After the draft of the treaty had been settled, at the sitting of the 13th March, Earl Granville introduced the Duc de Broglie to the Conference as the representative of France. In a few dignified sentences, the Duke, after touching lightly but feelingly on the unhappy condition of France, which had prevented her from being represented at the earlier sittings, stated that, with regard to the principal object of the Conference, the French Government, sharing the feelings expressed by the Turkish plenipotentiary, would have preferred that the original convention for neutralising the Black Sea should be maintained; but that at the stage at which the affair had now arrived, the new arrangement having been assented to by the Porte, France willingly entered into the feeling of conciliation which had dictated it, and gave its assent to all the decisions of the Conference.
In the mode in which the whole of this delicate negotiation was conducted by the Government, and in the final settlement, it is generally admitted that there is nothing at all to reprehend and much to praise. By the adoption of a firm attitude, without menace or bluster, Russia was brought over from an unjustifiable resolve to treat the convention as so much waste paper, and induced to meet the co-signatory Powers on common grounds of reason and international right; and if the decision of the Conference was favourable to her, it was because the restrictions of 1856 had really become obsolete, and it was unreasonable to attempt to perpetuate them. If Turkey falls to pieces, it will not be through the growth of the naval power of Russia in the Black Sea, for the western allies of the Sultan will always be able to keep that in check, but through general causes of disintegration with which the Black Sea question has nothing to do.