August 11, 1840 India, Muslims and Oil

Viscount Palmerston to Viscount Ponsonby                                               

Foreign Office, 11th August 1840

There exists at present among the Jews dispersed over Europe a strong notion that the Time is ap­proaching when their nation is to re­turn to Palestine; and consequently their wish to go thither has become more keen, and their thoughts have been bent more intensely than before upon the means of realizing their wish. It is well known that the Jews of Europe possess great wealth; and it is manifest that any country in which a considerable number of them might choose to settle, would derive great benefit from, the riches which they would bring to it.

Whether Mehemet Ali (Natural Born Egyptian ruler 1769-1849)  acceptzs the first or the second offer which is to be made to him, in either case, it would be of manifest importance to the Sultan to encourage the Jews to return to, and to settle in Palestine, because the wealth which they would bring with them would increase the Resources of the Sultan’s Dominions; and the Jewish people, if returning under the sanction and protection, and at the invitation of the Sultan, would be a check upon any future evil designs of Mehemet Ali or his Successor.”

Source: British F.O. 78/390 (No 134)