Palmerston to Aberdeen

December 10th

On hearing the reports about the Russian attack on the Turkish Fleet, Viscount Palmerston took the opportunity to write once more to Prime Minister Aberdeen.

He reiterated his aggressive stance towards shoring up the integrity of the Turkish territories.

.“.. no peace can be concluded between the contending parties unless the [Russian] Emperor consents to evacuate the Principalities, to abandon his demands, and to renounce some of the embarrassing stipulations of former treaties upon which he has founded the pretensions which have been the cause of existing difficulties.

Palmerston made mention of the importance of establishing naval supremacy and of restricting the Russian fleet to harbour at Sebastopol in the Crimea.

“To bring the [Russian] Emperor to agree to this, it is necessary to exert a considerable pressure upon him … In the Black Sea, the combined English, French, and Turkish squadrons are indisputably superior to the Russian fleet ..

“I would strongly recommend, therefore  .. that the Russian Government and the Russian admiral at Sebastopol should be informed that so long as Russian troops occupy the Principalities, or hold a position in any other part of the Turkish territory, no Russian ships of war can be allowed to show themselves out of port in the Black Sea. If the Russian fleet were shut up in Sebastopol, it is probable that the Turks would be able to make in Asia an impression that would tend to facilitate the conclusion of peace.”