon that subject, because it has never been the intention of his most Christian majesty to recall, either his chargé-ďaffaires or his consuls, from Portugal. He will in future adopt such measures as may be consistent with his dignity. The undersigned, &c.


No. 4.—(Translation.) M. de Chateaubriand to the French Chargé ď affaires at Lisbon. Communicated by Viscomte Marcellus to Mr. Secretary Canning, February 3, 1823.

(Extract.) Paris, January 30, 1823. The letter which I had the honour of writing to you on the 13th of the present month, confirms all those which my predecessor had addressed to you, respecting the friendly dispositions of France towards Portugal.

You have constantly been instructed to assure that government, that our armaments were not directed against Portugal;—that the maintaining a body of troops in the vicinity of the Pyrenees had no other object than to place us in a state of defence, should our territory or our institutions be menaced by Spain; and should the conduct of that power render a rupture unavoidable:—but that we separated the cause of Spain from that of Portugal, against which power we had no complaint; and that we wished not to see our relations with her interrupted.

No. 5.—Sir Charles Stuart to Mr. Secretary Canning.—Received April 20.

Paris, April 17, 1823.

Sir;—The Portuguese chargé-ďaffaires at this court has addressed a note to the Viscomte de Chateaubriand, stating, that, in virtue of the instructions he has received from his government, he considers the relations of amity between the two countries to have been interrupted, from the moment the French army, crossed the frontier of Spain, and that he must, therefore, demand his passports.

This communication has been answered by a note from M. de Chateaubriand, referring to former declarations, that it is the desire and intention of his most Christian majesty's government to continue at peace with Portugal; that if, however, the manifestation of these friendly sentiments will not induce Monsieur de Sampayo to suspend the execution of his orders, until the result of a reference to Lisbon shall be known, his passports will be delivered to him; but that the French ministers do not think it necessary., on that account to withdraw the chargé-ďafiaires, or the consular agents, who are actually employed in Portugal to maintain the usual relations between the two courts. I have the honour to be, &c.


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