Lord Palmerston delivers his 'Civis Romanus Sum' speech to the House of Commons

Responding to criticism by the Tories of his aggressive policy towards Greece and its unpopular King Otto, which included blockading Greek ports, Palmerston robustly defended his policy and asked the House to decide ‘whether the principles on which the foreign policy of Her Majesty’s Government has been conducted and the sense of duty which has led us to think ourselves bound to afford protection to our fellow subjects abroad, are proper and fitting guides for those who are charged with the government of England; and whether, as the Roman in days of old held himself free from indignity, when he could say ‘Civis Romanus Sum’; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him against injustice and wrong’.