HC Deb 18 March 1850 vol 109 cc1056-7

begged to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether the Government of this country, or our Ambassador at Constantinople, were parties, by advice or otherwise, to the conduct of the Turkish Government in condemning Kossuth and the other Hungarian refugees in Turkey to banishment and confinement in the interior of Asia Minor? And, if the British Government had not been a party to that most unjustifiable proceeding; he also wished to ask whether the British Government had made any remonstrance to the Porte on the subject?


, in answer to the question of the hon. Gentleman, whether Her Majesty's Government had been a party to the transportation of the Hungarian refugees, said, that Her Majesty's Government had only so far interfered as having, through Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople recommended to the Porte to make the detention of those persons—if the Porte considered itself bound by its engagements with Austria to detain them at all—for as short a time as was consistent with those engagements; and in the meantime to render their detention as little irksome and inconvenient as possible. He had no difficulty in saying, as his own opinion, that it would have been desirable if the Porte could have set them at liberty, and not detained them at all. It was not for Her Majesty's Government to judge what were the engagements and communications entered into by the Porte with the Government of Austria; but, taking a broad view of the matter, it would have seemed that if the Porte had felt itself at liberty to act fully and freely, that engagement which the Porte was bound to fulfil—namely, preventing the Turkish territory from being the scene of intrigue for the purpose of disturbing the tranquillity of its neighbours, would have been accomplished by removing altogether from the Turkish territory those persons on whom the Austrian Government looked with anxiety and jealousy; but the Porte was the only judge of what its engagements compelled it to do, and the advice which Her Majesty's Government had given was that which he had stated in the beginning of his reply.

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