Briefe von Thomas Maitland an die Konsuln Großbritanniens aus dem „Barbary States Correspondence Book“ (1813-1845); [Auszüge]National Archives of Malta (NAM)Chief Secretary to Government, 1813-1921 (CSG)
The Office of the Chief Secretary was the head administrative office of the Civil Government: through it were chanelled all departmental, consular, ecclesiastical and individual correspondence, and all naval and military correspondence concerning civil matters. Local Government policy emanated only from this office, through letters and orders to the various heads of department, ordinances and publications in the Government Gazette.
The office began to funcion on 5th October 1813 with the arrival of the first Governor, when its preceeding office of Publicd Secretary was abolished.
The Chief Secretary to Government was the highest civil authority, second only to the Governor. CSG 08Barbary States Correspondence Book (1813-1845)
13 f.: Circular
To the consuls of the Barbary Powers
Malta 15. October 1815
(…) You will inform me of all transactions that occur under your Consulate, in which the British interests are in the smallest degree concerned. And, on this head, you will be extremely particular in regard to the transactions of the Consuls of other powers generally – in an especial manner with regard to the French and American. (…)
19: To Mr. Consul Oglander, Tunis (Kissing the hand of the young Bey)
Malta 1. July 1816
I have received your letter, relative to your having deemed it advisable to refuse complying with the request, made by the Bey of the Government, that at the late installation of the Bey’s Son, you should, as a mark of respect, kiss his hand: and I have, at the same time, received a very strong letter from the Bey upon this head. (…) It appears you actually went into the Divan, and, in the Divan itself, refused this mark of attention. But you say that you would have been satisfied to kiss his hand, if the minister had assured you in writing that it would not have been deemed establishing a precedent. To me it appears, that making any such reference was totally unnecessary; and that the obvious line of your conduct ought to have been, either to go through the ceremony prescribed, and stating to the minister that you protested against it, and that you had referred it home; or, that you should have staid away from the Divan altogether. But by going there, and refusing, in full Divan, to comply with a ceremony requested, certainly does not strike me as a conciliatory mode of conducting yourself; or as one, from the prejudices and irritable habits of the parties concerned, which must not have appeared to them as a marked indignity: more particularly, as the consuls of several of the great European powers had already complied with the request. You will, therefore, if any such occasion happens in future, be pleased to be guided by the suggestions I have above stated; and until you are further instructed upon this head, you will act accordingly. Maitl.
32: To Consul Mc Donell (Remonstrating against his inattention to the instructions of His Excellency, and want of proper obedience to the Naval Commander in Chief)Corfu 26. Dec. 1816Sir, it has become my duty, and a most unpleasant one it is, to demand that you will be pleased forthwith to inform me, upon what grounds the orders I have transmitted to you at different times, in consequence of the Instructions from His Majesty’s Secretary of State bearing date have in no one instance been complied with; nay more that have never even received one line from you upon any subject. Could this be owing to mere inattention or pressure of business, I am the last person who would wish to take notice of it; but as I find from the Admiral that you were pleased, lately, when Captain Spencer touched at Algiers, not to introduce him to the Bey, and to communicate to him that you thought the admiral had nothing to do with the affairs of Barbary, it becomes completely necessary that we should come forthwith to a fair understanding upon all this subject.
His Majesty’s Government, it is true, has placed you distinctly under my orders; these, however, you have been pleased hitherto to pay no attention of any kind; and having thus emancipated yourself from the observance of His Majesty’s orders, you have been further pleased to state, that the Admiral on these Seas has nothing to say to the Affairs of Barbary.
This being the case, I would be glad to know what British Authority in this part of the world has to do with the affairs of Barbary; or whether you imagine You are the person who has charge of the British Interests in that country? In short, I am completely at a loss to account for your conduct, for I presume that it is hardly possible that all the Instructions I have written to you in duplicate and triplicate must not have some of them reached you. Putting this however out of the question, I enclose you now a fresh copy of the most important of them; and I have distinctly to order and direct you to comply with them, and not to deviate from them in any one instance; sending up here, forthwith, a copy of our whole correspondence (if any has past) with the secretary of state, from the date of my original Letters upon that head: and you are hereby further instructed and directed, whenever the Admiral is good enough to let one of his Vessels touch at Algiers, that you forthwith introduce the captain of such vessel in the usual manner to the Bey, unless there may be circumstances at the moment which would render it impossible or inexpedient; which reasons you will be pleased to intimate to me in writing, by the captain himself who has not been so presented: and you will further, instead of supposing that the Admiral has nothing to do with the Barbary Powers, be pleased to consider any suggestion of his, except in the instance of pecuniary transactions, to be distinctly the same as an order coming from me.
I have (signed) T. Maitland
34: To Consul Oglander, Tunis
14th January 1817
(…) And I must request, once for all, that you omit no opportunity that may occur, of informing me regularly of every transaction that passes at Tunis, and every part to which your Consulate applies.I have (signed T. Maitland)
4: Oglander, Tunis
23rd May 1817
Sir, I understand, from undoubted authority, that you have been corresponding with the Neapolitan Government; and from the communication that has been made to me, through His Majesty’s Secretary of State, I have reason to believe that that correspondence has been of a nature, by no means tending to strengthen the bounds of unity between Tunis and the Neapolitan Court. I have, therefore, to request, first, that you do not correspond with any Government in the Mediterranean except through me; when I shall immediately forward such Letter, or not, as I deem it expedient; Secondly, you will perfectly understand, that it is the Determination of His Majesty’s Government that you should, under no circumstances, ever be permitted to act as Consul for the Government; and, thirdly, that instead of the course it appears you have hitherto followed, you do make use of every influence, to maintain and to cherish, in your situation as British Consul, a perfect good understanding between the Government of Naples and that of Tunis. Inform me immediately whether there be any other Nation for which you at present act as Consul; mentioning the grounds upon which you are so acting, and by what permission: and you will, therefore, consider it as the invariable rule of your conduct, that you are not to act for any foreign consul, without my previous sanction and approbation. 36: Consul Oglander, Tunis (Kissing the hand of the young Bey)
23rd May 1817
I had not finished my letter of this date, when I received yours of the 3rd of April; by which I perceive, that the question is once more agitated, relative to the line you pursue in not Kissing the hand of the young Bey, and agitated, too, from a very natural quarter. I was in hopes that in consequence of the letter I wrote to you upon that head, immediately before I went to England last year, that all similar occurrences might be prevented in future; and I therefore, did not press Lord Bathurst, when in England, to come to any decision on the question: of little importance had it been conducted at the time, in the manner I think it ought to have been. Nor does it appear to me, that it is a question necessary to be referred to England; though I shall mention it by next packet; and I have only to refer you once more to my dispatch under date 1st of July last, and which I request you will observe as the rule for your conduct. (…) Such protest must be verbal, and applied only once.
37: Macdonell 23rd May 1817
Sir, on my arrival here five days ago, I received your two letters of 20th and 21st of March; since when I have been so unwell, as not to attend to any business; and I, therefore, cannot enter into any length, in explanation of the subject. If you had any doubt about my original orders, it would have been well to have expressed them to me and asked explanations; which if you have done I certainly have never seen it: and, in fact, when I wrote my circular letter to the consuls I simply followed the orders of The Crown; an order by no means new, as the same care applied, I believe, to Lord William Bentwick; and most undoubtedly, the last thing I ever should have thought of, was to prohibit any consul from alluding to any thing that the Admiral of the Station said in respect to the commercial Interests, or to the dignity of the Navy in these Seas. But on points of general Policy, and on points particularly of Money expenditure, it is necessary, I apprehend, under His Majesty’s Instructions, that I should be consulted. In points of general Policy I have no difficulty in saying that it is impossible there can be the smallest difference between Sir Charles Penrose and me. In points of Money Expenditure the case is different; because, under the orders of the Crown, all accounts under your Consulate, except your individual pay, are to be transmitted here for general audit; and when audited are to be paid, by my warrant, in this Island. These orders were transmitted to you, in common with the other consuls, when I received them.
You inform me, however, they have never reached you: I have, therefore, directed a copy to be transmitted to you herewith; and recommended you to lose no time in sending up by the quickest means, the whole of them here, that you may receive the amount; which, by naming a Gentlemen, may be paid here, or transmitted to Gibraltar, or Algiers, as may be most convenient to yourself. In respect to what you say with regard to the necessity of supporting the dignity of consul, – of the ignorance which persons must be under who have not been at Algiers, – of your zeal for the service, – and the answer you make relative to Captain Spencer of His Majesty’s Ship Erne, – I beg have very shortly to observe, that I conceive I have a much more complete knowledge of the nature of the Government of Algiers, than most men who have been only there for 5 years; in as much, as though there may be some drifting local differences, I have spent fifteen years of my life exactly in similar Governments: and I well know that the conviction in my mind is, that it is absolutely necessary to support in the strongest manner whoever is employed; neither have I the smallest inclination, or ever had I a feeling, to doubt your Zeal: at the same time, however, it is impossible for me, when I have the strongest reason to believe (and which I certainly could not create) that the Captain of The Erne had not been attended to as he ought to be, not to state what I did; and I must still regret, that if you had any doubts about my Instructions, you should whisper these doubts to a Captain of a Man of War, and not communicate them to me directly, when the whole thing would have been settled at once. I shall write you much more fully, in answer to all the points that I think touch upon your Consulate, by an opportunity that will offer in a few days: and have only to request that you will believe, what I truly feel, that though nothing can be so painful to me as to make any observations to a person of your situation, of your merits, I must, on the other hand, take notice of every thing that militates (as I am informed at the moment) against the common rules and observations due to the Navy.
In the present instance, however, I feel perfectly disposed to credit the accuracy of your Statement; and on Captain Spencer’s arrival here, I will take care that he shall be apprized of my feelings on that head through the proper channel.
I have (signed) T. Maitland
P.S. You will be pleased to forward with each of your half-yearly accounts, a certified Statement of all Fees, duties, received by you during that period.
44: Oglander, Tunis (Kissing the hand of the young Bey)/p>
6th October 1817
(…) I received two letters which refer again to that unfortunate difference, which has occurred now several times, relative to a ceremony of observance, to which if I am rightly informed, all the other European Consuls have consented, but which you still seem to consider as being unsettled. I had flattered myself, from the tenor of my despatch under date 1st July 1816, that it was hardly possible this question would have been again agitated: and I must express my astonishment at your quoting to me one part of that dispatch and not the whole of it, relating as it did exclusively to this subject. Give me leave to say, that I once for all object to such a line of proceeding: a despatch must be taken in its whole, and the general sense of it must be adverted to in every particular point. In the quotation you give me you totally omit every thing I stated relative to the necessity, in consequence of the situation in which you stood with the Bey, of observing an amicable and conciliating line of your conduct: and, as a positive direction, you couple two parts of the Despatch, without having taken the smallest notice of the Basis on which the whole of it was founded which I in my conscience think could only be well settled by mutual good understanding between yourself, the Consuls to the other Great powers and the Bey. As however it is still hanging on, I shall give instructions to Colonel Hankey and the Honourable Captain Spencer to adjust it, till it can be finally settled by The Crown, after they have investigated the circumstances of the case. T. Maitland
7th October 1817
58: To the Bey of Tunis: Congratulatory letter on the amicable adjustment of the recent differences; and expressive of continued attention to His Highness wishes respecting the kissing of the young Bey’s hand.