HC Deb 28 March 1808 vol 10 cc1258-9
Mr. Whitbread

rose to ask a question he had once before put to the right hon. secretary, and to which, if he understood it well, he had then received an answer in the negative. The question was if no communication had passed between the court of Vienna and this country, from April to Oct. last? Since he had received the answer to which he alluded, the Declaration had appeared, and it afforded information, that in July certain propositions had been submitted to this country from the court of Vienna; and that an answer to them had been returned front this country, which he (Mr. W.) should suppose must have gone through the hands of the right hon. secretary. He now wished to ask that right hon. gent. if he had any recollection of such intermediate communication; or, if he was to understand that the assertion in the Austrian Declaration was false? He had two other questions to put to a noble lord, whom he now saw in the house (lord G. L. Gower); first, if the expression stated on, a former night, to have been used to him, 'il faut pour le moment menager I'Angleterre,' had been communicated to ministers at home, in any of his dispatches at the time? The other, if he believed that such letter or other communication was in existence, that he would favour hint with the date of it, as it was his (Mr. W.'s) intention to move for it, that it might be seen who the person was who used that expression?

Mr. Secretary Canning

said he could only repeat, that as to the best of his recollection, no communication on the point alluded to by the hon. gent. had taken place. He did not say, that no communication had passed within the period alluded to; but certainly nothing like that stated by the hon. member. As to the questions put to his noble friend, he could only say, that if in his place, he should not feel it his duty to give any farther explanation than that given on a former night, as to the person by whom the expression was used.

Lord G. L. Gower

said, the expression had been communicated by him to some person in this country, he believed, in a private letter.

Mr. Whitbread

gave notice that he should move for this communication, with the date of which he hoped the noble lord would favour him, on the first open day.