Der britische Gesandte Stewart übermittelt Denkschriften betreffend das von den Regierungen Österreichs, Preußens und Russlands geplante Vorgehen gegen die Revolution im Königreich beider Sizilien.
|Anwesende||CARAMAN · LA FERRONNAYS · GOLOVKIN · HARDENBERG · KAPODISTRIAS · KRUSEMARCK · LEBZELTERN · METTERNICH · NESSELRODE · STEWART|
|Bezeichnung||Anlage 1: Britische Denkschrift|
|Signatur||Wien, ÖStA, HHStA, Staatskanzlei, Kongressakten, Kart. 21, Fasz. 38 (alt), 173–189|
Französische Übersetzung auf fol. 161-172
|Vgl. gedruckte Quelle||Alberti, Atti, S. 390-395 (französische Übersetzung.|
|Bezeichnung||Anlage 2: Offizielle Erklärung Stewarts|
|Signatur||Wien, ÖStA, HHStA, Staatskanzlei, Kongressakten, Kart. 21, Fasz. 38 (alt), 157–158|
Französische Übersetzung auf fol. 156.
|Vgl. gedruckte Quelle||Alberti, Atti, S. 390 (französische Übersetzung).|
|Bezeichnung||Anlage 3: Begleitschreiben zur britischen Denkschrift|
|Ort/Datum||Wien, 29. 12. 1820|
|Signatur||Wien, ÖStA, HHStA, Staatskanzlei, Kongressakten, Kart. 21, Fasz. 38 (alt), 159|
|Bezeichnung||Anlage 4: Note des britischen Außenministers Castlereagh|
|Ort/Datum||London, 16. 12. 1820|
|Signatur||Wien, ÖStA, HHStA, Staatskanzlei, Kongressakten, Kart. 21, Fasz. 38 (alt), 130–155|
Hand: Friedrich Gentz[Bl. 129r]
Troppau le 19 Décembre 1820
La conférence de ce jour a eu pour but d’entendre la lecture des pièces que Mr.Monsieur l’Ambassadeur de la Grande-Bretagne a reçues de son gouvernement comme réponse aux différens Mémoires communiqués dans les séances précédentes par MrsMessieurs les Ministres des Cabinets d’Autriche, de Prusse et de Russie.
Lord Stewart a fait lire un Mémoire du gouvernement Brittanique, renfermant la déclaration de ce gouvernement sur les questions traitées dans les sus-dits Mémoires, et une note accompagnant ce Mémoire. Ces deux pièces se trouvent ci-jointes sub LittLitteris A et B.
Hand: Anonyme Hand[Bl. 173r]
The Undersigned, having transmitted to His Court the Journal of the Proceedings of the Allied Ministers assembled in Conference down to the 7th November inclusive, in which Proceedings are contained the Explanatory Memoirs delivered in on the part of the Austrian, Prussian and Russian Plenipotentiaries, has received the orders of His Government to declare:[Bl. 173v]
That the King, His Royal Master, has observed with the greatest satisfaction the friendly and conciliatory spirit in which these important Discussions have been conducted, and that upon this, as upon every former occasion when the Allied Ministers have been brought together, the various modes of proceeding for the common interest have been temperately and freely examined, without prejudice to that happy and intimate Union, which has invariably characterised the Proceedings of the Alliance.[Bl. 174r]
His Majesty has also seen with peculiar pleasure in the late Deliberations that the respective Cabinets, assembled at Troppau, have evinced a laudable delicacy in not attempting to give a strained or exaggerated construction to the existing Treaties, and that, while the text of those Instruments is regarded as the exclusive rule and measure, both of the common rights and duties of the Contracting Parties, all extraneous Questions have been treated of in such a manner as to leave the several Allied[Bl. 174v] Powers at Liberty to accomodate their Decisions upon them to their own peculiar position, without, at the same time, impairing either the general harmony or the common ties, which bind the Allies together.
The British Government, in replying to the Communications thus brought under their consideration, do not deem it necessary to enter into a detailed examination of the several Memoirs in question.
Most of the Topics therein touched upon have been examined by[Bl. 175r] them in former Communications. They conceive that they will upon the whole best consult the convenience and meet the wishes of the Allied Cabinets by shortly recapitulating those Principles as guiding their Decision upon the present occasion, which have already formed the basis of the several Instructions lately addressed to His Majesty’s Ministers abroad, of all which Instructions Copies have been successively communicated to the Allied Courts.
And first, with regard[Bl. 175v] to the Neapolitan question, which has more immediately given birth to the present Réunion, and which forms the main topic of discussion in these Papers, the British Government has already fully explained its sentiments with the utmost frankness in a Dispatch addressed to the Undersigned, bearing date July 29th.1
Had this Document not been conveyed to the knowledge of the Allied Courts, the well known Principles of the British Government must nevertheless have assured[Bl. 176r] them that a Revolution, bearing on the face of it such evident traces of an occult Sectarian Conspiracy and of Military Revolt against a mild and paternal Government, could not have been viewed otherwise than with equal pain and distrust by a State, which regards such dangerous expedients as little adapted to establish reciprocal Confidence between a Sovereign and His People, or to contribute to the Establishment of any rational or well[Bl. 176v] regulated System of Freedom; but whilst the pernicious character of this change was then fully admitted, the British Government felt it a duty at the same time to declare that whatever danger might be expected to flow from the example of such an Event, it was not regarded by them as so directly bearing upon the particular Safety of Great Britain as would induce or, according to their received notions, could justify them in making themselves[Bl. 177r] parties in the particular case to any system of forcible interference.
This Principle of forbearance was still further enforced in Lord Castlereagh’s Instructions to Sir WmWilliam A’Court, bearing date the 16th of September,2 wherein that Minister was expressly authorized to declare that a strict neutrality would be observed by His Government in the event of any Hostilities, resulting from the late changes, provided always that the Personal Safety of the Royal family was[Bl. 177v] duly respected.
The Declaration thus directed to be made decided from that moment absolutely and finally the position of the British Government.
It left them in fact no other matter for Deliberation than what might belong in good Faith to the observance of their Neutrality.
The duties of such a line of conduct compelled them, for the reasons alleged in Lord Castlereagh’s Dispatch of the same date,3 addressed[Bl. 178r] to the Undersigned, to decline the Austrian Overture of the 28th of August,4 and they feel equally bound to abstain from making themselves Parties either morally or materially to every other Measure of an hostile character that may be taken by any particular Power or Powers against the “de facto” Government of Naples.
The motives, which decided His Majesty’s Government to adopt this course of Policy without a moment’s[Bl. 178v] delay, were explained in the Dispatch to the Undersigned, also bearing date the 16th of September,5 and the Undersigned doubts not, those Motives have been duly appreciated by the Allied Cabinets.
The decision thus taken is a sufficient proof that the British Government did not regard the Question of Naples as one falling within any of the Provisions of existing Treaties, upon which it would be contended that the Casus Foederis et Belli,[Bl. 179r] therein specified, had arisen, or even that the special Obligation to deliberate in common with the Allies, as specified in the 3d Article of the Treaty of Alliance, could in this particular case be alleged to exist.
They took their Determination therefore under the pressure of the exigency, and in the exercise of what appeared to them their undoubted right, and by that Determination the line of their duty must be most scrupulously regulated.[Bl. 179v]
In laying down this Principle of non-interference for the rule of their own conduct, the British Government has never presumed to prejudge the Decision of the other Allied Powers, or to question the grounds upon which they either collectively or individually may deem it incumbent on them to adopt a different course of Policy.
His Majesty’s Government have from the first admitted that the Position of some of the Continental Powers, and[Bl. 180r] specifically the Position of Austria and of the Italian States, was essentially different from that of Great Britain, and they have professed their disposition to respect whatever Decision They, as Independent Powers, might take upon full Deliberation for the security of Their own Dominions; provided always that due assurance was given that the Territorial System of Europe as settled by late Treaties was not thereby intended to be disturbed.[Bl. 180v]
As far as the present Discussions have gone, it is but Justice to the several Allied Powers that the British Government should declare that they have unequivocally evinced a Disposition altogether exempt even from the suspicion of any interested or ambitious purpose, and without being understood to give any opinion upon the propriety of the Political Conclusions, to which They appear to have come with regard to the Affairs[Bl. 181r] of Naples, as bearing upon Their own Security (an Opinion, which the British Government, in their Neutral Character, do not feel themselves called upon either to form or to pronounce). They nevertheless, under the particular circumstances of the Case, certainly cannot feel either the Disposition or the Right to oppose themselves to their Determination.
Having stated thus much upon the General Principle of the proposed Interference, the Undersigned is directed[Bl. 181v] to declare, on the part of His Government, as an obvious and necessary Corollary from the Principles above laid down, that they must likewise decline being Parties to any executory measures which may grow out of such Interference and that, if the Entry of an Austrian Army into the Kingdom of Naples should give occasion to any temporary System of Military Occupation, resembling[Bl. 182r] that to which the Treaty of Peace in 1815 gave rise in France, Great Britain can take no share in its execution, nor can the British Government otherwise interfere, than in exercising, in concert with the Alliance, that general “Surveillance” with respect to the nature and duration of that Occupation, which devolves upon them not as matter of Option, but as a Duty under existing Treaties and as Guardians of the General Territorial[Bl. 182v] Balance and Settlement of Europe.
The Undersigned is further directed to decline, but in the most friendly manner, the Overture contained in the Austrian Minister’s Note of the 29th of October, in which it is proposed that the Allied Powers should take an engagement not to recognize, but with common consent, the existing order of Things at Naples, so long as the Conferences at Troppau shall last, which Proposition,[Bl. 183r] having been accepted by the Russian and Prussian Plenipotentiaries, has since, at the instance of the Russian Cabinet, been made absolute and without restriction as to time.
It is not that the British Government has it in contemplation at present to advise His Majesty to grant Credentials or to receive them from the existing Government of Naples, but as the Principles above explained preclude them from being Parties to the more extended Concert, in[Bl. 183v] which the other Powers are engaged, they feel it in point of Consistency incumbent on them not to participate in this particular Branch of that Concert.
Having submitted the reasons, which have determined His Court under existing Circumstances to act upon a Principle of Neutrality with regard to Naples, the Undersigned is instructed to declare, with reference to the observations brought forward in these Memoirs concerning the late Revolutions in Spain 6 and[Bl. 184r] Portugal,7 that His Government continues to be of opinion that the state of neither of those Kingdoms, however critically and anxiously circumstanced, can justify at present in prudence any direct Interference in their internal Affairs.
With regard to Spain, the existing Constitution has been formally acknowledged by the Allied Sovereigns at the instance of the King, and their Ministers accredited to that Court have been continued in the full exercise of their Functions.[Bl. 184v]
And with respect to Portugal, until His Most Faithful Majesty shall be enabled to take some Determination upon the extraordinary Situation, in which His Affairs are placed by the late Events, it should seem impossible for any other Power to venture to pronounce upon them.
For a more particular Exposition however of their Sentiments upon both these important Subjects the Undersigned is directed by His Government to refer to the 8 Memoir on Spanish Affairs of April 1820 and[Bl. 185r] to the 9 Dispatch of October 29th, recently addressed to the Undersigned concerning the late Events in Portugal.
There only remains for the Undersigned to observe upon the idea, which prevails throughout these Memoirs, but which appears to be somewhat more specifically treated of in that delivered by the Russian Plenipotentiaries, namely that of some general systematic and solemn Declaration, to be agreed upon and promulgated on the present occasion, of the Principle, by which the Conduct of the five[Bl. 185v] Great European Powers is to be in future regulated with regard to States, the established Governments of which shall undergo some violent change by means similar to those by which the late Events in Spain, Portugal and Naples have been brought about.
The Principles therein thrown out for consideration appear to the British Government to amount in effect to a revival of those Discussions with regard to the Establishment of a General System of Guarantee, not merely[Bl. 186r] territorial, but political, between the European Powers, in the examination of which Question some progress was made when the Cabinets were assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle, but which was then laid aside by common consent from the extreme Difficulties, if not the absolute Impracticability, in which the whole Subject was involved.
The Memoir presented by the British Plenipotentiaries on that occasion, bearing date the 15th September 1818,10 contains the expression of the opinion of Their Court not only upon[Bl. 186v] this momentous Question, but also defines the precise meaning and character of the 11 Treaty of Quadruple Alliance of the Year 1815, as agreed to by His Majesty and sanctioned by Parliament.
To the reasoning contained in this short Analysis of their Foreign Relations, the British Government desires to be understood as adhering, and They feel it Their duty to declare, that Reflection has only served to confirm Them in the conviction that every[Bl. 187r] attempt to reduce such a System to practice must not only fail, but that the avowal of such a description of League among the Great Allied Powers would seriously tend in various ways to aggravate the danger to which it professes to apply a Remedy.
This being Their matured and deliberate conviction, They owe it to Themselves and to the Allied Cabinets, so far as the opinion of the British Government can have weight, to dissuade them from attempting to reduce[Bl. 187v] to an abstract rule of conduct possible Cases of Interference in the internal Affairs of Independent States.
Such Interference every Power has an undoubted right to employ upon the Principle of Self defence in a case of adequate Necessity, but to be just, it must rest upon some evident practical danger, to be specially inferred from all the circumstances of the particular case, but which never can, a priori,[Bl. 188r] be made the subject matter of an Alliance between the Great Powers of Europe.
The Transactions of 1815, with regard to France, were expressly founded upon the overbearing and conquering character, which that particular Revolution had assumed to the terror of all Europe, but it does not follow that the same course of Policy can be made universally applicable to all other Revolutions.
The Undersigned [Bl. 188v] is only further commanded to state that the King, His Master, is fully alive to the great Kindness and Consideration, with which His August Allies have expressed Themselves to His Majesty upon the present occasion.
His Majesty has received these assurances from Them as a fresh and valuable Pledge, not less of Regard than of Confidence, and They may rest assured that His Majesty’s attachment to Their August Persons[Bl. 189r] and to the Interests of the Alliance is unabated and imperishable, and that His Majesty will always be found ready to fulfil with Zeal and Promptitude those Duties which are prescribed to Him by the Treaties so happily subsisting between Them.
[Unterschriften nicht originalschriftlich: Ausfertigung]
Hand: Anonyme Hand[Bl. 157r]
The English Ambassador at the Court of Vienna, in placing by order of His Court the Official Note hereunto annexed on the Journal of the Conferences, is commanded additionally to state that, had the time admitted of it, this Official Document would have been accompanied by a more detailed Developement of the reasoning upon which the British Government deems it necessary as well to decline being a Party to any League or Concert in the nature of a General Guarantee, as to[Bl. 157v] recommend earnestly to their Allies to confine Their views to special cases of public danger, as they may from time to time arise, rather than to pledge Themselves beforehand to interfere on every occasion when Political Changes may be brought about in any State by what may be regarded by Them as irregular or unlawful means, or by anticipation to hazard the promulgation of a System of conduct to be pursued by them on all such occasions, of the Prudence as well as the Practicability of which undertaking the[Bl. 158r] most serious doubts may suggest themselves.
An outline of the view taken of this Question by the British Government may be found towards the close of the Memoir of the 15thSeptrSeptember 1818,12 presented by the British Government at Aix-la-Chapelle.
Hand: Anonyme Hand[Bl. 159r]
Le Soussigné Ambassadeur Extraordinaire et Ministre Plénipotentiaire de Sa Majesté Britannique ayant reçu l’ordre de Sa Cour de communiquer à Son Altesse Monsieur le Prince de Metternich, Ministre d’Etat et des Affaires Etrangères de Sa Majesté Impériale et Roy.Royale Apostolique, la Copie d’une Dépêche qu’il vient de recevoir en date du 16 Décembre ; il a l’honneur de la transmettre ci-jointe, en réitérant à Son Altesse les Assurances de Sa haute considération.
Vienne ce 29 Décembre 1820
Hand: Anonyme Hand[Bl. 130r]
Foreign Office December 16 1820
Your Excellency’s Dispatch 129 with its several Inclosures has been received and laid before the King.
The important Documents conveyed in this Dispatch having been examined by His Majesty’s Confidential Servants with the greatest attention, I am now commanded to convey to Your Excellency the observations, which they[Bl. 130v] have felt it their Duty to submit to His Majesty, and which, being honoured with the King’s sanction, Your Excellency will consider as the rule, by which Your own conduct and language is to be regulated in any future discussions that may take place on this subject.
I consider it may be convenient in this Dispatch to lay wholly out of view the Instructions transmitted to the Austrian, Prussian and Russian Ministers[Bl. 131r] at Naples, together with the Autographic Letters addressed by the August Sovereigns assembled at Troppau to His Sicilian Majesty.
The Note, which Your Excellency has already been directed to present to the Conference, will have fully explained, why the King feels Himself bound to decline any direct Participation in those Measures.
Under this view of His duty, His Majesty does not deem it expedient[Bl. 131v] to appoint a Plenipotentiary to take part in His Majesty’s name in the proposed Discussions at Laybach; but His Majesty sees no objection to His Ministers at Vienna and Naples (should They receive Invitations from the Sovereigns to whom They are respectively accredited) accompanying Their Majesties to such interview, and when there, to Their assisting at any Conferences which may be held in[Bl. 132r] the same manner and under the same reserve as has been prescribed to Your Excellency at Troppau; and it will afford to the King the truest satisfaction should these Discussions lead to an amicable adjustment of all differences.
The subject to which I am more particularly directed in this Dispatch to call Your Excellency’s attention is the Protocole Préliminaire, which appears to have been presented to the Conference at[Bl. 132v] Troppau on the 19th Ultimo, as an Act agreed upon and executed by the Plenipotentiaries of the three Powers, without any previous Communication with the British and French Ministers.
The formal Signatures to this Protocol having, in consequence of Your Excellency’s observations, been withdrawn, it was declared on the Proceedings of the following day by the Memoirs of the[Bl. 133r] three Courts 13 that they regarded this Document rather in the nature of a Projét, than of a signed Instrument, and as containing only the Basis upon which They proposed to pursue Their deliberations in this branch of Their labors, till His Sicilian Majesty’s Answer should be received, and until the observations of the two absent Courts upon the Protocol in question could be obtained.[Bl. 133v]
If this Protocole Préliminaire is only to be regarded as the reasoned Basis upon which the three Courts were induced to come to the conclusion with regard to the Affairs of Naples, which is set forth in that Paper and in the Instructions transmitted to Naples, combined with such a assurance to each other of the spirit of precaution in which they are determined to watch over the safety of Their own Dominions by regarding with a jealous[Bl. 134r] eye Events of a like nature to those which have lately occurred in the Kingdom of Naples, the British Government, having already declared itself disposed to respect the Course which in the particular case They propose to pursue, would not have felt itself called upon, in declining to accede to this Protocol, to enter upon this Question further than very shortly to state their reasons for such Decision. But as this Protocol appears[Bl. 134v] rather to be intended to form the Basis of a General System which, after being proposed to the consideration of the other Allied Courts, is, if agreed to by Them, to assume the character of a Treaty or to be promulgated to Europe as a System of international Law, to which the accession of other Courts is to be invited, the Question in that view assumes a character such as must necessarily[Bl. 135r] awaken the attention of all European States with regard to its principles as well as its provisions.
In looking at the effects of this Protocol, and examining its bearings in the latter point of view, the first question that arises is, in what position does it place the Contracting Parties, first towards each other, and secondly towards independent States,[Bl. 135v] not being Parties to its obligations?
Before we examine this, it may be well to state generally the nature of its provisions.
It professes to assign to the contracting Parties under the name of the Alliance 14 the right and the duty of declaring any particular State, in which a change of Government has been effectuated by what they deem irregular or illegal means, to be ipso[Bl. 136r] facto excluded from the European Alliance: An immediate separation from the State, thus placed as it were in Outlawry, is to be the first consequence of such Declaration; and in the event of amicable intervention failing to procure the reestablishment in that State of such an order of things as may, in the judgment of the contracting Parties, entitle it to be received again into the Bosom[Bl. 136v] of the Alliance, Coercive Measures are to be had recourse to for the purpose of enforcing the same.
It is impossible for those who value the Alliance the most highly, and who from experience are the most highly and unfeignedly impressed with its characteristic Benevolence and Liberality, not to feel alarmed at the very idea of challenging in a formal Instrument a claim on its behalf to the exercise of such[Bl. 137r] unexampled power as this; a Claim which is represented in the Protocol to rest upon “une application légitime et salutaire des principes, sur lesquels se fonde Leur Alliance”. – It may be asked from what Principle of existing Treaties the Alliance finds Itself entitled to draw such a conclusion. Certainly not from the Treaty of Alliance of November 1815, signed at Paris.
At the close of an unexampled war carried[Bl. 137v] on against Them by the Revolutionary Government of France the Allies, under the extraordinary Circumstances of being obliged a second time to march Their Armies into that Kingdom, felt Themselves entitled to take the precautions contained in that Treaty; and They justified its extraordinary provisions exclusively upon the necessity of the particular case. But surely it is impossible to bring forward what was applied to France at the close[Bl. 138r] of such a War and under Circumstances so peculiar as a precedent which is to justify the Alliance in placing all Europe, including so many States that were associated as Allies in that struggle, in the same state of surveillance as was then on special grounds applied to France. 15
France might be said to make the Peace with Her eyes open, in contemplation of the Treaty of Alliance.
But where is the like title to be found for the assumption of the five Powers[Bl. 138v] of a similar, or rather of a much more penal Superintendance over all the other States of Europe?
The Treaty of Alliance, after stipulating the exclusion of the Usurper’s Family forever from the Throne of France, binds the Allies in the event of any Revolutionary Convulsion in France only to deliberate together for the common safety, with a view to the adoption of such measures as the Safety of Europe under such an exigency might require.[Bl. 139r] But the Protocole Préliminaire in Article 5 proceeds at once to recognize their authority to place Armies of Occupation in the Territories of such of those States as the Alliance may deem to require such a precaution.
If a title to assume such powers cannot be contended for as founded upon any general Principle or upon any existing Treaty, is it intended to invite all other States to accede to this League and thus, by their voluntary[Bl. 139v] consent, to submit themselves in such cases to the Jurisdiction of the Alliance?
Can it be supposed that all the other States of Europe will choose to accede to such a System? And if not – what is to be the position of the non-acceding States? 16
What would be the effect of such accession upon the Political situation of the greater number of Sovereigns that might be called upon to give it, and upon Their Subjects?
Would it not bear the appearance of separating[Bl. 140r] Themselves from Their own people and of looking to Foreign Aid for the safety of Their Thrones?
Could the King of France for instance accede to such a Treaty without exposing Himself to the very inconvenience which the Allies dissuaded His Majesty wisely in 1815 from incurring?
Could the King of Spain, without the utmost and most immediate peril to His personal safety, as well as to His Throne?[Bl. 140v]
It is also material to consider what would be the situation of the Five Great European Powers with respect to each other, were the Principle promulgated in this Protocol to be recognized.
It is to be presumed that whatever rights are therein claimed, the exercise of such rights is to be reciprocal between the Parties.
Are then the Great Powers of Europe prepared to admit or to recognize such a Principle, as that Their respective Territories are thrown open to this[Bl. 141r] extent to each other’s approach upon cases of assumed necessity or expediency, of which not the Party receiving aid, but the Party administering 17 it is to be the Judge?
I should much doubt whether such a Doctrine would be palatable in any one of the great Monarchies in question; but with regard to Great Britain, no Minister could venture to advise the King to sanction such a Principle.
The Act of Settlement, by which the Succession to the Throne is regulated,[Bl. 141v] has expressly provided that it is contrary to Law for the King, under any Circumstances, to introduce Foreign Troops into the Realm, without the Consent of Parliament.
Under this Law, were His Majesty to be advised to recognize this Principle that in any possible event, even at His own specific invitation, much more at the discretion of other Powers, Foreign Troops might, without the Consent of Parliament, come into the Country with a view of interfering in its internal Affaires, not only[Bl. 142r] would such a recognition be wholly illegal and invalid, but so revolting would it be to every Class and Description of the People that it might shake His Majesty’s Title to His Throne, if not expiated by the punishment of the Minister, by whom such advice had been given.
From such a Principle the British Government must not only dissent, but protest against any attempt to consider it as under any imaginable Circumstances capable of being applied to the[Bl. 142v] British Dominions.
It may however be alleged that nothing more is meant than to reassert the Right which belongs to every Independent State to interpose in the Affairs of a neighbouring State, by whose Internal Convulsions its own Peace and Security are menaced or endangered, and to declare on the part of the Contracting Parties Their fixed Determination, under the present Circumstances of Europe, pregnant as they undoubtedly[Bl. 143r] are with peril to the Stability of all Governments, to act together, as set forth in the Protocol, in all such cases for the common safety. But here is a wide distinction. It is proposed to create a Confederacy for the Exercise of a Right, which though undoubtedly appertaining, upon Principles of Selfdefence in extreme Cases, to each particular State, has never yet as a general Measure been made the subject either of a Diplomatic Regulation[Bl. 143v] or conjoint exercise.
It is proposed to assume on the part of the Alliance a Sovereign Power over the other States of Europe equivalent to that, to which the German States have mutually submitted themselves in case of internal Convulsion, but which in the German League is to be administered not at the discretion or by the force of the most powerful Members of the Confederacy, but by the force of the League itself and under the[Bl. 144r] discretion of its Diet.
In this Case no such Conventional arrangement has been or can well be made.
The claim to exercise such a Power 18 may not only excite among the Nations of Europe great uneasiness, but may provoke sooner or later Counter-Alliances.
There are extreme Rights to which Nations, as well as Individuals, must have recourse for Their own preservation, and for the exercise of which no Legislation can provide Rights, which must be left to originate[Bl. 144v] in and to be limited by the necessity of the especial Case.
The extreme Right of Interference between Nation and Nation can never properly be made a matter of written stipulation or be assumed as the Attribute of any Alliance.
It must in each Case be an exception to the General Rule.
It cannot be incorporated with the acknowledged practice of Nations, or provided for beforehand by the ordinary Forms of Diplomatic Transactions. Such an innovation[Bl. 145r] seems the less called for in the present moment, as after preliminary explanation with Their Allies the Three Powers have taken Their determination upon the particular point of Naples 19 as freely as They could have done under the existence of such a Protocol.
If the other Powers have pursued a different course of Policy, They have neither pretended to oppose Themselves to the Decision of Their Allies, nor have They evinced any Disposition to obstruct Them in what[Bl. 145v] They regard to be a measure of public safety.
Why then contract any new Engagement, or promulgate any new Code on so grave and delicate a subject?
It may perhaps be conceived that the Publication of some formal Act by the Great Powers may, at the present moment, serve to discourage the Enterprises of the Factions in all Countries and animate the well-disposed with more Confidence to resist their evil Machinations.
But would not the[Bl. 146r] course of Measures, in which the Three Allied Sovereigns 20 are engaged in the case of Naples, speak more forcibly for itself, than any written instrument proceeding from the same Parties could do?
If however a Declaration of the Sovereigns is, in addition, deemed necessary 21 to enforce their Sentiments or to awaken the deluded to reflection, might not such a Declaration find its place in Ministerial Notes, explanatory of the 22 Considerations which have determined their Interference[Bl. 146v] in this particular case, and without hazarding a new diplomatic proceeding altogether without example?
If the Powers confine Themselves to the Question of Naples and lay down Their general Principles without reference to any other Case, those Principles will speak for themselves, but They by this Course pledge Themselves to no other proceeding than that in which They have already embarked: They thus avoid creating unnecessary alarm and exciting expectations as well as[Bl. 147r] apprehensions, which might fruitlessly disturb the peace of other Countries.
It is also to be considered that, if the promulgation of such a novel Confederacy may express in some degree the prevailing spirit of Military Revolts, it may on the other hand arouse in those States, which have latterly through such means received a Representative Form of Government, that spirit of Military Energy which was the distinctive and most formidable Character of the French Revolution, but of which[Bl. 147v] the late Revolutions have as yet exhibited no Symptom.
The apprehension of an armed Interference in their internal Affairs may excite them to arm; may induce them to look with greater jealousy and distrust than ever to the Conduct of their Rulers, in short, may accelerate the progress of Republican Principles and perhaps lead to the Destruction even of the semblance of Monarchical Institutions within those States.
What hope in such a case of a better order[Bl. 148r] of things to result from the prudence and calm deliberations of a People, agitated by the apprehension of Foreign Force, and how hopeless on the other hand the attempt to settle by Foreign Arms or by Foreign Influence alone any stable and rational System of Government.
It is impossible to do more in this Dispatch than to point attention to some of the most important bearings of this extensive and formidable subject.
Enough has however[Bl. 148v] been stated to prove that the present may be regarded as an important Era in the European System; and whether the reasoning brought forward be convincing or not, it is at least sufficient to shew what an unbounded field for Agitation and Controversy the promulgation of such an Instrument as the Protocole Préliminaire must immediately open.
Your Lordship, for the reasons above stated, 23 and many others of a most cogent nature, which it would swell this Communication too much[Bl. 149r] to enumerate, will decline, in the name of Your Court, being an acceding Party to the Protocols in question.
You will distinctly understand that this determination on the part of His Majesty’s Government does not rest upon the Form or Phrases 24 of the particular Instruments, and consequently is not susceptible of being removed by any partial modification of their stipulations.25
They feel Themselves obliged to dissent from the fundamental Principle[Bl. 149v] upon which these Protocols rest, namely that of rendering the Powers either of the existing or of any other Alliance avowedly and systematically applicable under any Circumstances 26 to the internal Transactions of independent States.
The British Government will always claim on their own behalf and will recognize in others the Right of such an Interference upon an adequate necessity.
They also are ready fully to acknowledge that in the present situation of Europe, and[Bl. 150r] considering the happy union which, for limited and defined purposes, subsists under Treaty between its principal Powers, it would be highly advantageous that any particular Power or Powers, before they proceed to act upon such an extreme Right, should open their intentions as well as their motives to the Alliance, in order that the Allied Powers may thereby receive the requisite assurance that, in prosecuting such measures of National Security, the Powers so acting entertain no views inconsistent with the general Territorial[Bl. 150v] Settlement and Balance of Europe.
The British Government can never regard the question of Interference in each particular instance as one which the Alliance is to be called in to decide; but as one which appertains exclusively (under the check above described) to the particular State or States menaced or immediately endangered.
The other System appears to Them at once to lead to the creation of a species of General Government[Bl. 151r] in Europe with a superintending Directory, destructive of all correct notions of internal Sovereign authority.
Such a System would not only render the connexion of the five Powers offensive to other independent States, but must rapidly tend by familiarizing their minds with ideas of Foreign Influence and Interference to destroy all wholesome National Energy and all independent action, more especially within the smaller States.
The British Government[Bl. 151v] have not observed without Reprobation and Alarm the machinations of secret Societies and the success of the Military Insurrections of the present day.
They regard them as more likely to consign the Countries, in which they may occur, through scenes of Bloodshed and Confusion to the hateful Repose of a Military Despotism than to conduct them to any improved System of regular Liberty.
But the Disapprobation[Bl. 152r] and the dread of those perilous evils must not be permitted to hurry them into the opposite, and as they would regard it, not less fatal extreme of becoming (as the Protocol appears to contemplate) armed Guardians of all Thrones, 27 without even regard to the Principles upon which the Powers of Government are administered.
They feel that such a Guarantee could not be morally given without involving a Claim to pronounce upon, and to interfere with the mode[Bl. 152v] in which the supreme authority in each particular State so to be guaranteed is exercised: a Claim absolutely incompatible with the Independance or Dignity of the local Sovereign.
Under these impressions the British Government must continue to regard the right of Interference in the concerns of other Nations as one to be exclusively used by a State or States with a view to their own immediate Security or to the Preservation of those national Interests, for the maintenance of which a recurrence to War[Bl. 153r] would be justifiable, but it cannot consent to charge itself as a Member of the Alliance with the Moral Responsibility of administering a General European Police of this description.
It is true, it has not been contended in support of the proposed Projet that the Letter of any of the existing Treaties warrants such an Interpretation of the Powers or Duties of the Alliance, and it is only under the Sanction of the alleged Spirit of the Treaty of 1815 that it is sought to assign those[Bl. 153v] powers and those duties to the Alliance by the Protocols now under consideration.
The British Government, in declining to accede to such a System, gives full credit to the Governments, by whom it is proposed, for the purity and benevolence of Their Intentions; but conscientiously believes that the result of adopting such a Principle (though comparatively safe in the hands of the August Sovereigns, who now happily fill the Thrones of those powerful States) would[Bl. 154r] in the long run be productive of more misrule and even of more Revolutions in Europe than the leaving of extreme cases of public danger from time to time to find as heretofore their corrective in the Interference not of an Alliance, but of the Power or Powers most directly interested in their Repression.
Your Excellency will make a communication to the Allied Courts of this frank avowal of the King’s Sentiments upon the result of Their late Deliberations.
However painful it must be to His Majesty on[Bl. 154v] any occasion to differ in opinion from those August Sovereigns to whom He is so firmly and so cordially attached; yet upon a Question of this peculiar nature, whatever may be their ultimate decision, His Majesty’s own course must necessarily be regulated by those prudential maxims, which are known to have at all times governed the Policy of Great Britain.
The King trusts that He will not be regarded however as presuming to interfere bejond the just limits of those[Bl. 155r] obligations which unite His Majesty with His Allies; if He should again recommend to Their considerations the wisdom of not being tempted by the nature of their own particular Institutions to hazard an experiment which cannot fail to excite public feelings and public discussions throughout Europe, the effects of which in the present state of moral and political ferment no human foresight can estimate, and no Combination of its Powers may be able to controul.
|Zitierempfehlung||Protokoll der 7. Sitzung des Kongresses von Troppau. In: Mächtekongresse 1818–1822. Digitale Edition, hrsg. von Karin Schneider unter Mitarbeit von Stephan Kurz, Wien: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Neuzeit- und Zeitgeschichtsforschung 2018. URL: https://maechtekongresse.acdh.oeaw.ac.at/pages/show.html?document=Troppau_Prot_7.xml&directory=editions, abgerufen 06.12.2023, 13:53.|