maandag 13 februari 2012

Lord Ellenborough -- 14 februari 1830

February 14.

Cabinet. On Thursday Peel, in opening the Compensation Bill, will detail the various legal reforms.

He is disposed to diminish gradually the number of crimes for which the punishment of death is awarded. The Duke seemed reluctant and so did others. However, the Chancellor did not object.

My father considered that where a man could not protect his own property the law ought to protect it for him by higher penalties. However, now it seems a man must protect his own property, and punishments are to be proportioned more to the extent of the moral offence than to the necessity for preventing crime.

Then we considered Leopold's [de latere eerste koning van België, op dat moment gegadigde voor het koningschap van Griekenland] answer. The man accepts provided—
1. There is a guarantee of the new State.
2. That the frontier is slightly altered.
3. That the three powers protect the present insurgents in Samos and Candia.
4. That a loan of 1,500,000£ is guaranteed.
5. That he may have troops furnished to him.
6. He stipulates that the Greeks should have the power of declining him, le soussigné, as their Prince.

A guarantee there will probably be, and therefore the alteration of boundaries, which Leopold knew could not be listened to, is in fact unnecessary.

Each power separately and individually may use its good offices with the Porte for the protection of the Greeks in Samos and Candia, and indeed, under the agreement as to an amnesty, each would be bound to do so; but no triple agreement will be entered into, the object being to get out of the Treaty of July 6.

Aberdeen seemed disposed to allow 1,000 men of each of the three Powers to go to Greece. This would continue the triple action, and as these troops would go, not against any external enemy, but against Greeks, the measure would be somewhat in contradiction to the declaration the other night that the Greeks and their Prince might make what Government they pleased. After some conversation it seemed the general opinion that it would be better to pay the cost of the troops than to have our own there, and in fact the same money would enable Greece to have twice the number of Germans or Swiss that she could have of British. This I thought. But I suggested that Greece could not want a large sum down. A sum might be required for outfit, but then an annual sum. Peel proposed the whole loan guaranteed should be 700,000£, of which 100,000£ to be paid down as outfit, and then 100,000£ a year for six years at 5 per cent; the three Powers guaranteeing each a third part of the interest. It is better to guarantee the loan, then to pay money down. The loan, they say, can be made at three. Aberdeen says the Greeks give a most flourishing exposé of their future finances, and he thinks they will become a rich State, and the Powers be exposed to no danger of being called upon for the payment of the interest. I think he begins to love his Greek progeny.

The Duke only desired we would get out of the treaty. I suggested the inexpediency of our joining in the guarantee. A guarantee gave no right of intervention we should not otherwise possess, and it obliged us to interfere when we might not desire to do so. However, I fear there will be a guarantee.

* Dagboek van Lord Ellenborough
* Lord Ellenborough (1790-1871)

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