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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Subserviency of England to Russia

Subserviency of England to Russia.

On the 12th October, 1814. Lord Castlereagh wrote to the Emperor Alexander a private letter remonstrating against the extravagance of his pretensions as regards Poland.

From the Notes to the Facsimile of the Declaration against Russia in 1807, we take the following:—

"From this letter we learn that the wars from 1803 to 1815, which we believed to have been forced upon us by the act of France, and to have been carried on by us in self-defence by various powers, were undertaken 'at the instance of Russia,' and solely for Russian interests. The resources of England had been employed to obtain—

"The dismemberment of Sweden,

"The dismemberment of Denmark,

"The dismemberment of Turkey,

"The dismemberment of Persia; for the aggrandlsement of Russia.

"These confessions are made in the course of an appeal to the Emperor, not to abandon his purpose of extension westward—that is, to incorporate Poland—but to modify the operation at a particular moment, so as to spare the English Government the embarrassment of exposures in Parliament."

This is founded on Lord Castlereagh's letter to the Emperor, from which the following extracts are made:—

"I might also appeal to past experience, were it necessary, to relieve myself and my Government from any suspicion of a policy adverse to the views and interests of Russia.

"Your Imperial Majesty will recollect that we are only now emerging from a long course of painful policy with respect to Norway, undertaken at your Imperial Majesty's instance, page 27 a order to secure to you the support of Sweden throughout he war, and to consolidate your possession of Finland by retaining for that power an adequate indemnity in another Direction.

"To this object our resources throughout The Contest, and our conquests from Denmark, were steadily directed and successfully applied, under circumstances not a little arduous to such a Government as ours.

"Your Imperial Majesty will trace the same friendly spirit in the aid lately afforded by his Majesty's Ministers at the Porte to the conclusion of a peace with the Turks [threat of war against the Turks—"aid? "], which involved in it a large accession of territory to your empire.

"I may refer to a still more recent instance on the side of Persia, which your Imperial Majesty has condescended more than once to acknowledge, where a peace has been signed securing to your Imperial Majesty important and extensive acquisitions in consequence of the active intervention of the Kings Ambassador, acting under express instructions from Home. [These instructions were "to practise deceptions on the Persian Government."—Sir J. M'Neill.]

"If I have referred to these transactions it is only from an anxiety that your Imperial Majesty may not misinterpret my motives. If I now find myself compelled in this the fourth instance of Russian aggrandisement within a few years, by a sense of public duty to Europe, and especially to your Imperial Majesty, to press for a modification—not an Abandonment—of your Imperial Majesty's pretensions to extend your Empire further westward (Poland) &c."

A comparison of this systematic letter with the outspoken language of Talleyrand is indeed odious.