1882 letter meeting Sir Charles Dilke (Foreign Office) with French

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Letter in French from Henry Austin Lee, private Secretary of Sir Charles Dilke, Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office. He is confirming a meeting with Sir Charles the next day. Likely meeting with French official(s) on upcoming engagement in Egypt.

Lee was Private Secretary to Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke at the Foreign Office, from 1880 to 1882. Dilke was Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1880 to 1882, during Gladstone's second government.

Nice ‘Foreign Office’ embossed monogram at top

Ce 11 mai
Je m’empresse de vous faire savoir que Sir Charles Dilke sera heureux de vous recevoir ici à 1 heure demain (Vendredi).
Veuillex agréer, Monsieur, l’esperance de mes considerations distinguée
A Austin Lee

I hasten to let you know that Sir Charles Dilke will be happy to have you here at 1 am tomorrow (Friday).

On the 11th of May, Dilke was asked in Parliament “whether any steps have been taken for the protection of life and property in Egypt… whether we are to understand that the Government have not communicated with the other Powers, but only with France..:” to which he answered “The other Powers, including the Porte, will be informed of the steps taken on this subject… to-day”...

On the 12th  when asked “Whether any steps are being taken by Her Majesty's Government, in view of the critical state of affairs in Egypt, to maintain our influence in that Country; and, whether, if no negotiations are now going on with Foreign Governments in regard to an eventual intervention, either collectively by the Great Powers, or by us in conjunction with France, or by us alone…” he answered “Sir, Her Majesty's Government have been and are in communication with France and with other Governments on the subject of this Question; but it would not be advisable at present to state the nature of these communications… I reserve for the reply which I shall give on Monday”...

It is likely the meeting mentioned in the letter was part of the on-going discussions with France before the upcoming British Conquest of Egypt that began on the 11th of July 1882.

2 horizontal folds. Toning at top.

19 x 12 cm.


Sir Henry Austin Lee, KCMG, CB (6 April 1847 − 7 November 1918) was a British diplomat, governor and landowner. He was counselor of embassy, commercial attache for France, Belgium, and Switzerland.

He joined the Foreign Office in 1870. In 1871 he was appointed to the Foreign Office; ...He was attached to the Embassy in Paris from November 1872 to July 1875...he was appointed with Sir Edward Malet to negotiate the renewal of the Treaty of Commerce with Italy; was attached to the Marquis of Salisbury, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil's Special Embassy to Constantinople, in November 1876, and to the special Embassy during the Congress at Berlin in June 1878, as Private Secretary to the Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli. He was Private Secretary to Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, at the Foreign Office from 1880 to 1882...