Frasi di Henry John Temple, III visconte Palmerston

Henry John Temple, III visconte Palmerston photo
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Henry John Temple, III visconte Palmerston

Data di nascita: 20. Ottobre 1784
Data di morte: 18. Ottobre 1865

Henry John Temple, terzo visconte Palmerston , è stato un politico inglese.

Lord Palmerston viene soprattutto ricordato per la direzione della politica estera del Regno Unito in un periodo in cui la Gran Bretagna si trovava al massimo della sua potenza, in qualità di Segretario di Stato per gli Affari Esteri prima e di Primo Ministro poi. Molte delle sue azioni aggressive, oggi indicate col termine di interventismo, destarono non poche controversie e rimangono un tema delicato. Lo storico A.J.P. Taylor così descrisse il visconte Palmerston:

Frasi Henry John Temple, III visconte Palmerston

„Proneness to changes and fondness for experiment have never been the character of the English nation.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech in the House of Commons (3 March 1831), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 159-160.
1830s
Contesto: Proneness to changes and fondness for experiment have never been the character of the English nation. They have, on the contrary, been remarkable for tenacious adherence to existing institutions, and for stubborn resistance even to plausible innovations. Striking, indeed, is the contrast which, in this respect, they exhibit with their next door neighbours of the continent; for while France boasts of the newness and freshness of her institutions, the people of England place their pride and attachment in the antiquity of theirs. So hard, indeed, is it to bring this nation to consent to great and important changes, that some of those measures which impartial posterity will stamp with the mint-mark of purest wisdom, and most unalloyed good, have only been wrung from the reluctant consent of England, after long and toilsome years of protracted discussion; and even such acts as the re-admission of the Catholics of the pale of the constitution, and the prohibition of the traffic in the flesh and blood of man, were each of them the achievement of a hard-fought contest of many years.

„It may be depended on that there is no better security for peace between nations than the conviction that each must respect the other, that each is capable of defending itself, and that no insult or injury committed by the one against the other would pass unresented.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

1860s
Contesto: There is no doubt that all nations are aggressive; it is the nature of man. There start up from time to time between countries antagonistic passions and questions of conflicting interest, which, if not properly dealt with, would terminate in the explosion of war. Now, if one country is led to think that another country, with which such questions might arise, is from fear disposed on every occasion tamely to submit to any amount of indignity, that is an encouragement to hostile conduct and to extreme proceedings which lead to conflict. It may be depended on that there is no better security for peace between nations than the conviction that each must respect the other, that each is capable of defending itself, and that no insult or injury committed by the one against the other would pass unresented.

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1862/feb/17/obsebvations in the House of Commons (17 February 1862).

„I am firmly persuaded that among nations, weakness will never be a foundation for security.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech in the House of Commons (26 February 1816), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 11-12.
1810s
Contesto: I will venture to lay it down as a general principle, that there are no better means for securing the continuance of peace, than to have it known that the possessions in the neighbourhood of a foreign state are in a condition to repel attack. I am firmly persuaded that among nations, weakness will never be a foundation for security.

„But he came not here a bigoted polemic, with religious tracts in one hand, and civil persecution in the other; he came to regenerate and avenge the prostrate and insulted liberties of England; he came with peace and toleration on his lips, and with civil and religious liberty in his heart.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech in the House of Commons (18 March 1829) in favour of Catholic Emancipation, quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 84-85.
1820s
Contesto: I reverence, as much as any one can do, the memory of those great men who effected the Revolution of 1688, and who rescued themselves and us from the thraldom of religious intolerance, and the tyranny of arbitrary power; but I think we are not rendering an appropriate homage to them, when we practice that very intolerance which they successfully resisted, and when we withhold from our fellow-subjects the blessings of that Constitution, which they established with so much courage and wisdom.... that great religious radical, King William... intended to raise a goodly fabric of charity, of concord, and of peace, and upon which his admirers of the present day are endeavouring to build the dungeon of their Protestant Constitution. If the views and intentions of King William had been such as are now imputed to him, instead of blessing his arrival as an epoch of glory and happiness to England, we should have had reason to curse the hour when first he printed his footstep on our strand. But he came not here a bigoted polemic, with religious tracts in one hand, and civil persecution in the other; he came to regenerate and avenge the prostrate and insulted liberties of England; he came with peace and toleration on his lips, and with civil and religious liberty in his heart.

„Half the wrong conclusions at which mankind arrive are reached by the abuse of metaphors, or by mistaking general resemblance or imaginary similarity for real identity.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Letter to H. L. Bulwer (1 Sept. 1839), quoted in Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer's Life of Palmerston (Philadelphia: J. B. Lipppincott, 1871), vol. 2, pp. 261-62. (Palmerston was criticizing descriptions of the Ottoman Empire as "decaying," etc.)
1830s
Contesto: Half the wrong conclusions at which mankind arrive are reached by the abuse of metaphors, or by mistaking general resemblance or imaginary similarity for real identity. Thus, people compare an ancient monarchy with an old building, an old tree, or an old man, and because the building, tree, or man must, from the nature of things, crumble, or decay, or die, they imagine that the same thing holds good with a community, and that the same laws which govern inanimate matter, or vegetable or animal life, govern also nations and states.

„It seems to me that the system of purchasing temporary security by lasting sacrifices, and of placing the interests of Foreign Ministries above those of this country, is one that never can be worked out with advantage either to the honour of this country, or to that of the Administration which pursues such a course.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1844/aug/07/foreign-policy-of-ministers in the House of Commons (7 August 1844).
1840s
Contesto: Ministers, in fact, appear to shape their policy not with reference to the great interests of their own country, but from a consideration of the effect which their course may produce upon the position of Foreign Governments. It may very well be a desirable object, and one worthy of consideration, that a particular individual should continue in the administration of affairs in another country, but it is too much that from regard to that object, the interests of this country should be sacrificed, and that every demand of Foreign Powers should be acceded to... It seems to me that the system of purchasing temporary security by lasting sacrifices, and of placing the interests of Foreign Ministries above those of this country, is one that never can be worked out with advantage either to the honour of this country, or to that of the Administration which pursues such a course. Since the accession to office of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, no one can have failed to observe, that there has been a great diminution of British influence and consideration in every foreign country. Influence abroad is to be maintained only by the operation of one or other of two principles—hope and fear. We ought to teach the weaker Powers to hope that they will receive the support of this country in their time of danger. Powerful countries should be taught to fear that they will be resisted by England in any unjust acts either towards ourselves or towards those who are bound in ties of amity with us.

„We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1848/mar/01/treaty-of-adrianople-charges-against to the House of Commons (1 March 1848).
1840s
Contesto: I hold with respect to alliances, that England is a Power sufficiently strong, sufficiently powerful, to steer her own course, and not to tie herself as an unnecessary appendage to the policy of any other Government. I hold that the real policy of England—apart from questions which involve her own particular interests, political or commercial—is to be the champion of justice and right; pursuing that course with moderation and prudence, not becoming the Quixote of the world, but giving the weight of her moral sanction and support wherever she thinks that justice is, and wherever she thinks that wrong has been done... I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.... And if I might be allowed to express in one sentence the principle which I think ought to guide an English Minister, I would adopt the expression of Canning, and say that with every British Minister the interests of England ought to be the shibboleth of his policy.

„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“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Letter to Richard Cobden (8 January 1862), quoted in Jasper Ridley, Lord Palmerston (London: Constable, 1970), p. 590.
1860s
Contesto: 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.

„I am satisfied that the interest of England is the Polar star—the guiding principle of the conduct of the Government; and I defy any man to show, by any act of mine, that any other principle has directed my conduct, or that I have had any other object in view than the interests of the country to which I belong.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

1830s
Contesto: In the outset, I must deny the charge made personally against myself, and against the Government to which I belong, of an identification with the interests of other nations... I am satisfied that the interest of England is the Polar star—the guiding principle of the conduct of the Government; and I defy any man to show, by any act of mine, that any other principle has directed my conduct, or that I have had any other object in view than the interests of the country to which I belong.

Speech in the House of Commons (19 March 1839), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), p. 407.

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„We ought to teach the weaker Powers to hope that they will receive the support of this country in their time of danger. Powerful countries should be taught to fear that they will be resisted by England in any unjust acts either towards ourselves or towards those who are bound in ties of amity with us.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1844/aug/07/foreign-policy-of-ministers in the House of Commons (7 August 1844).
1840s
Contesto: Ministers, in fact, appear to shape their policy not with reference to the great interests of their own country, but from a consideration of the effect which their course may produce upon the position of Foreign Governments. It may very well be a desirable object, and one worthy of consideration, that a particular individual should continue in the administration of affairs in another country, but it is too much that from regard to that object, the interests of this country should be sacrificed, and that every demand of Foreign Powers should be acceded to... It seems to me that the system of purchasing temporary security by lasting sacrifices, and of placing the interests of Foreign Ministries above those of this country, is one that never can be worked out with advantage either to the honour of this country, or to that of the Administration which pursues such a course. Since the accession to office of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, no one can have failed to observe, that there has been a great diminution of British influence and consideration in every foreign country. Influence abroad is to be maintained only by the operation of one or other of two principles—hope and fear. We ought to teach the weaker Powers to hope that they will receive the support of this country in their time of danger. Powerful countries should be taught to fear that they will be resisted by England in any unjust acts either towards ourselves or towards those who are bound in ties of amity with us.

„Those who desire to see the principles of liberty thrive and extend through the world, should cherish, with an almost religious veneration, the prosperity and greatness of England.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech in the House of Commons (18 May 1851), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 429-430.
1850s
Contesto: It is only from England, and from the exertions of England, that any hope can be entertained of the extinction of the slave trade, and of the ultimate abolition of slavery throughout the world; because it is England alone that feels any deep and sincere interest in the matter. England now holds a proud position among the nations of the earth, and exercises a great influence upon the destinies of mankind. That influence is owing, in the first place, to our great wealth, to our unbounded resources, to our military and naval strength. But it is owing still more, if possible, to the moral dignity which marks the character and conduct of the British people... Those who desire to see the principles of liberty thrive and extend through the world, should cherish, with an almost religious veneration, the prosperity and greatness of England. So long as England shall ride preeminent on the ocean of human affairs, there can be none whose fortunes shall be so shipwrecked—there can be none whose condition shall be so desperate and forlorn—that they may not cast a look of hope towards the light that beams from hence; and though they may be beyond the reach of our power, our moral support and our sympathy shall cheer them in their adversity, and shall assist them to bear up, and to hold out, waiting for a better day.

„There is no doubt that all nations are aggressive; it is the nature of man.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1862/feb/17/obsebvations in the House of Commons (17 February 1862).
1860s
Contesto: There is no doubt that all nations are aggressive; it is the nature of man. There start up from time to time between countries antagonistic passions and questions of conflicting interest, which, if not properly dealt with, would terminate in the explosion of war. Now, if one country is led to think that another country, with which such questions might arise, is from fear disposed on every occasion tamely to submit to any amount of indignity, that is an encouragement to hostile conduct and to extreme proceedings which lead to conflict. It may be depended on that there is no better security for peace between nations than the conviction that each must respect the other, that each is capable of defending itself, and that no insult or injury committed by the one against the other would pass unresented.

„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.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Letter to Thomas Milner Gibson (5 May 1864), quoted in Jasper Ridley, Lord Palmerston (London: Constable, 1970), p. 507.
1860s

„As to tenant-right, I may be allowed to say that I think it is equivalent to landlords' wrong.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1865/feb/27/adjourned-debate-resumed in the House of Commons (27 February 1865). The origin of the famous epigram, "Tenant right is landlord wrong."
1860s

„I am sure every Englishman who has a heart in his breast and a feeling of justice in his mind, sympathizes with those unfortunate Danes (cheers), and wishes that this country could have been able to draw the sword successfully in their defence (continued cheers); but I am satisfied that those who reflect on the season of the year when that war broke out, on the means which this country could have applied for deciding in one sense that issue, I am satisfied that those who make these reflections will think that we acted wisely in not embarking in that dispute. (Cheers.) To have sent a fleet in midwinter to the Baltic every sailor would tell you was an impossibility, but if it could have gone it would have been attended by no effectual result. Ships sailing on the sea cannot stop armies on land, and to have attempted to stop the progress of an army by sending a fleet to the Baltic would have been attempting to do that which it was not possible to accomplish. (Hear, hear.) If England could have sent an army, and although we all know how admirable that army is on the peace establishment, we must acknowledge that we have no means of sending out a force at all equal to cope with the 300,000 or 400,000 men whom the 30,000,000 or 40,000,000 of Germany could have pitted against us, and that such an attempt would only have insured a disgraceful discomfiture—not to the army, indeed, but to the Government which sent out an inferior force and expected it to cope successfully with a force so vastly superior. (Cheers.) … we did not think that the Danish cause would be considered as sufficiently British, and as sufficiently bearing on the interests and the security and the honour of England, as to make it justifiable to ask the country to make those exertions which such a war would render necessary.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech at Tiverton (23 August 1864) on the Second Schleswig War, quoted in ‘Lord Palmerston At Tiverton’, The Times (24 August 1864), p. 9.
1860s

„The honourable gentleman has alluded to the distresses and financial embarrassments of the country. I should be the last man to speak of those distresses in a slighting manner; but in considering the amount of our burdens, we ought not to forget under what circumstances those difficulties have been incurred. Engaged in an arduous struggle, single-handed and unaided, not only against all the powers of Europe, but with the confederated forces of the civilized world, our object was not merely military glory—not the temptation of territorial acquisition—not even what might be considered a more justifiable object, the assertion of violated rights and the vindication of national honour; but we were contending for our very existence as an independent nation. When the political horizon was thus clouded, when no human foresight could point out from what quarter relief was to be expected, when the utmost effort of national energy was not to despair, I would put to the honourable gentleman whether, if at that period it could have been shown that Europe might be delivered from its thraldom, but that this contingent must be purchased at the price of a long and patient endurance of our domestic burdens, we should not have accepted the conditions with gratitude? I lament as deeply as the honourable gentleman the burdens of the country; but it should be recollected that they were the price which we bad agreed to pay for our freedom and independence.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Speech in the House of Commons (16 May 1820), quoted in George Henry Francis, Opinions and Policy of the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B., M.P., &c. as Minister, Diplomatist, and Statesman, During More Than Forty Years of Public Life (London: Colburn and Co., 1852), pp. 15-16.
1820s

„Lord Palmerston: Then you did not vote for me, friend Rowcliffe; you preferred voting for a Tory.
William Rowcliffe: I did not vote for you, my Lord, for if I had, I should have voted for a Tory.“

—  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

During the general election of July 1865 where the Chartist Rowcliffe voted for a Conservative and another Liberal in order to oust Palmerston from the two-member constituency; quoted in F. J. Snell, Palmerston's Borough (Tiverton, 1894), pp. 107-112.
1860s

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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