Harold Temperley's The foreign policy of Canning, 1822–1827 (1925) has been widely acknowledged as the standard work on George Canning's foreign policy in 1822–7. Since its publication, historians have accepted its central theme: that the principal aim of Canning's foreign policy in 1822–7 was to destroy the post-1815 system of great-power concert in Europe. Temperley's book is remarkable for its consistency, and his account of Canning's policy with regard to the Spanish crisis of 1822–3 – that Canning's main concern was not to prevent foreign intervention in Spain, but to weaken the power and authority of the Concert of Europe by exploiting differences among the European allies over the question of Spain – is certainly consistent with its central theme. This article re-examines Canning's diplomacy on the Spanish question from the start of his second tenure in the foreign office to the French invasion of Spain, and contends that its reality fits neither Temperley's account of this particular subject nor his general thesis on Canning's foreign policy. A careful examination of Canning's early diplomacy indicates that its primary object was to prevent foreign military intervention in Spain, and that it was not influenced by a supposed dislike of great-power concert.