26 OCTOBER 1850, Page 1

" Intervention " is the leading fact in foreign affairs

this week. The Times has thrown out a startling intimation respecting the position of Prussia in the Schleswig-Holstein affair. According to the journal, which speaks very positively, Russia and Franoc have united in a proposal to England, that Prussia should be called upon to abstain from further support of the Duchies • and that in case of refusal summary measure§ of coercion should be adopted—Rus- sia to take possession- of Silesia, and France to take possession of the Rhenish Provinces. According to the samaauthority, the reply of Lord Palmersten was a refusal- to engage in such warlike- pro- ceedings, and a proposal to proceed by remonstrance on the part of the three states, not jointly but severally. The Globe avers that this answer of Lord Palmerston must be conjectural,— implying, of course, that the description is not domed ; butif it is untrue, it is curious that the Ministerial organ did not-say so: There is a good deal of verisimilitude in the answer imputed to Lord Palmerston. The plan of proceeding by remonstrance, se- verally, would satisfy his love of asserting a meddlesome presence in foreign disputes ; would enable him to display his " spirited" abilities, and to keep affairs in hot water without the slightest chance of bringing them to a substantial or practical con- clusion. Such an answer, therefore, .would be thoroughly Pal-- merstonic. Not less so would be a policy which Stained the "af- fair to proceed into complications disastrous for Europe, without establishing any effectual influence to control them. The combi- nation of Russia and -France in the manner suggested would be preeminently embarrassing. Whatever may be the ulterior inten- tions of Russia—whatever may be the secret influence which she has established among ministers consciously, treacherous in foreign courts—history does confirm the fact that her encroachment upon the territories of Europe has been progressive, and the further fact that Lord Palmerston's policy has singularly and uniformly gone counter to his professions in facilitating that progress. A policy which- should protest against the advance of Russia into Silesia, and at the -same time abstain from preventing it, is precisely the policy which would enable Lord Palmerston to continue the pm- tical services which he has rendered' to Russia in her encroach- ments.' -

In any other combination of France with Russia, we shotild put implicit trust in the political tendencies of the French, and should look with confidence to an indignant insurrection of the people against the President-Emperor were he to take open arms by the side of the Northern Autocrat : but the Rhenish Provinces arc a bait for the ambition of the whole French nation, so tempt- ing, so fondly associated with their traditions, so " imperial," that we. should not have the slightest faith in the virtue of France to resist the temptation. The Rhenish Provinces might purchase the assent of France to that policy which would enable the Em-

or of Russia to seat his protege upon the Imperial throne in Paris. - _But a combination of Russia and France, brought' about by a course of policy which should alienate England frog Prussia and

from Germany, without obtaining for her any equivalent alliance, if equivalent alliance could be found, would involve °consequences. most fatal to Europe. The excess of this danger, which bears se close a resemblance to speculative extravagance, ought not to make any practical politieian presume that itis impossible. ' In the smaller affair of Hesse-Cassel, active intervention is sus- pended while the Elector indulges his own hesitation. The Has- senpflug Ministry seems to be finally doomed; but the Elector will probably be saved from mortification by removing the affair from internal management and handing it over to the arbitration of some foreign power of dignity.

The Journal des Debate, in a sarcastic vein, revives the discus- sion of the Madeira-Salley affair, and we learn from our contem- porary in Paris that Lord Palmerston is pushing his demands for compensation to Dr. Kelley. Dr. galley—a pious physician, of more zeal than discretion—was so glorified at the conversion of a female patient in the island, that he came to loggerheads with the bigoted Papist mob, and sustained some damage to his property. Lord Palmerston's intervention belongs to the Pacifico class. Con- firmed in his policy by the deliberate verdict of the House of Commons, Lord Palmerston has " a right to do it "; and England must pay the piper, not only in the cost to coerce Portugal, if it should be necessary, to blockade the Tagus as we blockaded the Drams, but also in further damage to our foreign influence.