requested the right hon. baronet whose motion respecting the Alien Act stood for that evening, to postpone it.
§ Sir J. Newport
consented to the postponement of his motion until Tuesday.
§ Mr. Whitbread
said, that he had a motion respecting the case of Mr. Correa, which stood for that evening, and which he should also postpone. He should mention, that in the absence of the noble lord he had postponed his motion respecting the proceedings of the Congress at Vienna to Monday next; he wished to know whe- 229 ther that day was convenient to the noble lord, or whether the noble lord, by some communication on the part of the Prince Regent, would prevent the necessity of that motion? At the time when he had given notice of his motion, he had thought it extraordinary that no such communication was to be made on the part of the noble lord; but now, after the events which had recently happened, it was still more extraordinary that it had not been thought expedient to make the fullest disclosure which could be made consistently with the public service, of the proceedings which had taken place at the Congress, without its being coupled with the fact that it was drawn forth by the motion of an individual member of the House of Commons. He could not, as he saw the noble lord in his place, refrain from protesting—as he had before done at a time when the noble lord was not present—for himself, as an individual, against concurring in any measures which might implicate Great Britain in the civil war which might now have begun in France, on account of the landing of Buonaparté in that country, for any object in which the interests of Great Britain were not immediately concerned.
observed, that not being in possession of the nature of the hon. member's motion, he could not offer any opinion as to the propriety or impropriety of postponing a discussion upon it. For his own part, he had no wish that it should be postponed; indeed, he saw no reason for postponing it at all. He had only requested its being deferred to Wednesday, on account of his health; and he should be glad of an opportunity to give any information which he could afford consistently with his public duty. He should therefore be happy to meet the hon. gentleman on this ground, as soon as possible. He was not aware of any thing which this country had done to preclude him from bringing down such papers as he had alluded to, and accompanying them with any explanations that ought to be communicated. This he thought would be more agreeable to the House than bringing down such papers as from the present state of things could not possibly be complete, and laying them on the table without any explanation at all. As to the conduct of this Government, he was conscious that it would not deviate from that spirit of good faith which had ever guided it in all its transactions with foreign 230 Powers; and he was not aware that any thing had occurred to induce it to change that line of policy which had been so universally approved of. With respect to the general advice of the hon. member, he trusted the House would leave that question to the responsible discretion of his Majesty's ministers; and as to the opinion or remonstrance of the hon. gentleman, he trusted the House would feel that it could not, and without meaning any disrespect to the hon. gentleman, he would say it ought not to have any influence upon their conduct whatever. He trusted the hon. gentleman would not object to the universal feeling which pervaded the House on the subject of the present situation of France. The policy of this Government never had been to interfere in the internal concerns of that country; at the same time they could not but feel, in common with the other nations of Europe, deeply interested in supporting a government which had contributed to give peace to the world, in opposition to that power which now aimed at its subversion. He presumed the hon. gentleman himself was not an exception to this general feeling. As to what measures the government of this country might think proper to take under circumstances which now threatened again to disturb the state of universal peace, he was sure the House would not pardon him, if he were so far to forget his duty, as to hazard any opinion on them.
§ Mr. Whitbread
said, he had no objection to state the nature of his intended motion; it was for an Address to the Prince Regent for a communication of such part of the proceedings at Vienna, as could be made known without injury to the public service. He still thought it extraordinary that the noble lord, on his return from an important mission, would not make any communication to the House until he was, as it were, arraigned before them. In bringing forward his motion he should not neglect to bring before the House those facts by which imputation had been cast on the honour and good faith of the country, which the noble lord would refute if he could. If the noble lord succeeded in justifying himself, he (Mr. W.) should be the first to acknowledge the error into which he had been led by publications which bore the semblance of authority. As to the affairs of France, he had not alluded to them with any idea that he should have been attended to, but to protest, and he again protested, against any 231 interference in the affairs of that country, on behalf of one or other of the contending parties.
said, that nothing could be more unobjectionable than the motion of the hon. member, and the course which he meant to pursue. He appealed to the House, whether the communication being withheld was not less extraordinary, than would have been a communication on the part of the Crown, made before the Congress had ended? Was it not most extraordinary that such a communication could have been expected? It was proper also to remark, though he meant not to complain of the conduct of the hon. member, that more questions had been put during the progress of the negociations at Vienna, than it had ever been the habit of parliament on any former occasion.
§ Mr. Whitbread
said, that one of the extraordinary features in the case was the noble lord's appearance in his place. If the affairs of the Congress had not terminated, why had the noble lord returned? Or if his presence there was not necessary, why had he gone thither? If nothing had transpired on the subject of the Congress, no questions would have been heard from him. His questions had been founded on public documents, naturally the subjects of animadversion; and those documents he should bring forward on Monday, as matters of charge against the noble lord, who, if it was possible, might refute them.
said, that unless the noble lord thought proper to disclose the whole of the case, he should not be prepared to give his opinion upon it. He must protest against the House being called upon for an opinion, unless they were put in possession of the whole of the case. He must consider himself bound not to give his approbation on a mere partial statement.
applauded the reserve with which the right hon. gentleman expressed himself on the present occasion; and be could have wished that the same reserve had been more extensively employed upon former occasions.