HC Deb 01 March 1836 vol 31 cc1129-30
Sir Stratford Canning

said: I am anxious to take the liberty of calling the attention of the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to a letter which appeared in one of the public prints to day respecting an interference that has taken place on the part of the Austrian, Russian, and Prussian Governments in the State of Cracow. I will take the liberty of reading the statement to which I refer:—"Cracow, Feb. 18.—A corps of the troops of the three protecting Powers entered the city and territory of the republic yesterday, under the command of the Austrian General Kaufmann von Frauensteinberg, to enforce the demand of the Powers made to our republic, because, as the General says in a proclamation, this demand has not been complied with by the Government of Cracow, notwithstanding the means gratuitously offered to it. At the conclusion of the proclamation be says, 'Meantime the operations of the administrative and judicial authorities of the republic experience no interruption: of course, however, they are subordinate to the military authority in the measures that relate to the public safety and the clearing of the territory of the republic." A second proclamation enjoins those individuals not natives of the republic, who, in the capacity of officers, subalterns, or privates in the former Polish army, or who in any manner took an active part in the late Polish revolution, to quit the territory within the time of six days, in the manner already stated, with the threat of severe punishment for them, and those who may harbour and conceal them, even such as have been admitted into the civil or military service of the republic, or have acquired the rights of citizens." Upon reading this, I cannot help calling to mind one of the stipulations of [he Treaty of Vienna; in the 9th Article of that Treaty the States of Austria, Russia, and Prussia undertake to respect the State of Cracow and its territory, and that it shall not be interfered with. This probably is not the proper occasion for me to go into the matter. I will, therefore, simply ask the noble Lord whether his Majesty's Government has received any informal ion similar to that which I have read; and if so, whether it is their intention to take any notice of the transaction?

Viscount Palmerston

His Majesty's Government have not received any official account of the entrance of the troops of the three Powers into Cracow, but we have received official reports of discussions having taken place between the residents of the three Powers at Cracow, and the Senate of that State, respecting the residents of certain Polish subjects there. At the same time I do not think it altogether improbable that the Austrian troops have entered the place. At first sight this might appear to be an infraction of the whole of the treaty of Vienna alluded to by my right hon. Friend, but, of course, I am not now prepared to give an opinion on the subject. In answer to the question of my right hon. Friend I will only say, that of course this is a matter to which the Government will direct its attention; but the House cannot expect me to state what steps the Government might deem it expedient to take.