in the matter of organization. Conferences of the eight Powers were held on December 9, 10, and 14, at which, on the initiative of Talleyrand, Committees were set up on the question of the rank of diplomatic representatives (all the eight Powers having members) and on the navigation of international rivers, Austria, France, Great Britain, and Prussia being represented; while only the opposition of Spain and Portugal prevented a formal Committee from being also appointed to consider the abolition of the slave trade.1
Section 17. The Constitution of the Committee of Five; the Real Congress. -- This rapprochement between France and Great Britain and Austria was soon to receive more formal expression. Towards the end of December Castlereagh proposed to the other members of the four the formation of a Statistical Commission to ascertain the real numbers of the populations of the territories in dispute, and provide some basis of settlement.2 It had not at first been his intention to include a French plenipotentiary on this Committee, which would have to play an important part in determining the territorial distribution; but, when Talleyrand made it an essential condition for the continuance of his support that France should be represented on it, both Castlereagh and Metternich acquiesced.3
There shortly followed a complete change in the constitution of the Congress. Again it was the logic of events and not the deliberate planning of the statesmen that determined the forms by which they worked. On December 24 Alexander insisted on bringing to formal conferences the discussion on the Polish question, which had now lasted three months, and had reached a complete deadlock. The Committee of Four, therefore, which had hitherto only met in the most in____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Congress of Vienna, 1814-1815. Contributors: C. K. Webster - Author. Publisher: Humphrey Milford; Oxford University Press. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1919. Page number: 73.
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