NEWS OF THE WEEK.
LAST week, the principal apprehension respecting Egypt and Turkey arose from the rumoured but scarcely believed refusal of the Sultan to ratify the convention between -Commodore NAPIER and MEHEMET Au. It was little expected that the convention would be disavowed by the Power whose officer, it had been imagined, was fully accredited to negotiate. 13ut this unexpected thing has come to pass : and the whole question, apparently so well arranged, 'was in danger of being completely reopened ; but—luckily, it will be thought—the Pasha is so depressed by his misfortunes in war, that he will submit to any conditions that leave him not al- together stripped of authority in Egypt. The terms offered by Admiral STOPEORD, and accepted, are the hardest that could have been imposed on him without enforcing the decheance, which the Four Powers admitted it was not their intention to effect. Altoge- ther, the management of British agents in the Levant comes out very equivocal colours. Before diplomatic mystification has zzled this part of the case past understanding, let us recapitulate eieading facts, and place them on our file for future use. ieln the 26th of November, Commodore NAPIER concluded a con- ntion with the Pasha, in virtue of which the latter became bound to recall Imekram Pasha from Syria, and to " restore the Ottoman fleet as soon as he shall have received the official notification that the Sublime Porte grants to him the hereditary government of Egypt." The Pasha was inclined to accept these terms, in conse- quence of Commodore NAPIER'S having transmitted to him a copy of a letter from Lord PALMERSTON to Lord PONSONBT, dated Lon- don, the 15th October. This despatch states, that "it would be expedient that the representatives of the Four Powers at Constan- tinople should be instructed to proceed to the Turkish Minister," and tell him, that upon the Pasha's complying with certain terms, "the Sultan should not only reinstate Mehemet All as Pasha of Egypt, but should also give him an hereditary tenure in that Pashalic." On the 2d of December, Admiral STOPFORD wrote to the Pasha—" I am sorry to find that Commodore Napier should have entered into a convention with your Highness for the evacuation of Syria by the Egyptian troops, which he had no authority to do, and which I cannot approve of or ratify." The Admiral adds—"I hope this hasty and unauthorized convention will not occasion any embarrassment to your Highness. It was no doubt done from an amicable intention, although under a limited view of the state of affairs in Syria ; but it will not lessen my ear- nest desire most readily to adopt any measure which may tend to a renewal of that amity and good feeling which I trust will hereafter subsist between England and your Highness ; the terms of which, I am happy to say, are now in a state of progress with the Allied Powers."
On the 6th of December, the Admiral transmitted to the Pasha tithe official authority from the British Government, in the name of the Four Powers, to maintain your Highness in the Pashalic of Egypt, upon the conditions that in three days after the communi- cation made to you by Captain Faushawe, you agree to restore the Turkish fleet to the Sultan, and evacuate Syria." The "autho- rity" is a letter from Lord PALMERSTON to the Lords of the Ad- miralty, bearing that the representatives of the Four Powers in London have decided that their intentions shall be made known to Mehemet All by the Admiral commanding in the Mediterranean " : and their intentions are, that upon the evacuation of Syria and the restoration of the Ottoman fleet, "the Four Powers will recom- mend to the Sultan to reestablish Mehemet Ali in the Pashalic of Egypt."
We infer from the teuour of Lord PALMERSTON'S letter to the Lords of the Admiralty, that previously to the receipt of it, not only Commodore NAPIER had no authority to enter into a convention with the Pasha, but the British Admiral was equally unauthorized to take such a step. The British Cabinet sends out a force to commence hostilities against the Pasha, about the beginning of September : about the middle of October, it intimates to its Am- bassador at. Constantinople the terms .upon which it wishes the Four Powers to agree to stop further hostilities against the Pasha : about the middle of November, it despatches to the British officer commanding the force in the Mediterranean, instructions as to the terms the Allies are willing to offer to MEHEMET Am. The gain English of these proceedings is this : the British Government orders its naval commander to blaze away—do as much mischief as be can in Syria and Egypt—and while he is thus engaged, they set about discussing what all this is for. Misfile operations were com- menced in the beginning of September, and in the middle of October the Allies were not yet agreed amongst themselves what it was they proposed to accomplish by these hostilities. Whether Commodore NAPIER or Admiral Srorroan has ex- ceeded his instructions is an important but still a secondary question. What chiefly concerns us, is the position and re- sponsibility of the British Government. It is evident from Lord PALMERSTON's letter to Lord PONSONBY, (15th October,) that the British Government wished to give MEHEMET Am the Pashalic of Egypt in heritage. It is equally evident from Lord PALICERSTON'E letter to the Lords of the Admiralty, (14th November,) that the British Government has been obliged to acquiesce in the determi- nation of the Allies, simply to restore MEHEMET Auto the Pashalic of Egypt. By the convention of the 15th July, the British Govern- ment bound itself to do—it knew not what. On the 15th October, it thought itself warranted to lead MEHEMET Au to expect the hereditary Pashalic of Egypt : on the 14th November, it discovered that it could only offer him the Pashalic for life. The British Go- vernment—upon which has devolved almost exclusively the toil and expense of the operations in the Levant—has been degraded into the blind tool of Russia, Austria, and Prussia : it does their bidding against its own wishes. This is not all. The legal maxim is " qui flick per ilium facit per se "=the principal is bound. by the acts of his agent. MEHEMET Au was entitled to hold Commodore NAPIER to be an accredited agent of England. A naval commander with six sail of the line and three steamers, who has just battered down Acre, appears before Alexandria, and threatens to repeat the operation there unless the terms he offers are accepted. The Morning Chronicle of Tuesday says truly- " We cannot of course pretend to knowwhat may have been Com- modore Napier's instructions : but we presume the Admiral did not send six sail of the line and three steamers to Alexandria to repeat his own exhibition of August last. For what purpose were they sent ? * * * It seems to us the height of folly to have sent the Com- modore's squadron to Alexandria, unless with power to negotiate, or failing that, to act. If empowered to negotiate, it has been decided, we believe, by even higher authority than Admiral Stopford, that the Commodore has negotiated successfully." The approbation entertained in high quarters of the terms offered. by NAPIER seems to have been previously intimated to the Pasha. " It has already come to our knowledge, says BOGHOS Bey in his letter to NAPIER of 23rd November, "that it was the intention of the Four Powers to leave his Highness the government of Egypt." MEHEMET Am had every reason to believe that ?Isms was the accredited agent of England : he acted upon that belief; and if he be allowed to suffer injury from acting upon that belief; the stain upon the honour of Englaad will be indelible. The Pasha is entitled to say, But for my confidence in the honour of England, I would have gone on with my preparations for defending Egypt : trusting to that honour, I suspended them after signing the con- vention: the disavowal of the convention by England takes me by surprise : I am not prepared to resist, and must accept of terms which otherwise I would have rejected. In short, the British Go- vernment has played the stalking-horse to divert the Pasha's atten- tion while the Allies were taking deadly aim at him. It is possible that the Allies may, in pity to Lord PALMERSTON'S reputation, allow MEHEMET Au to obtain the hereditary govern- ment of Egypt. This would not alter the fact, that, at this moment, Lord PALMERSTON'S character as a diplomatist, and the honour of his country, are at the mercy of the Allies. Nor do we- feel certain that they will not be sacrificed. The morning organ of Lord PALMERSTON' feeling its way, on Wednesday last re- marked—" The French journals seem startled at the absence of the word hereditary in the offer of the Pashalic made to Mehemet ; but, in general, they seem to have received the news too late to indulge in comment."