To Sir Charles Stuart Esq.
Freineda 1 March 1812
My dear Sir, I have perused the paper which you transmitted to me in your letter dated the 27th Ult. & I have reviewed the plan of the proposed canal from the Sado to the Tagus. The proposed canal cannot effect in one way or another the military works on the heights of Almada & on the left of the lower Tagus. Adverting to the nature of the war in which we are engaged, it may be a question how far it is expedient to establish a communication by water, of which the enemy will have the command between the port of Setubal & the Tagus; and to give the enemy the command of such a resource, as that canal would give him for the transport of stores & provisions for the attack of the works erected for the defence of Lisbon. It does not appear to me at all probable that the canal would be of much use for the defence of Lisbon; as the line is very long, & the right flank by no means strong & whether it could be occupied or not would depend upon the relative force of the attacking & defending troops. It would be useful to the army, if it could maintain itself on the frontier. I say nothing about the expense of the undertaking or of the expressing of answering it at present, when the government are unable to defray the expense of their army; because such observations are useless. Ever Yours’ most Sincerely, Wellington.