Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Henry Temple (1784 – 1865)


British Whig statesmann and Prime Minister from 1855-1858 and 1859-1865.
Henry Temple
As to the notion that the Brazilian nation see the criminality of slave trade and have for ever abjured it such a notion is too childish for a grown man really to entertain, however it may suit the Brazilians to endeavour to make it accepted. The plain truth is that the Portuguese are of all European nations the lowest in the moral state and the Brazilians are degenerate Portuguese, demoralized by slavery and slave trade, and all the degrading and corrupting influences connected with both... I have laboured indefatigably all the time I was at the Foreign Office to put an end to the slave trade, and though not with entire at all events with some considerable success and nothing shall induce me to load my conscience with the guilt of having been a party to promoting its revival. I am afraid Bright has been at you upon these Brazilian matters. He has always professed great horror of slave trade and has invariably opposed the employment of any and every means by which it could be made to cease.
Temple quotes
Our interests require that Egypt should remain what it is, an integral part of the Turkish empire. We do not want it or wish it for ourselves, any more than any rational man with an estate in the North of England and a residence in the South would have wished to possess the inns on the North Road.
Temple
"Only three people," said Palmerston, "have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it."




Russia will in due time become a power almost as great as the old Roman Empire. She can become mistress of all Asia, except British India, whenever she chooses to take it; and when enlightened arrangements shall have made her revenue proportioned to her territory, and railways shall have abridged distances her command of men will become enormous, her pecuniary means gigantic, and her power of transporting armies over great distances most formidable. Germany ought to be strong in order to resist Russian aggression, and a strong Prussia is essential to German strength.
As to the American [Civil] War it has manifestly ceased to have any attainable object as far as the Northerns are concerned, except to get rid of some more thousand troublesome Irish and Germans. It must be owned, however, that the Anglo-Saxon race on both sides have shown courage and endurance highly honourable to their stock.
Henry Temple quotes
My dear John Russell, Till lately I had strong confidence in the fair intentions of Napoleon towards England, but of late I have begun to feel great distrust and to suspect that his formerly declared intention of avenging Waterloo has only lain dormant and has not died away. He seems to have thought that he ought to lay his foundation by beating with our aid or with our concurrence, or our neutrality first Russia and then Austria: and by dealing with them generously to make them his friends and in any subsequent quarrel with us.
Henry Temple
Even if England still continues to increase in civilization and opulence, she may yet, as other stronger states also rapidly augment, perhaps not long retain her present commanding position in the world; and it may be that in future ages the name of Palmerston will be synonymous with her greatest glory. From one generation of Englishman to another, the saying will be handed down: We are all proud of him.
I am heartily glad that Elgin and Grant determined to burn down the Summer Palace and that "the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood"... It was absolutely necessary to stamp by some such permanent record our indignation at the treachery and brutality of these Tartars, for Chinese they are not.
Temple
The American assault on Ireland under the name of Fenianism may be now held to have failed, but the snake is only scotched and not killed. It is far from from impossible that the American conspirators may try and obtain in our North American provinces compensation for their defeat in Ireland.
It is in the highest degree likely that the North will not be able to subdue the south, and it is no doubt certain that if the Southern union is established as an independent state it would afford a valuable and extensive market for British manufactures but the operations of the war have as yet been too indecisive to warrant an acknowledgement of the southern union.
Henry Temple
The hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) asks, "What is our interest in this war?" and he also asked me to explain the meaning of the expression "the balance of power." Now, the hon. Member for Manchester and I differ so much upon almost every question involving great principles that I am afraid I shall be unable to gratify him by complying with his request to explain the meaning of the expression "the balance of power." I think, however, that a man of his unquestioned ability, of his extensive knowledge, who has arrived at the age which he has attained, and who has not by his intuitive perception acquired a knowledge of the meaning of the words "balance of power," is not likely to be greatly enlightened by any humble effort of mine. Why, Sir. call it what you like—"balance of power," or any other expression—it is one which has been familiar to the minds of all mankind from the earliest ages in all parts of the globe. "Balance of power" means only this—that a number of weaker States may unite to prevent a stronger one from acquiring a power which should be dangerous to them, and which should overthrow their independence, their liberty, and their freedom of action. It is the doctrine of self-preservation. It is the doctrine of self-defence, with the simple qualification that it is combined with sagacity and with forethought, and an endeavour to prevent imminent danger before it comes thundering at your doors. Now, Sir, I know that the hon. Member for Manchester is so attached to his principles—very properly and very sincerely so—that he thinks that peace is, of all things, the best, and that war is, of all things, the worst. Now, Sir, I happen to be of opinion that there are things for which peace may be advantageously sacrificed, and that there are calamities which a nation may endure which are far worse than war. This has been the opinion of men in all ages whose conduct has been admired by their contemporaries, and has obtained for them the approbation of posterity. The hon. Member, however, reduces everything to the question of pounds, shillings, and pence, and I verily believe that if this country were threatened with an immediate invasion likely to end in its conquest, the hon. Member would sit down, take a piece of paper, and would put on one side of the account the contributions which his Government would require from him for the defence of the liberty and independence of the country, and be would put on the other the probable contributions which the general of the invading army might levy upon Manchester, and if he found that, on balancing the account, it would be cheaper to be conquered than to be laid under contribution for defence, he would give his vote against going to war for the liberties and independence of the country, rather than bear his share in the expenditure which it would entail.




Henry Temple quotes
I will not talk of non-intervention, for it is not an English word.
Henry Temple
"Die, my dear doctor! That's the last thing I shall do!"
Temple quotes
A Frenchman, thinking to be highly complimentary, said to Palmerston: "If I were not a Frenchman, I should wish to be an Englishman"; to which Pam coolly replied: "If I were not an Englishman, I should be wish to be an Englishman."
Nothing is so difficult to change as the traditional habits of a free people in regard to such things. Such changes may be easily made in despotic countries like Russia, or in countries where notwithstanding theoretical freedom the government and the police are all powerful as in France... Can you expect that the people of the United Kingdom will cast aside all the names of space and weight and capacity which they learnt from their infancy and all of a sudden adopt an unmeaning jargon of barbarous words representing ideas and things new to their minds. It seems to me to be a dream of pedantic theorists... I see no use however in attempting to Frenchify the English nation, and you may be quite sure that the English nation will not consent to be Frenchified. There are many conceited men who think that they have given an unanswerable argument in favour of any measure they may propose by merely saying that it has been adopted by the French. I own that I am not of that school, and I think the French have much to gain by imitating us than we have to gain by imitating them. The fact is there are a certain set of very vain men like Ewart and Cobden who not finding in things as they are here, the prominence of position to which they aspire, think that they gain a step by oversetting any of our arrangements great or small and by holding up some foreign country as an object of imitation.
To fortify London by works is impossible—London must be defended by an army in the Field, and by one or more Battles,—one I trust would be sufficient; but for this Purpose we must be able to concentrate in the Field the largest possible Military Force. in order to do so we must have the means of defending our Naval arsenals with the smallest possible Military Force, and this can be accomplished only by Fortifications which enable a small Force to resist a larger one. thence it is demonstrable that to fortify our Dockyards is to assist the Defence of London. As to Time we have no time to lose. I deeply regret that various circumstances have so long delayed proposing the Measure to Parliament, but it would be a Breach of our public Duty to put it off to another year. There may be some Persons in the House of Commons with peculiar notions on things in General and with very imperfect notions as to our National Interest who will object to the proposed Measures, but I cannot bring myself to believe that the Majority of the present House of Commons, or the House of Commons that would be elected on an appeal on this Question to the People of the Country would refuse to sanction Measures so indispensably necessary.
Henry Temple
Warmed by the instincts of a knightly heart, That roused at once if insult touched the realm, He spurned each Statecraft, each deceiving art, And met his foes, no vizor to his helm. This proved his worth; hereafter be our boast: Who hated Britons hated him the most.
Henry Temple quotes
It would be very delightful if your Utopia could be realized and if the nations of the earth would think of nothing but peace and commerce, and would give up quarrelling and fighting altogether. But unfortunately man is a fighting and quarrelling animal; and that this is human nature is proved by the fact that republics, where the masses govern are far more quarrelsome, and more addicted to fighting, than monarchies, which are governed by comparatively few persons.
Henry Temple
Mackieson gave me the other day a buffalo hide whip from Africa called in those regions a Peace Maker and used as such in the households of chieftains. Our Peace Makers are our Armstrongs and Whitworths and our engineers.
I therefore fearlessly challenge the verdict which this House, as representing a political, a commercial, a constitutional country, is to give on the question now brought before it; whether the principles on which the foreign policy of Her Majesty's government has been conducted, and the sense of duty which has led us to think ourselves bound to afford protection to our fellow subjects abroad, are proper and fitting guides for those who are charged with the government of England; and whether, as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity when he could say Civis Romanus sum; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him against injustice and wrong.


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