§ LORD DUDLEY STUART
said, he rose for the purpose of making the Motion of which he had given notice, on the subject of the recent negotiations relating to Hungary, and the events of the late Hungarian war. He believed he consulted the convenience of the House by seizing the earliest opportunity for bringing forward this subject, rather than by deferring it to a later period of the Session, when they would be too fully engaged with other business to be inclined to devote their time to matters of foreign policy. His object was to obtain information on the subjects which had excited the attention and the greatest degree of interest in this country and throughout Europe. The noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had on a former occasion explained with great dearness the principles on which foreign affairs were managed under the English constitution; and he told the House that under this constitution the largest discretion was always granted to Her Majesty's advisers in the conduct of diplomatic negotiations, but, at the same time, that discretion was subject to the revision of Parliament, which revi- 481 sion could not be exercised unless Parliament was furnished with full and ample information; and the noble Lord added that the country was a good deal in the dark with regard to the transactions to which he was referring at the time. And he (Lord D. Stuart) also said that on the matters to which the papers he should now move for related, the House was at this moment in the same position. He wanted some light to be thrown on these transactions, and he contended that the country had a right to be informed as to the part our Government had taken in regard to them; for, as was said in the debate on the Address, the Speech from the Throne merely told the House that we were not at war. There was a paragraph in the Speech, it was true, which referred to some delicate transactions which had been settled without any infraction of our relations of peace with foreign Powers; but as to how they had been settled, no information whatever had been given. The House was aware that during the last year a war had been raging in Europe, which had excited in the minds of the people of this country perhaps more interest than any other war had done in which we ourselves had not been actually engaged as principals; and no wonder, for that war was carried on by a despotic Government, for the purpose of putting down a free people, and depriving them of a free constitution, very similar to our own, and which they had enjoyed as long as we had enjoyed ours. The kingdom of Hungary had never been conquered—it had always remained independent de jure and de facto, until it was put down last summer by the power and treachery of Russia. The monarchy was originally elective. Ferdinand I., the brother of the Emperor Charles V., was elected by the Diet in the year 1526. He took the oath to the constitution, as all his successors had done, except Joseph II., who was in consequence never crowned nor recognised as King of Hungary. Hungary and Austria had had nothing in common except their sovereign, and had never been more united than the kingdom of Hanover was with England. The hereditary prince in the German States—the Archduke of Austria—was not King of Hungary till consecrated at Presburg with the crown of St. Stephen on his brow. In 1670 the Crown was declared hereditary in the male descendants of the House of I Hapsburg; in 1723 that arrangement was extended by the Pragmatic Sanction to females, and it was under that arrangement 482 that the fidelity and generous devotion of the Hungarians secured to Maria Theresa not only the kingdom of Hungary but the other dominions of her father, in spite of a great European coalition. The heiress of the House of Hapsburg was known by the title of Queen of Hungary, that being the most important of the countries over which she ruled; and though her successors obtained the title of Emperor of Germany, and the title of King of Hungary became eclipsed under that more high-sounding appellation, it was Hungary which constituted the chief source of their power. The dignity of Emperor of Germany conferred but the shadow of power; and when the German empire fell to pieces at the beginning of this century, the modern title of Emperor of Austria was introduced, but he still derived his greatest power from his Hungarian dominions. Therefore, if we looked to power rather than titles, when that ancient ally we heard so much of was referred to, in reality what was meant was the King of Hungary, and not the Emperor of Austria. Joseph the Second attempted to overthrow the Hungarian constitution; but what happened in consequence? The Diet refused to recognise him, and exacted fresh guarantees from his successor, Leopold II., who declared that Hungary was free and independent, and not subject to any other people or State, but had a separate existence and constitution, and should be governed only by her own hereditary kings lawfully recognised, and by their own laws and customs, and not according to the rules of other provinces. In 1848, certain reforms were introduced in the constitution of Hungary, and laws passed the Diet for carrying them into effect. These passed both chambers, and received the royal assent, some of them being rather declaratory than new—such as the one which enacted that the Ministry of Hungary should be responsible to the Diet. There were other laws whereby civil and political equality was established, without distinction of language or creed. The privilege of exemption from direct taxation, heretofore enjoyed by the nobles, was taken away, and participation in public imposts was extended to all Hungarians. The labour rent also was not only done away with, but the lands held by that tenure were given Up to the peasants, who received them as their own property, compensation being guaranteed to the landlords; and the suffrage, 483 formerly confined to the nobility, was extended in the counties to all persons possessed of real or personal property to the value of 30l., and in towns to all persons whose income amounted to 10l. per annum, to the holders of diplomas, and workmen having apprentices. These reforms, regularly voted by the House of Commons, were sent up to the House of Lords, and passed; and they received the royal assent from the sovereign on the 11th of April, 1848. But though the Hungarians were carrying out these measures of reform, and were acting strictly according to the spirit and letter of their constitution, that did not protect them from the illegal, and unconstitutional, and violent acts of the Emperor of Austria. Croatia had been united to Hungary for eight centuries longer than England has been united to Wales, by a most intimate union. But some disputes arose between the two countries, chiefly, perhaps solely, in consequence of a measure of the Diet which introduced the use of the Magyar language instead of the Latin in the Parliamentary debates of the House of Commons. The Court of Vienna took pains to exasperate these differences. It appointed Joseph Jellachich, the colonel of a Croatian regiment, Governor or Ban of Croatia; but as his appointment was not countersigned by a Minister, it was not a legal one. Nevertheless the Hungarians did not make objection, and he was invited to take the necessary steps on entering upon his rule. One of his first acts, however, was to forbid communication with the Hungarian Ministry, and to proclaim martial law against all persons who should refer to the connexion between Hungary and Croatia. The Ministry called upon him to withdraw this threat; and the ultimate result was, that a commission was despatched to investigate his conduct. It was then that Jellachich threw off the mask, and declared the nature of the policy he intended to pursue. It had been repeatedly said in this country that Kossuth was a repealer; but, judging by the acts of the man, the real repealer in Hungary was Jellachich; for, unlike Kossuth, who proceeded constitutionally, and supported the rights of the sovereign of Hungary until he made war against the country, Jellachich pushed his measures with force and violence, and endeavoured to separate Croatia from the Hungarian crown. In June, he convoked, contrary to law, a general assembly of Croatia, for the 29th. The Emperor Ferdinand put his veto upon the proceeding. At the conference with 484 the Hungarian Ministers, to which he was summoned, Jellachich did not appear, and by a subsequent ordinance he was suspended from his office. There was a powerful party in Croatia, however, who published a protest, declaring that they desired to remain, as they had always been, united with the kingdom of Hungary. At the same time, the Serbs, inhabiting the north banks of the Danube, became disaffected; and although they had only within a few years settled in the country in any numbers, they now demanded a separate government. The Austrian Government fomented the disaffection of the Serbs, and also of the Wallachian peasantry who are found in the south of Transylvania, and are an extremely wild and uncivilised people. They were armed by the Austrian authorities, and incited against the upper classes; and the horrors they committed surpassed, probably, anything that had been known in history. He held in his hand a book written by a Hungarian lady, Madame Pulszky, who was in that country at the time, and who was now in England—a book which gave a most interesting account of those transactions, and was about to be published. He had been favoured with a sight and loan of it previous to its publication, and he would read a short passage having reference to the atrocities committed by the Austrian Government at that time;—The sad consequences of this plot manifested themselves everywhere, but nowhere more dreadfully than in the remote mountain districts of Zalatuya.The civil officers of these parts were suddenly surrounded by wildly fanatical Wallachs, arms in hand. In this state of things, above 1,200 faithful servants of their Sovereign assembled. They were of all ranks, from the highest to the lowest, old and young, accompanied by their wives and children. All joined in the purpose to proceed together to the town of Enyed, at several hours' distance from Zalatuya, to be sheltered from the wild hordes, which were ready to attack every one who chanced not to be Wallach, and who were another than a peasant's coat. It was yet at some distance from Zalatuya, when the officers were overtaken by a great troop of armed Wallachs. Not willing to oppose those who pretended to be acting in the name of the monarch, a negotiation was entered upon. Its result was, that the emigrants agreed to deliver up their swords and muskets, under condition that they should not be prevented from freely proceeding to Enyed. Before the disarming was completed, the evening had come on.Several carriages were laden with the arms, and they waited for dawn to continue their journey. In the night, the Wallachs sent a messenger to the commander, who was an Austrian officer, at Zalatuya, to inquire 'what they should do 485 with their prisoners.' The messenger returned with the laconic reply, 'Put the wretches to death.'When the peremptory order of murder arrived, the riotous people itself was thunderstruck, and for a long while no one attempted to break the pledge of a free passage. Both parties hesitated for some instants to take any decided step; at last the disarmed set themselves in motion. Slowly the procession advanced, until some circumstance, which has never been precisely ascertained, was considered by the Wallachs a signal to attack.Now followed a horrifying scene. One part of the disarmed were cudgelled to death, others pierced through with pointed mountain-sticks. Some hanged on trees were mangled with hayforks; others thrown into pits were buried under blocks rolled down upon them. Women and maidens were mutilated and murdered in the most dreadful manner.The slaughter lasted long. Rainbold, a German, the inspector of Zalatuya, to whom clung his wife and two grown-up daughters, not seeing any possibility of averting their dreadful fate, drew out his double pistol, which, more distrustful than his companions, he had retained, shot down first his two daughters, loaded again, shot his wife, and lastly killed himself. The haste and the excitement, in which he achieved this awful deed, rendered his hand uncertain, his mutilated wife survived this horrible catastrophe, and related it. Of 1,200 persons, about 110 remained wounded amongst the bodies of their comrades. Of these survivors, about 70 or 80, most of them women, one, the wife of the judge Csás-zár, bleeding from countless wounds, dragged themselves before the gates of the fortress of Gyula Jehárvár (Karlsburgh). But the commander of this place, which was occupied by Austrian troops, drove the exhausted victims, with blows, from the gates, where, after having been refused entrance, they sunk powerless to the ground.These horrors never were punished by the Austrians, and when some months later, Pucher was driven from Transylvania by General Bern, and Csanyi, as Hungarian commissary, sentenced several of the instigators and perpetrators of the above-mentioned bloodshed to be hanged, the correspondents of the Austrian party filled the papers of foreign countries which declamations on Hungarian terrorism.While a deputation sent by the Diet, to complain of these atrocities, and demand that measures for the defence of the kingdom should receive the royal assent, was at Vienna, the King sent a letter, dated the 31st of August, which stated that the law of 1838, by which a responsible Ministry had been granted to Hungary, was contrary to the Pragmatic Sanction, and detrimental to the interests of Hungary and Austria; and then it was announced that the King was determined to abrogate the laws, and subject every one in Hungary to the central power of Vienna. Here was the cause of quarrel. Austria was determined that the laws based upon the constitution should not be carried 486 into effect; Hungary was determined to have those laws acted upon. It was exactly the same sort of quarrel which we had had in this country, and which led to our civil wars. In both countries the King was determined to rule by prerogative, and in both countries the people were determined to be governed only with the consent of parliament. It could not be said that the Emperor was coerced by the Hungarians into sanctioning the reforms of 1848, for he came of his own free will to Presburg, and granted his assent. That was the first occasion. The laws passed might not be favourable to the House of Hapsburg; but why then was the royal assent given to them? On the second occasion that this assent was given, the King was not in Hungary but at Vienna, when he commissioned his viceroy to deliver a speech on his behalf, in which he declared his determination to observe the laws which he had sanctioned. As to the pretence of the laws being contrary to the Pragmatic Sanction, there never was one so void of foundation. The Pragmatic Sanction only regulated the order of succession. It was an act of settlement, and nothing more; and the order of succession at the time that pretext was taken, had not been in the slightest degree interfered with. It was not interfered with until long after that: not until one emperor had abdicated, not until after his brother had renounced his claim to the throne, not until after the next in succession had put forward claims with the avowed intention of abrogating laws without the consent of Parliament; not until after the Russians had with his approbation invaded Hungary: not until after the constitution of the 4th of March had been proclaimed, which swept away all the rights and institutions of the kingdom—it was not until after all these things that the throne was declared vacant. But supposing these laws were opposed to the Pragmatic Sanction, what force had it in Hungary, except as a law adopted by the Diet? None at all. It was necessary it should have the sanction of the Diet before it could have any validity in Hungary: and the three estates of the realm which adopted it, had a perfect right either to abrogate it altogether, or to introduce other laws partially to modify it, or to pass laws which, like those they did pass, had no effect upon it. The pretence that the reform carried by the Diet was contrary to the Pragmatic Sanction, was just as if King William IV., after having given the 487 royal assent to the Reform Bill, should have tried to set aside that law, on the plea that it was contrary to the Act of Settlement. No sooner had the Emperor announced his intention of departing from his royal word, than it became evident that a conspiracy had been formed against the constitution of Hungary. Jellachich, who had been formally deprived of power, was, nevertheless, allowed to hold it. After the resignation of the Hungarian Ministry, consequent upon the decree of the King, and the revolt in the provinces, Count Louis Batthyani was commissioned to form a new administration. In the meantime Jellachich crossed the Danube at three different points, with regular Croat troops, aided by Austrian regiments. The Hungarians, in the absence of any regulated ministry, and in consequent confusion, were unable to oppose any considerable force; and the consequence was, that the Croats advanced into the heart of the country, pillaging and plundering as they went. The Diet then offered the command of the army to the Archduke Stephen in his capacity of viceroy; he accepted it, and joined the army, but after having endeavoured in vain to effect arrangements between the opposing forces, he left the camp and returned through Pesth to Vienna, where he tendered his resignation, which was accepted. On the 25th of September a royal ordinance, which had not been countersigned, placed all the Hungarian troops under Count Lamberg; but the Diet declared the appointment of the Count illegal, and required the counter signature. Lamberg braved the decree, and was proceeding towards the citadel of Buda, to take possession, as it was supposed, in the name of the Austrian Government, when he was met on the bridge by a crowd, dragged from the carriage in which he was seated, and murdered. A great handle had been made against the Hungarians of this event, and most deplorable it was. But acts of this nature perpetrated by mobs were not the acts by which a country could be fairly judged, and they affixed no stain to any nation, unless indeed it appeared that that nation had manifested indifference to the crime. The Hungarian Diet, however, had passed a resolution expressive of horror at what had occurred, and they directed measures to be taken to bring the criminals to justice. A battle was soon afterwards fought, Jellachich was beaten, an armistice was signed, but he took to flight, and before long the King placed the 488 country in a state of siege, and the whole military force under the command of Jellachich. The Diet, persuaded that the King had no right to abolish the constitution, declared the royal ordinance in favour of Jellachich null and void, and proclaimed him and all who aided him to be traitors. Jellachich continued his retreat towards Vienna, and threatened that city; then Count Latour, the Minister of War in Vienna, who had denied all complicity with the proceedings of Jellachich, was discovered to he secretly in correspondence with him, and to have abetted him in his designs: the enraged populace of Vienna seized upon Count Latour, and put him to death. With the acts of the people of Vienna, the Hungarians had nothing to do, although the Austrian Government had circulated a report that Count Louis Batthyani was implicated in this murder. They failed, however, in bringing any proofs to justify such an accusation, and it had in fact been made merely in order to justify a murder still more atrocious than that of Count Latour, the murder of Count Louis Batthyani himself—a murder more atrocious because it was the murder of an innocent man. He suffered death on the anniversary of the murder of Count Latour, the Austrian Government thereby insinuating against him what they dared not openly charge him with—a participation in the death of Count Latour. The Austrian Government knew that imputation to be false, and the sentence upon Count Louis Batthyani did not contain one word of accusation against him upon this account. The Hungarians had hesitated to advance against Vienna, but at last they did advance, when it was too late, and they fought a battle, the only one they waged on soil which was not Hungarian. General Bern, who took the command in December of 8,000 men, had by the middle of March cleared the province of Transylvania of the Austrians, and had forced the Russians who came to their assistance to fly into the Turkish territory with great loss. The Hungarians who had been driven from Pesth, rallied on the line of the Theiss, and having beaten Windischgratz, Weldon, and other generals, drove the Austrians to the very frontier of their country. In the mean time the Austrian Camarilla had adopted certain measures of importance. The Emperor Ferdinand was induced or forced to abandon his crown, and his brother's son, the Emperor Francis Joseph, a youth of 18, ascended the throne of 489 Austria. On the 4th of March the new constitution drawn up by Count Stadion and the celebrated democrat Dr. Bach was published, which abolished all the laws, customs, and institutions of all the nations placed under the Austrian Government, however ancient, however useful, however suited to the wants of the people in which they were established. A vicious form of government was introduced, the object of which was to throw all the power into the hands of the bureauocracy at Vienna. The Austrian constitution of the 4th of March, was a measure more sweeping and more revolutionary than the violent changes which had been introduced by the Constituent Assembly of France during the first Revolution. If the Hungarians had been the frantic revolutionists their enemies wished to represent them, they might have been content with this constitution; but they, like us, being attached to an ancient constitution which they had enjoyed for centuries—they, like us, being anxious to adapt their constitution to the times in which they lived, and to make it of practical utility—being anxious to advance safely and gradually, and being reformers and not revolutionists, could not be content with such a constitution as that; and, above all, they, like us, could not accept a constitution, which, not agreed to by all the different orders of the State, was only granted as a favour by the Austrians, and, being so granted, might the next day be withdrawn. When the Diet saw their legitimate Sovereign deposed, they adopted the precedent set them by the Lords and Commons of England, and declared the throne vacant, and that the line of Haps-burg should be for ever excluded. It had been repeatedly declared by the Austrians that the Hungarians had proclaimed a Republic. They had done no such thing. The tendency of the Hungarian people had always been monarchical. The "Governor President," which was the title given to Kossuth, was one known to the constitutional history of Hungary; and the Hungarians would have been very willing to receive any prince as their king who in his turn would have been willing to give them guarantees that he would adhere to the spirit of their constitution. In fact, the Hungarians had all but succeeded in their wishes; the Austrian troops were beaten until they held only a narrow strip in one part of the country, and then Prince Schwartzenburg adopted the suicidal policy of calling in the Russians. Not even the 490 talents of the Hungarian generals, Klapka, Aulich, and Perczet, assisted by the intrepid daring of Bern, the experienced valour of Dembinski, and the ardent courage of our own countryman, Guyon, could prevail against the numbers of the Russians, aided by the broken forces of Austria, but still more effectively seconded by the fatal treachery of Görgey. The influence of this intervention would be most pernicious. The constitution of Hungary was no modern experiment. It had been rooted in the affections and habits of the people. If it had been permitted to flourish, its example would have extended to other countries. Free trade would have been established, the Austrian prohibitory tariff would have been done away with, and a large market opened to England—all of which facts would be made manifest if one of the papers he should move for were laid on the table, as he hoped it would be. Besides this, Hungary had been the most efficient barrier against Russia on the side of Turkey; but such was the detestation with which the conduct of the Austrians had inspired the Hungarians, that they would much prefer the rule of that Power which they had hitherto regarded with horror, to a continuance of the Austrian rule. He had always regarded the interference of Russia in the affairs of Hungary as a violation of the law of nations. It was an interference with the internal affairs of an independent country, with which Russia had nothing to do; and the pretext advanced by the Czar in excuse for his interference, that a large number of his subjects were serving in the Hungarian army, was entirely without foundation, for there were not 4,000 Poles in that army altogether, and of these only a few hundreds were from Russian Poland—the rest came from the neighbouring province of Gallicia. The Emperor of Russia had not even a shadow of right to interfere, because the Emperor of Austria, who had sent for Russian troops to invade Hungary, was not the King of Hungary either de jure or de facto at the time that demand was made. He was not king de jure for the constitutional reasons he (Lord D. Stuart) had given, and he was not king de facto, because the bravery of the Hungarians had driven his army out of the country. He should also move for papers with respect to the occupation by Russia of the Danubian provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. This occupancy was a violation of the law of nations, and of the independence of Turkey. Russia not only induced 491 Turkey to forego certain reforms which she wished to introduce, but prevailed on the Turkish Government to sign what was called the Convention of Balta Liman, by which it was stipulated that neither Power should have more than 10,000 troops in the Wallachian and Moldavian provinces. She had not adhered, however, even to her own convention signed on the 1st of May last, but had still a much larger army in the principalities. Now, one of the papers which he should move for was a circular addressed by Count Nesselrode to the various ambassadors of Russia when this occupation of the Danubian provinces took place. He would read an extract from it, which he was enabled to do, the noble Lord having read an extract from it last Session. This circular stated that—"from the moment that in Moldavia and Wallachia law shall have been established and guaranteed, the troops shall be withdrawn from them, to go and occupy immediately the strictly defensive position which they occupied before.Now, he would ask the noble Lord whether he believed he had not a sufficient guarantee for the future peace of these provinces? The noble Lord knew full well that the Porte was most anxious to have these troops withdrawn, and that the Convention of Balta Liman should be carried out. How was it possible, that with such a declaration as this, so stringent, so precise—how could it be believed—that Russia still maintained in that country an army of not less than 46,000 men? He had communications from that country to a late period, and he was able to state that there was at least that number of Russians stationed there. Now, the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Department, in reply to some observations which fell from his hon. Friend the Member for Youghal a few nights ago, stated his belief and conviction that those Russian troops would soon be withdrawn. He hoped his noble Friend would excuse him if he was not altogether satisfied with that assurance on his part, and that he was not altogether persuaded of the good intentions of the Russians. He remembered his noble Friend, in the debate to which he had just referred, said of course it was open to say, if a Minister stated his belief that such and such things were likely to happen, it was open to any Member, if he pleased, to say that he did not partake of that opinion. But in stating that he could not altogether partake of the noble Lord's opinion, he would tell the House why he dissented from it. The 492 noble Lord would recollect that when these troops first entered Moldavia, he called his attention to the subject. The noble Lord then said, that they had entered without being authorised by the Russian Government. But whether authorised or not, they remained. When he again spoke to him on the subject, his answer was that they were in Moldavia, but that they would not enter Wallachia. They did enter Wallachia. Then he thought they would withdraw very soon, but a year and three quarters had elapsed and they had not withdrawn. And the noble Lord said this was only a question of time, and thought that an answer. He should like to ask him if he had a troop of soldiers quartered in his house, living, with their horses, at his expense, what he would say if he complained of it, and his friend replied, "Never mind, my good fellow, it is only a question of time." What would be think of that if he had to pay the weekly bills? That was exactly the case in Moldavia and Wallachia, because the Government did not maintain the troops; but the inhabitants were obliged to maintain them. Those troops were probably there to carry on the designs of Russia against Hungary last year, and against Turkey this year. He thought his noble Friend, in the supposititious case he had put, would feel himself aggrieved, and would take the first opportunity of driving the intruders out of his domain. And this, no donbt, Turkey would do, if she had it in her power. This tyranny ought not to be allowed. If his noble Friend had made an energetic protest against it in the first instance, it was his confident belief that the troops which entered these provinces unauthorised—that was a convenient mode for Russia to feel her way—would never have been authorised to remain, and the catastrophe in Hungary would, in all probability, have been avoided. Not only in England, but all over Europe, the people were enthusiastic in their wish for the success of the Hungarian cause; and the noble contagion even stretched across the Atlantic, where they heard of honour done to the Hungarians by the first magistrate of the land, and where resolutions, he believed, were at this moment under discussion for suspending all intercourse with the Austrian Government in consequence of its treatment of the Hungarians. If the noble Lord, when this encroachment was first made, had set his face against it, it was his conviction that Russia would have backed out 493 of it. He could not help feeling sorry the other evening on hearing his noble Friend say, that allowances ought to be made for Russia. He (Lord D. Stuart) did not like these allowances, which were always made for the strong and powerful. He would rather see allowances made for the weak, over whom generosity should extend a shield. He hoped his noble Friend would this evening take an opportunity of explaining what the circumstances were for which he would make allowances. He thought that a subject more important could not be pressed upon the attention of his noble Friend. He was well aware that it had not, when first he brought it forward, rivetted the attention of the country; and he thought that was a reason, perhaps, why his noble Friend did not employ more energetic measures at the time than he did. But the country was now roused upon the subject. It was determined to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman empire. Every Government in succession had declared that, as well the Government of the Duke of Wellington, and of the right hon. Member for Tamworth, as that of his noble Friend; and even the Protectionist Government, whose advent they had been led to expect, would, he presumed, follow the same course; for, on a former occasion, the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire had in strong, and, he must say, in very eloquent and forcible terms, recorded his conviction that it is the interest of this country and of Europe to follow that course. Now, in arguing this matter, he would not he supposed to be an advocate of war. He believed that in the present instance war was altogether unnecessary. A great deal had been said about Russophobia, and he was considered to he affected with that malady. He would tell them how far he was a Russophobist. He was quite convinced that when this country spoke in earnest to Russia, and told her that she would not have certain things done, that the voice of this country would be obeyed, and that she would have no occasion to make it heard by the roar of cannon. He knew that it was a perfect farce to talk of Russia resisting the power of this country for a single day. At the same time, he was so far infected with Russophobia, that he was not disposed to take such a course as would turn that weakness into an overpowering might. He was not disposed to allow Russia to possess the most fertile portion of the globe, nor the first maritime station; because, if that were done, she would no longer be 494 weak—she would no longer be obliged to come into such measures as this country should approve, but she would have made a great stride towards universal empire. She would threaten our Indian empire and our commerce, and then force us into a war, of which there was now no danger, nor was there any occasion for it. Russia would not abandon her cautious policy for the sake of her designs of national aggrandisement; but though she was patient in her designs, and wished to aggrandise herself, not by conquest but by insidious means, still whenever there was a question of putting liberty down, all her selfpossession seemed to abandon her; then she no longer acted by slow and measured means, but came forward directly and impetuously, in order to destroy all really sound and wholesome reforms, wherever she found them. What occasioned the last partition of Poland in 1791 but the introduction of reforms? In 1829 why did she interfere with Turkey? Because she found that Turkey was engaged in effecting reforms. In 1848 she interfered with Wallachia from the same cause, and in 1849 she interfered with Hungary because that country preferred the most legitimate of all claims—to be governed by the constitution they had for ages enjoyed. But the Czar had received a check which he had not experienced for a long time. They would remember the claim that he made for the extradition of the refugees from Hungary. He was before triumphant; he had everything his own way. His armies had carried all before them, by their numbers, or the treachery of their enemies: at any rate he was successful; he had stamped out liberty in Hungary; he had obtained a footing in the Danubian provinces, and everything smiled upon him. But when he came to demand the extradition of these brave but unfortunate refugees from Hungary, in order that he might slake his thirst for vengeance upon them, then he found a noble Sultan on the throne of Turkey, who magnanimously opposed, and said 'No' to his nefarious demand. The Emperordemanded these refugees that he might put them to death. His ambassador, in an insolent tone, claimed them from the Sultan. It was even said that Prince Radzivil had the audacity to appear in the presence of the Sultan without uncovering his head. The language employed was most offensive, and, though it was said that the Russian ambassadors exceeded their instructions, he had some reason to believe that that 495 was not the case, but that they were ordered to employ almost the very language that they did. The Emperor of Russia was determined to succeed, and to use his utmost influence for that purpose. But all that influence was exerted in vain, because the Sultan was supported by this country. The honour of the Sultan and the honour of the British Minister prevented so foul a deed from disgracing Europe. When the Czar could not get what he wanted because there was a British fleet in the Levant (for that was the only reason), he said he should be contented with a minor success. Though he (Lord D. Stuart) had spoken in strong terms of his satisfaction that Kossuth and those noble men were not given up to the fury of the Emperor of Russia, he could not say that he was satisfied with the result of the negotiation. He was not convinced that the fleet at the Dardanelles obtained all that it ought to have obtained, or that all had been accomplished by the British Government which might have been accomplished. He did not think that the people of this country would be satisfied when they found that although the Hungarians and the Poles were not given up, still that the Poles were expelled from Turkey, and most likely would arrive here before long in a state of indigence, and that Kossuth and his brave companions were to he kept in prison for a considerable time. The people of this country would not be pleased to find that the Emperor of Austria had, in this at least, had his way, because he had no doubt the aim of the Austrian Government was to prevent these men from coming to this country, because it dreaded the effect their presence would have upon public opinion. He must say that he thought the noble Lord ought to produce to this House all the information that he (Lord D. Stuart) had asked for with regard to this transaction. This transaction, at least so far as the refugees were concerned, the Speech from the Throne said had terminated satisfactorily, but they wanted to know what had been done. The House had a right to know what had been done in this matter, that they might exercise that supervision over the acts of the Government which the noble Lord on a former occasion said it was its right and duty to do. His noble Friend would do right by the country in so doing; and give him (Lord D. Stuart) leave to say it was exceedingly desirable for his own character as a Minister, and in order 496 that he might stand right with the people of this country, and continue to have that good opinion which, he was happy to say, he had for a long period enjoyed. It was necessary for this purpose that he should furnish the House with all the information demanded. He the more confidently called on the noble Lord to give all the information he could, as he had been, in former times, extremely energetic in getting other Governments to produce information for the guidance of the House, and as he had made a boast that the Government to which he belonged was always extremely ready to furnish such papers as might be required.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions, that there be laid before this House, Copies or Extracts of any Correspondence between the British Government and the Ambassies at Constantinople, St. Petersburg, and Vienna, respecting the demands of Russia and Austria for the extradition of Polish, Hungarian, and Italian refugees.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
Sir, my noble Friend has travelled over so wide a field, that I am persuaded the House will not expect I should follow him in detail through all those various important transactions to which his speech has related. I can assure my noble Friend that it is the wish of Her Majesty's Government to give all the information upon those transactions which it may he consistent with the public interest, and consistent with those courtesies that are due between Governments and countries, to afford. The Motion with which he has concluded embraces so large a mass of correspondence, comprising not only all the confidential communications of Her Majesty's Government to our Ambassadors and Ministers abroad, but also communications between other Governments, of which knowledge may have been given to the Government of Her Majesty, that I trust my noble Friend and the House will think I am not asking too much of their forbearance if I entreat them not to press the Motion in the words in which my noble Friend has put it, but to allow me to select out of that great mass of papers such documents as may explain to the House the course which Her Majesty's Government has pursued, without giving details which would be inconvenient to the public service, or laying before the House those confidential communications that may have 497 passed between Her Majesty's Government and Her Ministers abroad, or between them and the Ministers of other countries. With regard to the war in Hungary, I had an opportunity last Session of stating the views which I entertain of that great question. I can only say, that those feelings and opinions which I know are entertained upon that matter by the great majority of the people of this country, are opinions and feelings which have done great credit to the country, and which, I trust, I might almost say I know, no Englishman will differ from in any respect whatever. At the same time, I am sure the House will feel, that in a matter in which England had no direct right to interfere, the functions of the British Government with regard to the direction of events must be necessarily extremely limited. Therefore, however strong may be the interest which the Government of England, as representing the public opinion of this country, might take in those events, the House will naturally suppose that the active interference of the British Government must necessarily have been restricted within limits perhaps far more narrow than those to which their feelings might wish them to extend. With regard to the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, my noble Friend and myself have discussed that question before. The House is aware that Russia does stand, in regard to those principalities, upon a footing different from that upon which the Government of one country usually stands in respect to provinces belonging to another country. There was concluded in the course of last year an arrangement—it was not a treaty, it was an exchange of notes, standing in the shape of a convention—by which the two Governments of Russia and Turkey engaged that the forces of Russia and Turkey in those provinces should, after a certain period, be reduced to the amount of 10,000 men. My noble Friend is correct in stating that the Turkish Government has carried that engagement into effect, and that the Russian Government has not hitherto done so. I stated on a former evening that I believed, and it is my conviction, that the Russian Government is about to carry that engagement into execution. My noble Friend, perhaps, does not partake of my conviction. I can only say, that the information we have received very lately, leads me to think that the Turkish Ambassador recently sent to St. Petersburgh has received an assurance to that effect from the 498 Government of Russia, and that the amount of the Russian troops in those provinces will very speedily be reduced to 10,000 men. I can assure my noble Friend that I fully agree with him as to the severe pressure which the presence of those troops must occasion to the inhabitants of those principalities. It is perfectly evident that the obligation under which they have been laid for supporting and providing for so large a body, must have imposed upon them sacrifices and privations of a very painful and extensive character. With regard to that more important transaction connected with the demand for the refugees, that which took place between the Governments of England and France on the one hand, and the Governments of Russia and Austria and the Government of Turkey on the other, is generally so well known that little remains for me to state which is not already within the cognisance of the public at large. I shall be perfectly ready to give such papers as will show the course we pursued on that occasion. It is well known, that after the termination of the war in Hungary a very considerable number of persons, Hungarians, Poles, and some Italians, took refuge in the Turkish provinces. A demand was made by the Governments of Austria and Russia on Turkey for the surrender of such of those individuals as were Austrian or Russian subjects. That demand was founded upon the Treaty of Kaimardji with regard to Russia, and upon the Treaty of Belgrade in regard to Austria. The Sultan, feeling that the obligations of hospitality, which are considered even more paramount, if possible, in the East than in any other part of the world, precluded him from complying with that demand; and looking at the terms of the Treaty of Kaimardji, and seeing that he had clearly an alternative, and that the engagement contracted by that treaty permitted him to choose that alternative, he refused to comply with the demand made by Russia of surrendering those individuals, but stated that he was ready to fulfil the other condition of the treaty, namely, that of expelling other individuals, chiefly Poles, from his territory. With regard to the demand of Austria, it certainly did not appear, by the Treaty of Belgrade, that there was any condition which required the Sultan to surrender Austrian subjects who might have sought refuge within his territories; with regard to Austria's demand, therefore, he was still more at liberty to refuse compliance, than 499 he was with respect to the demand made by Russia. The manner in which those demands were made at Constantinople, by the organs of the Russian and Austrian Governments, excited alarm in the Government of Turkey as to the consequences which might follow from a refusal to comply with those demands, even though the Government of Turkey felt that they were not by treaty compelled or liable to comply with them. In that state of things, the Turkish Government turned its eyes to those friendly Powers to whom it might look for support, and an appeal was made to the Government of England, and also to the Government of France, for their friendly support in the critical circumstances in which Turkey might find itself. Her Majesty's Government, acting, as I think they did, in strict unison with the universal feeling of the country as it was manifested on that occasion, determined to give the Sultan the support which he had asked. Friendly representations were made to the Government of Austria and the Government of Russia, explaining the grounds upon which it appeared to Her Majesty's Government that the Sultan was not bound to comply with the demands which had been made. It is but due, however, to the Russian Government to state, that the Sultan having sent a special ambassador to St. Petersburgh, for the purpose of requesting the Emperor to desist from the demand which he had made, and to accept the other alternative of the treaty—it is but due, I say, to Russia to state, that the day before our friendly representation reached St. Petersburgh, the Russian Government had made a communication to the Turkish ambassador, stating that Russia no longer insisted on demanding a surrender of the Poles, but consented to the alternative for their expulsion. There followed upon that, however, a long negotiation with regard to detailed conditions which were proposed on the one side, and objected to, in a certain degree, on the other. Those negotiations ended at last in an arrangement between the Turkish Government and the Emperor of Russia, by which the Turkish Government agreed to expel, as by treaty it was bound to do, the Polish refugees from the Turkish territories. With regard to Austria, the Turkish Government undertook to remove the Hungarians—not to put them in prison, as my noble Friend has stated—[Lord D. STUART: To detain them]—but to remove them to a distance from the Austrian territories, and there detain them 500 under that description of observation of which, happily, no English word conveys the meaning—under surveillance for a certain limited time. The diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey have been re-established. Diplomatic relations between Austria and Turkey were not actually re-established, but there was every reason to suppose they would be within a few days after the last despatches came away. During the negotiations which took place at Constantinople, the most perfect harmony and co-operation existed between Her Majesty's Ambassador and the Ambassador of the Republic of France; and no doubt it was greatly owing to the friendly offices of those diplomatic representatives that those questions, involving great difficulty and complications of various kinds, were brought to a successful issue; and I am bound to say, that it is impossible for any man to have acquitted himself in such difficult circumstances, and in the execution of such an arduous duty, with more ability, more judgment, and more discretion, than Sir Stratford Canning had done in the task which it had fallen to his lot to perform. My noble Friend has expressed an opinion in respect to the arrangement that has been made, and has declared that that arrangement is not altogether satisfactory to his wishes and views. I am free to confess that if it had been a matter depending solely upon the will and decision of Her Majesty's Government, there are many circumstances connected with that arrangement that we should have wished to be different from what they turn out to be. But there were treaties to be observed—there were offers which had been spontaneously made—engagements which had been voluntarily offered, and which could not altogether be retracted; and acting under the circumstances as they stood, and bearing in mind that although it was desirable to support the Turkish Government in resisting the demands which it would have been unfitting for that Government to comply with; yet, on the other hand, we should have been acting an unfriendly part if we had urged that Government to place itself, without necessity, in the perilous position of a rupture with its two great and powerful neighbours. Considering, on the one hand, the difficulties from which it was desirable to extricate the Turkish Government, and, on the other hand, considering the concessions which the Turkish Government ought not to be compelled to make, I believe the 501 arrangement such as has been made is the best which, under all the circumstances of the case, it was possible Her Majesty's Government could see accomplished. None of the refuges have been given up. The Polish part of them are free to depart to other portions of Europe, where they will be in a state of complete liberty; and those Hungarians who are for a time detained in the Turkish territory, I hope will not be detained there long. At all events, I am quite satisfied that the Turkish Government, from its generous feelings and from its sense of the duties of hospitality, will take care that while they are within its territories every attention will be paid to them which is consistent with their unfortunate position, and with the eminent qualities by which they are distinguished. In conclusion, I beg to express a hope that my noble Friend will consent to accept the offer I have made to him, and allow me to submit to the House such portions of the papers he has moved for as can be laid upon the table without being injurious to the public interest. I trust the House will believe me when I say that there are substantial reasons why it is not in my power to accede to the Motion in the form in which it has been moved by my noble Friend.
§ MR. C. ANSTEY
saw no reason, after what had occurred, to alter the opinion he had expressed on a former occasion as to the conduct pursued by Her Majesty's Government with respect to the extradition of the Hungarian and other refugees now in Turkey. He was glad to see that upon this occasion they had broken through the line of policy adopted for many years of truckling to Russia, and he hoped they would continue to do so. He saw that the noble sentiments expressed by the Sultan had not failed to make a due impression upon the Cabinet, and he hoped the impression would be a long and lasting one. He could not help saying that the accommodation agreed to was unsatisfactory; but he could not conceal from himself the difficulties alluded to by the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He could not forget that the chief difficulty to which he had adverted, though not in express language, was created by the treaty of 1841, and that, with the stipulations of that treaty staring them in the face, it was impossible for their Ambassador, or the French Ambassador, to offer to the Sultan that prompt and immediate assistance which would be necessary 502 to effect a more satisfactory accommodation. He must say that the arrangement which had been made was due not so much to Sir Stratford Canning, or the French Ambassador, as to the skilful conduct of the Minister of the Porte. He hoped our Government would hence be taught not again so to fetter themselves as not to be able to repel promptly the aggressions of Russia. The ever-memorable and glorious declaration of the Sultan, on receiving the insolent message of the Czar, was—Am I, the Master of this Empire, to be debarred from the exercise of aright enjoyed by my meanest subject, and in the exercise of which I dare not disturb the meanest vassal? Sooner let me cease to reign; sooner let the Empire perish than be so degraded.He quoted these words from an authentic report which he had received from Constantinople. He regretted that the spirit of this noble sentiment had not been more thoroughly acted on by our Government. On the question of the Hungarian refugees, he had only to express his entire concurrence in what fell from both the noble Lords; and with respect to the other question raised by his noble Friend the Member for Marylebone, and to which a great portion of the documents demanded had reference, he had a few words to say. He could not understand on what principle it was that the noble Lord could come down to the House and allege that the public service would suffer from the publication of the entire of every document of the class indicated in the notice of the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone. The general observation applied particularly to the question of the Danubian principalities; and it appeared that the case in which those papers were asked respected the performance of a solemn obligation entered into with the assistance at least, if not on the mediation, of the British Sovereign, in the course of the last year. The obligation entered into had been set aside by one of the contracting parties, while the other party observed it most religiously. It had been violated by Christian Russia—it had been observed by unchristian Turkey. The noble Lord said, that, although the treaty had been broken by Russia, it was now going to be kept; but when they knew there was a time fixed for the performance of the arrangement, and that that time was the 31st December, 1849, a day now long since passed, so that it was, consequently, not now in the power of the Government to obtain the 503 literal performance of the treaty, it appeared to him that the House should require something more than the assurance of the noble Lord that Russia meant to fix some other day, and adhere to it with more of fidelity than she did to recent arrangement. It should be recollected that the treaty was more or less guaranteed by England, and they had no assurance that reparation would be made. There was no reason to apprehend that the forces now quartered amongst the people of the Danubian principalities would be employed against the sovereign Power; and this, therefore, was not a question of time, but a question calling for immediate decision. With regard to the other question, which would occupy less of their attention than the former one—he meant the question lately pending between Austria and Hungary—he concurred in what fell from the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone, and would merely observe that the noble Lord the Secretary of State, when he said that England had no immediate right or obligation to interfere in the settlement of that question, or in forcing the performance of the constitutional obligations which bound the House of Hapsburg to the people of Hungary, forgot that England was a party to, and had guaranteed, the Pragmatic Sanction. That arrangement adopted by the Hungarians, and applying to this very question now before them—he meant the question as to the constitutional prerogatives of the House of Hapsburg on the one hand, and the constitutional rights of the people of Hungary on the other—was rather a Hungarian than an Austrian one. Having wasted their blood and treasure in the enterprise, they had not only a right, but also the duty, to see that the stipulations accorded to the people of Hungary by that House were performed. On the whole, he thought that, looking to the perfidious and perjured violation by Russia of all pre-existing treaties, Ministers should now be prepared with something more than a vague and general assurance of trust to justify the House in coming to an unanimous vote on the Address, or in refusing to qualify it with the expression of their hope that Her Majesty will take care, with respect to all subsisting or future treaties, to exact some real security for their performance.
§ LORD D. STUART
said, as his noble Friend the Foreign Secretary had assured him that he was prepared to lay on the table of the House a considerable number of the 504 documents moved for, if the Motion were withdrawn, and the selection left to himself, he should be very happy to accept that arrangement; but, before doing so, he should like to know whether the noble Lord meant to give some papers on each of the different transactions to which he had alluded, whether he would give some of the correspondence with regard to the Hungarian war, some with regard to the Moldavian question, and whether he would give the proposal for commercial regulations made by the Hungarian Government. He should like to know what the offer was, and what he had to expect, before he agreed to accept it. The noble Lord had said he did not expect that those persons who were at present detained in Turkey would be deprived of their liberty for any length of time; that their captivity, for it was nothing else, would at least be short; and he had also expressed his persuasion that the generosity of the Turkish Government would be such as to take care that, during the time they were kept in its territory, they should receive every protection and every comfort they could desire. He hoped so too; but he was not quite convinced that it was in the power of the Turkish Government to provide either for their comfort or their protection while they were in Turkey. It was known that the Austrian Government was unscrupulous in the means to which it resorted to obtain its ends; witness Gallicia, and the scenes which had occurred in Hungary, at the instigation of Austria, of which he had read a description in the early part of the evening. In Austria such a thing had happened before now, as that persons disagreeable to the Government had been put out of the way by assassination. He had information to the effect that something of the kind had been attempted—at any rate, had been planned—with regard to Kossuth, and other eminent Hungarians now detained in Turkey. Some months ago—he had this from a person who was then present with Kossuth at Widdin—a stranger arrived there, and took great pains to come into communication with the cook who dressed the food supplied to Kossuth, and with the physician who rendered him medical assistance. And shortly after it was found that some of the liquor which came to the table had been practised on, and had had something infused into it which gave great suspicion that poison was intended. Later still, in the course of December, a number of persons were reported 505 to have arrived at Shumla, where Kossuth and his brave companions then were; these persons were Austrians, or at least furnished with Austrian passports, and the Turkish authorities gave notice to Kossuth that they had reason to believe these persons had come to Shumla with a design upon his life and that of some of his companions. Having given this notice (this he knew from Kossuth himself), the Turkish authorities added that they were unable to interfere with those persons whose murderous intentions they suspected, on account of their being furnished with Austrian passports. If this was the protection and comfort which these unfortunate, but noble and brave, patriots were to enjoy during their captivity, or during that species of surveillance which it pleased the Emperor of Austria to subject them to, there was no reason to be by any means satisfied with the arrangement that had been made. And he thought that the Sultan, if any such proceedings could be brought home to the Austrian Government, would be perfectly justified in departing from any engagement to which he had come with reference to those refugees, and immediately setting them at liberty. Nay, more, if he could not protect them in his dominions, he was bound, doubly bound, to set them at liberty. He trusted the noble Lord would direct his attention to this matter, and would use his influence with Turkey, in order that Turkey might see that these men, who were imprisoned under the requirements of a treaty, which treaty however, was not so positive that it might not be read two ways, might not be assassinated in her dominions. It was very true that they had no right to press on Turkey a particular line of policy, however desirous they might be to do so in the present case; but they had a right, at the same time, to see that Turkey was not compelled by any other Power to adopt a line of conduct which would be pleasing to that Power. He was happy to say that the noble Lord had exerted that right most efficiently. But his noble Friend might be sure that, although they had no right to dictate to Turkey, there was a thorough persuasion in the minds of the people of this country, that such was the influence of England with Turkey, they never would believe that Turkey would adopt any line of policy which would be disagreeable to this country. And if they saw the Turkish Government disposed to falter in the cause in which they had so nobly embarked, they would not be brought to believe but that 506 it was owing to her not being properly sustained by the legitimate influence of England. He should be glad if his noble Friend laid before them such papers as might be satisfactory.
§ LORD G. HAMILTON
said, that there was nothing in the noble Lord's first address which called for any serious observation. Any person acquainted with the history of Hungary must be aware of the extraordinary errors into which the noble Lord had fallen; and the condition of the House—the empty benches, and the frigid manner in which page after page of the observations he had read to the House from a bulky manuscript were received by the few who remained to hear him—demonstrated the little interest which was felt in the subject; but, for the honour of the House and the country, he (Lord C. Hamilton) hoped he would be supported in calling upon the noble Lord, if he believed in the truth of the insinuations which he had thrown out against the Austrian Government, of entertaining the base and inhuman design of assassination, to come forward like a man, and make the charge distinctly and without circumlocution. An accusation of such extreme gravity ought not to be introduced into a sort of reply made on withdrawing a Motion. The noble Lord had employed the usual phrases of an old woman's tale, "it was strongly reported," and "it was seriously believed," that somebody came to the place where Kossuth was residing, and had a mysterious interview with his cook, and, because the wine afterwards was supposed to present an unusual appearance, it was assumed that it had been tampered with. It was derogatory to the dignity of the House that such a gross charge should have been insinuated by one of its Members against an old ally of this country, and one which in past days bad stood by us bravely and faithfully. What! impute to the Emperor of Austria the intention of carrying off by poison unfortunate men whom circumstances had compelled to take refuge in Turkey! The House must, he was sure, have listened with indignation to the base calumny directed against a Government which, with all its faults—and he was not there to approve of all the proceedings of Austria—had always acted in an upright and open manner, and had often been to this country a useful and faithful ally. He would stake his existence as to the groundlessness of the charge, which could only have entered into the mind of a man who, like the noble 507 Lord, was ready to swallow anything against Austria. Of course the noble Lord was not the originator of the atrocious calumny; he was merely put forward by others to utter it; but the noble Lord having insinuated it in an assembly of Gentlemen, in a hesitating manner, whilst withdrawing a Motion, he (Lord C. Hamilton) felt that it would not have redounded to the credit of the House if some one had not stood up and called upon the noble Lord either to make the accusation openly and explicitly, or to withdraw it wholly. To show the state of misty ignorance in which the noble Lord had existed with respect to the Hungarian question, it was only necessary to remind the House that the noble Lord had spoken of Hungary as having been always an independent nation, and in possession of a free constitution. The noble Lord had evidently never heard that between the first and the second battle of Mohatz, a period of more than a century and a half, Hungary was under the dominion of the Porte—that a Turkish bashaw dictated laws to her from Buda—and that the House of Hapsburgh drove back the Turk, and restored her constitution to Hungary. With respect to the murders committed on Count Latour at Vienna, and on Count Lemberg at Pesth, which the noble Lord represented to be the unpremeditated acts of a mob, it was well known that they were planned and determined on beforehand.
§ MR. COCKBURN
said, he hoped his noble Friend the Member for Marylebone would not press his Motion, but would rest satisfied with the assurance of the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that he would produce such papers as would throw sufficient light on the course of policy pursued by the Government in these matters. Otherwise it would seem to him that his noble Friend would imply a doubt of the perfect propriety of the course of conduct adopted by Her Majesty's Government. He thought the explanations given by the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, on the present occasion, and on a former occasion, when he made a speech that gave great satisfaction to the House and to the country, should be a sufficient guarantee that the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government, and by the noble Lord, towards Austria and Russia, in the present instance, was such as became the honour, the dignity, and the interests of this coun- 508 try; and, therefore, he thought his noble Friend ought to be satisfied with such papers as might be produced by the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He should not have trespassed on the House on the present occasion were it not for the extraordinary speech of the noble Lord opposite, the Member for Tyrone. He could quite well understand that a difference of opinion might exist as to the right and justice of the struggle in which Hungary had been engaged with Austria. But whilst he allowed that a difference of opinion might exist on that point between hon. Members of that House, he did not mean it to be inferred that he did not himself consider that the cause for which Hungary had been engaged in that frightful struggle with Austria, was one of the greatest and most righteous in which any country could be involved. He believed it to have been a struggle for the maintenance of an ancient constitution and established laws, and that it was improperly and unjustly designated as a rebellion against a lawful sovereign. He was not, however, about to enter upon the discussion of that matter now. But when, after what had taken place—after Austria had, by the aid of foreign bayonets and barbarian hordes—succeeded in putting down the Hungarian cause—when they recollected what had since passed—the frightful executions and the bloody murders which ensued—he was surprised to hear an English nobleman, with a zeal worthy of a better cause, but discreditable when employed in such a cause as that which the noble Lord had just pleaded, enter upon the defence of Austria, after the conduct of which she had been guilty before the world. He held in his hand a list, extracted from official documents, published by the Austrian authorities, of the number of executions since the termination of the struggle; and he had no hesitation in calling it one of the foulest and bloodiest death-rolls his eye had ever fallen on. After Hungary had fallen—not by the power of Austria—but by the intervention of Russia, by foreign invasion and domestic treason—when Austria had succeeded by these means, and when, if at all times the victorious party should show forbearance, there never was a time when forgiveness and forbearance were more appropriate and necessary, Austria entered upon those bloody and atrocious executions which were a disgrace to humanity, at least in 509 modern times. He confessed he felt the greatest surprise at hearing any person defending and advocating Austria in those abominable proceedings. He would read a list of those executions, and punishments which had been inflicted, and the House would, he was sure, feel horror-struck at the noble and illustrious blood shed on this occasion; and it should be observed, that the number of persons of inferior rank executed or imprisoned was infinitely greater.
Firstly, as to the Church:
Mr. Razga, Lutheran clergyman at Presburg, hanged in June.
Mr. Meszares, Catholic priest, shot at Raab, end of June.
Mr. Gonczewsky, Catholic priest, shot at Pesth, in October.
Mr. Rudnyanszky, Catholic bishop of Neusol, sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
Mr. Bartakovics, Catholic bishop of Rosenau; Mr. Lonovics, archbishop of Erlau; Mr. Baron Bemer, Bishop of Grosswardein; Mr. Jaros, Great Prior of Gran; Mr. Levay, Great Prior of Erlau; Mr. Pupovics, Greek bishop of Mun-kacs—In prison under trial for high treason; they are to be tried by court-martial.
Mr. Haubner, Lutheran bishop, dead in prison.
Mr. Michael Toth, Calvinist clergyman at Debreczin (the most eloquent preacher), sentenced to eighteen years' imprisonment in heavy irons.
Besides these, Mr. Horwath, Catholic bishop of Csanad; Mr. Jekelfalusse, Catholic bishop of Zipsen; Baron Mednyansky, Catholic canon, were Refugees; and Mr. Packh, Lutheran bishop, was hidden in the mountains, with a reward offered for his head.
Secondly, as to the Officers of State:
Count Louis Batthyani, Prime Minister, tried by court-martial and shot at Pesth; his estates being confiscated.
Baron Perenyi (upwards of 70 years of age), President of the House of Lords, and Judge of the Supreme Court, hanged at Pesth; estates confiscated.
Baron Jeszenak, Second Lieutenant of the county of Neutra, hanged; estates confiscated.
Mr. Csany, Minister under Kossuth, hanged; estates confiscated.
Mr. Petöcz, High Sheriff of the county of Pres-burg, shot at Presburg.
Mr. Szacsvay, Secretary of the Diet, and Mr. Csernus, Counsellor of the Treasury, hanged at Pesth.
Mr. Novak, Secretary in the Home Office, shot at Pesth.
Count Leopold Nasady, Privy Councillor, Lord Lieutenant of the county of Comeron, imprisoned for four years, sentenced to pay a fine of 14,000l.
Count Stephan Karolyi, imprisoned for four. years, fined 14,000l., Lord Lieutenant of the county of Pesth.
Count Raday, Lord Lieutenant of the county of Nograd, imprisoned for two years.
Count George Karolyi, fined 10,000l. for having shown great joy at the arrival of the Hussars.
Mr. Marczibanyi, Lord Lieutenant of Trencsen
the first of the Commoners of Hungary, fined 2,000l.
Thirdly, as to the Army:
General Kiss, Dessöffy, Schweidel, Török, were shot at Arad. Generals Lazar, Knezich, Count Leiningen, Count Vecsey, Nagy Sandor, Aulich, Laner, Poltenger, Damianich, were hanged at Arad. Colonel Kazinczy, shot at Arad. Colonel Prince Woroniecky, Colonel Ormay, were hanged at Pesth. Colonel Soll, shot at Pesth. Colonel Baron Mednyansky, Colonel Gruber, Major Aban-court, and Major Giron, were hanged at Presburg. Major Fekete, hanged at Pesth. Major Murmann, shot at Temesvar. Major Lepier, shot at Pane-sova. General Moga, General Count Lâzâr, General Gaspar, imprisoned from five to eight years. Lieutenant Field Marshal Hrabowsky now under trial.
Besides these, some 50 colonels were sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment in heavy irons; about 30 lieutenant-colonels and majors, to 10 years in heavy irons. All the officers of the Hungarian army who had not served before in the Austrian army were sent to the army as private soldiers, who can be flogged by the simple order of their officer. This is the case with Count Stephan Esterhazy, Baron Frederic Podmanicszzky, Count Gustav Batthyani, the son of the Count well known in England; of Baron Liptay, of Mr. Paul Csuzy, and a hundred others.
§ So much for the men: in addition to these individuals two women of rank, the daughter of Bishop Haubner, of Raab, and Mrs. Maderspach, at Rusk-berg, were sentenced to be flogged; and not only was sentence passed, but it was actually carried into execution. And in the face of all this, were they to hear it said that the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone was to blame when he asked for some security that protection would be given to the unfortunate refugees that their lives should not be practised upon, if not by the Austrian Government, and at their instigation, at least by Austrian subjects, who perhaps knew by what means they could best obtain the favour of their Government. His noble Friend had merely stated a fact, namely, that the Turkish Government had given notice to Kossuth that persons armed with Austrian passports, and whom the Turkish Government was therefore impotent to remove, had come to Turkey for the purpose of practising on Kossuth's life. That view was corroborated by the fact that an attempt of that nature had been subsequently made; and the noble Lord was perfectly justified in stating the matter to the House, and in asking the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs for an assurance that this country would, at all events, take all the precautions in its power to protect these unfortunate refu- 511 gees against being exposed to the attempts of persons who, if not actually employed by the Government and Ministry of Austria or Russia, well knew how they could best conciliate those Governments. Being in possession itself of the greatest of all blessings, constitutional freedom, this country must necessarily feel a deep sympathy for those who were struggling for constitutional liberty. But whilst this country was prepared to give a moral support to those who were engaged in such a noble and holy struggle, he admitted that it formed no part of the policy of this country to engage in war, or to interfere by force of arms in their behalf, It would, however, offer them the shield and protection of public opinion in England whilst engaged in a contest for those liberties which, happily for the English people, their forefathers had gained, and which he trusted their descendants would never cease to love and uphold.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, that he had indulged the hope that this unnecessary debate would before this time have arrived at its natural conclusion; but the observations which the hon. and learned Gentleman had just made, rendered it necessary for him to say one word in vindication of the course—the proper course, as he thought—which had been taken by the noble Lord near him (the Member for Tyrone). He congratulated the hon. and learned Gentleman upon the friendship and sympathy which he and his friends felt for a President of a House of Lords, and especially for bishops. Such indications of right feeling in such a quarter must be very satisfactory to the Conservative party. The hon. and learned Gentleman had read to the House a list of some victims of the unhappy and unfortunate civil war which had taken place in Hungary. They must all deeply deplore such events, but they could form no opinion from such circumstances whether the course which the hon. and learned Gentleman advocated was a just one. The catastrophe did not in anyway prove whether the persons who were victims were criminals or heroes. He might open the History of England in many places, and might read a list of confiscations and executions which took place, even when the present illustrious family—to whom they were all so much indebted for their liberties and progress—were upon the Throne. He mightrefer to the confiscation and execution of the Earl of Derwentwater, to the execution 512 of the accomplished and gallant Balmarino; and he might say, what do you think of a cause which has recourse to such remedies, and which can only substantiate its position by countenancing such atrocities? The hon. and learned Gentleman, therefore, in giving the House the list—even if it be authentic—of the calamities of the late civil war between Hungary and Austria, proved nothing whatever. Indeed, he needed not to go back to 1745, he might refer to the echo of that debate which was still lingering in the House—he might refer to the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Inverness-shire yesterday—he might refer to courts-martial, to executions by mistake, hurried on with such a want of common investigation, that it was acknowledged by the judges, not even legally appointed, that the victims were not the criminals in many instances; and he might ask, what do you think of a Government which could sanction such proceedings, and what can you think of a state of society which can tolerate, for a moment, their occurrence? He might refer to what had recently taken place in those Greek islands which were under our patronage and protection—to the wholesale executions perpetrated in those dependencies; and he might ask, what do you think of the conduct of England, and what do you think of the manner in which a country placed under the protection of a great and enlightened Power is treated? And yet he might—for he was not giving any opinion upon those circumstances, which would probably come under the consideration of the House in a few days—form a very wrong judgment, and draw a very erroneous inference from them. He thought that the noble Lord the Member for Tyrone was perfectly justified in expressing his indignation at the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone; and he (Mr. Disraeli) thought that if the noble Lord had a conviction that the statement which he had made with respect to the Government of Austria was one founded upon facts, it ought to have taken a much more prominent part in this debate, rather than in an epilogue which was brought forward when the noble Lord found that the steam had not been got up as expected. When he found that none of his anticipations were realised as to the effects of his Motion, he had recourse to an insinuation of assassination against one of the allies of Her Majesty, and, in so doing, made use of ex- 513 pressions the most unwarrantable which had probably ever been delivered in that House. If the noble Lord had a sincere conviction that one of Her Majesty's allies was at this moment planning the assassination and the poisoning of individuals placed to a certain degree under the protection of the Government of England, the statement was one which ought to have been made in the opening speech of the noble Lord. He (Mr. Disraeli) could perfectly understand and entirely sympathise with the feeling of indignation so properly expressed by the noble Lord the Member for Tyrone. As he was on his legs he would make one observation upon the general subject before the House. Nothing gratified him more than to observe the general feeling in that House in favour of the independence and integrity of the Turkish empire. He had always believed that to maintain the independence and integrity of that empire was essential to the peace and permanent prosperity of the civilised world. He had often endeavoured to express that opinion, and had found himself sometimes in a minority in the House upon the subject. But what was the independence and integrity of the Turkish empire? Why was the Turkish empire at this moment, he would not say a falling, but, at any rate, a feeble Power? It was the crusade of the Liberal party—which, in total ignorance of the political and social condition of that country, in total ignorance of its resources, of the nature of its laws, the character of its institutions, the genius of its people, and of the absolute necessity of its existence to the cause of good government and of real liberty, five and twenty years ago commenced a crusade which only latterly has been recognised by them as a fatal error—a crusade which excited the passions of all Europe against a generous and interesting people, and against a country the political independence of which was so important both to the interests of England and Europe generally. The passions of the people of Christendom were lashed up by the Liberal party till their policy ended in the catastrophe of Navarino and in bringing the Russians to Adrianople; and those who had done all the mischief now came forward to make Motions upon which no division could take place, and to express the sympathy of England with the country, which the ignorance and prejudice of the English, fostered and stimulated by themselves, had endangered. The state of 514 Turkey—he would not say the fallen state of Turkey, because he believed the resources of that country were very considerable, and, generally speaking, under the government which it had experienced of late years, had been considerably developed; but the critical state of Turkey, at least, was now the cause of indignation to the Liberal party of England—the party now represented by the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone—who came forward upon all occasions to denounce the usurpations, or to enlighten the House upon the subject of Russian aggression—the very party who for years played into the hands of that Power, however unconsciously—if it were so—and which created in this country a most inveterate prejudice against the character and conduct of the Turkish Government. He was very glad that they had arrived at the present result, and that, at last, the noble Lord and his friends had had their eyes opened to those errors which they had so long pursued. He considered that the barren Motions brought forward, generally in scanty Houses, upon this subject, were really a series of recantations by the Liberal party of their diplomatic ignorance. He congratulated the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office, upon an hon. and learned Member, who had previously signalised himself by moving his impeachment, doing justice to-night to what he styled the admirable readiness with which the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary came forward to vindicate the interests of the Turkish empire. He (Mr. Disraeli) never had considered that noble Lord, on the one hand, as a traitor, nor had he, on the other, given him credit for that consummate policy which some of his admirers, who had previously denounced him, were now ready to attribute to him. He had always thought that, generally speaking, the noble Lord would have managed affairs pretty well, had it not been for the Liberal party in the House, who, upon all occasions, in their ignorance of the subject upon which they spoke, adopted extreme opinions, and who, first of all, hallooed this country on against the Turkish empire, and, when they had done incalculable mischief, suddenly found out that the existence of that State was essential to the interests of England. The policy adopted by that party with respect to foreign affairs, resembled their policy on domestic topics, happily described by their Friend the First 515 Minister as the policy of contracted minds. They had imperfect knowledge, but, unfortunately, they possessed with it some power, which they used for dangerous purposes; for the last six or seven years, they had taken every opportunity of coming forward to uphold the interests and to vindicate the cause of Turkey, the critical state of which Power was entirely attributable to the excited passions of Europe, which they had roused against that State, in ignorance how important was the existence of Turkey to this country and to Europe in general.
§ SIR DE L. EVANS
was confident that the emancipation of the Greek people was an event which neither the majority of that House, nor the majority of the nation, would look back to with regret. His noble Friend the Member for Marylebone had been accused of historical ignorance; but when the assertion of his noble Friend, that Hungary had an ancient constitution, was contradicted, he ventured to say, without making any pretensions to historical knowledge, that the assertion implied no ignorance whatsoever. The constitution of Hungary was an old one. [Lord C. HAMILTON: I never said the contrary.] That was one of the points on which ignorance was imputed. The noble Lord alluded also to the misfortunes of the Hungarians in the wars with Turkey. But he forgot that the Hungarians conferred benefits on Austria similar to those which he said Austria had conferred on Hungary. He forgot to tell the House that John Sobieski was the man who relieved Vienna, and saved Austria. Was it, or was it not, that Hungary had possessed one of the most ancient constitutions in Europe? [Lord C. HAMILTON: Certainly.] With reference to the execution of Hungarians by the Austrian Government, the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire spoke of the uncertainty of information on such matters, and thence concluded that they ought not to indulge in strictures on the Austrian Government. He alluded to what had occurred in Ceylon and the Ionian Islands; but if severities had been inflicted in these two dependencies of this country, was there any reason to believe that they would be vindicated by a majority of that House? That one of the most bloody and horrible lists of punishments ever put on record, should be treated so lightly as it had been attempted to be treated by the hon. Gentleman, was a matter of extreme astonishment. The Government of Austria 516 stood distinguished from the others as being the only Government in Europe which had bombarded every great city in its dominions. He was glad to find that hon. Gentlemen had not uttered a single word in disapproval of the conduct of Her Majesty's Government on the subject of debate; and he hoped it would go forth to the country and to Europe that this House unanimously approved of the judicious and discreet course which Her Majesty's Government had pursued.
§ LORD C. HAMILTON
had never said the Hungarian constitution was not an old one. It took date seven years after Magna Charta was granted, namely, in the year 1222. He heard the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone say the Hungarians were always independent, and always enjoyed that constitution. The ignorance charged against the noble Lord was, that he did not seem to be aware that at the first battle of Mohatz the Turks appended Hungary to their empire; that for a century and a half a Turkish Pasha dictated laws from Buda; and that the ancient constitution was restored to Hungary by the House of Hapsburgh.
§ SIR. R. H. INGLIS
observed, that whatever support the Hungarians might have given to the House of Hapsburgh, John Sohieski, at least, was not a Hungarian—he was a Pole. He rose merely to make the remark, lest it should go forth that these statements of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Westminster had, by passing uncontradicted, received the unanimous assent of the House of Commons.
§ SIR DE L. EVANS
had said nothing with respect to the nativity of John Sohieski, but he believed that Hungarian troops were chiefly instrumental on that occasion in rescuing Vienna.
§ MR. M. MILNES
said, the hon. and eloquent Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire had been compelled, with all his ingenuity, to adopt a line of argument quite unworthy of his intellect, namely, vindicating certain atrocities by citing others equally wicked. He was surprised that that Gentleman should have recalled to them the past events in the commencement of the last century, when, after the rebellion of 1745, even with an adverse Sovereign on the Throne, he believed not more than twenty-five noblemen suffered execution. That took place 100 years ago, and he would then ask, were the Austrians determined to recede one hundred years in the world's history? He regretted 517 there could be found in that assemblage a single Gentleman prepared not to vindicate but to palliate such atrocities. In France, when the question was discussed before the Chambers, where the majority was decidedly conservative, not a single voice was raised to vindicate these atrocities. But he would not say a word about the executions that had taken place—he would not regret them in accents of pity; because he believed it vain and futile, not alone in Austria, but in any other country, to seek to quench a noble cause in the blood of its advocates. However, he would wish to close that debate by referring to a matter that had not been, as yet, alluded to. He would say a word as to the fatal imprudence of such violence as regarded the Austrian empire. Austria had achieved all she could desire, not by her own armies; but was the state of Hungary one that could be looked on with satisfaction, as tending to secure the peace or tranquillity of Austria or of Europe? He trusted his noble Friend the Member for Marylebone would not press for a division, because he believed his noble Friend the Secretary of the Foreign Department would judiciously select such documents as would bear most strongly on the case; and he believed he would do so, not from a desire solely to gratify the House, but because he would find in these documents a powerful vindication of his own policy, as well as of the wisdom of the course which this cocntry had pursued.
§ MR. GRATTAN
rose to adduce another instance of punishment inflicted under the authority of the Austrian Government, in order to allow the noble Lord the Member for Tyrone another opportunity of displaying his generous humanity and fine national feeling. The case was described in a paper which was from authority—not from a bishop or a president, but—a lady. [A cry of "Question!"] Question! It was the question. He should like to see the Member who called "Question!" The document was what he had a right to read. It was a letter from an Hungarian Countess, and said—In our immediate neighbourhood an army of Hungarians, amounting to 10,000 men, with 40 cannons, surrendered at discretion. Two days afterwards, some Imperial troops, a detachment of Liechtenstein's Light Horse, commanded by a captain, a native of this town, entered Ruskley. I was torn from the arms of my husband and children, from the hallowed sanctuary of home, and hurried before no judge—but I, a woman, a wife, a mother, in my own native town, before the people, who were accustomed to treat me with 518 respect, was dragged into a square of soldiers, and there I was scourged with rods,Was there any one in that House who could listen to the narrative of such an outrage without indignation? Had the noble Lord common feelings of humanity, that he "could rise in that House and desecrate its sanctuary by parasitical adulation of women-floggers? She proceeded—I can write this without dropping my head for shame. But my husband killed himself. He drew a pistol and shot himself.That letter was signed by the Countess de Madersfrach. There was a time when, in such a cause, "a thousand swords," to use the language of Burke, "would have leaped from their scabbards in her defence." If the Marchioness of Abercorn were taken and flogged before the Grenadier Guards, what would the noble Lord think? Or what would be say if the Duchess of Devonshire were taken and flogged in the streets of London? Who with a laugh on his face could hope to walk through the streets of London without being spit upon by the women and children for his base unfeeling sentiments? They might yet succeed, before the end of the Session, in calling up a blush of shame to the cheek of the noble Lord. He (Mr. Grattan) had seen another lady, the Countess Wolkonski, whose husband was a friend of the Duke of Wellington; he had seen her selling her diamonds to procure the means of subsistence. It was the emperors of Austria and Russia who sanctioned such atrocities that were thought worthy of praise in that assembly. They began by bribing Görgey, they went on to murdering Batthyani, and he should not be surprised if they ended by poisoning Kossuth. Those northern eagles were fit emblems of those double-necked tyrants that had pounced on Hungary to destroy its independence. Thank God, he had lived to utter his execrations of those tyrants! He never could think them anything but murderers with diadems on their heads; and if they poisoned this atmosphere with their pestilential principles and presence, he trusted there was spirit enough in the British lion to humble them and repel them from these shores.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.