HC Deb 22 March 1815 vol 30 cc328-30
Mr. Whitbread

then called the attention of the House to the case of a Portuguese gentleman, named Correia, who, some years since, was sent out of this country, under the Alien Act. He observed, that, in addition to what he had before stalled, he had been positively informed, that no native of Portugal was suffered to remain in this country, except he was furnished with a licence from the Portuguese resident at this Court, and that the person in question, having offended the Portuguese resident, was refused the necessary protection; This circumstance, he conceived, ought to be fully explained. When the right hon. gentleman, on a former occasion, moved for a renewal of the Alien Act, be (Mr. Whitbread) and several of his friends demanded information on one or two transactions that had taken place under this law; and they were answered, that they might as well call for explanation with respect to all the cases of aliens sent out of the country, as confine themselves to those particular instances. He thought it would have been a very desirable thing, if they could have procured such extensive information, for he had no doubt that many abuses of the Act had taken place. The hon. gentleman concluded by moving, "That an humble Address be presented to his royal highness the Prince Regent, that he will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House, copies of all correspondence which may have passed between his Majesty's principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, John Reeves, esq. of the Alien-office, and his excellency the Portuguese minister resident at the court of London, touching Don Anselmo Correia, a Portuguese, some time since sent out of this kingdom under the provisions of the Alien Act, then in force, together with copies of all letters or remonstrances addressed by the said Don Anselmo Correia to the Secretary of State or the Alien-office, and the answers thereto, if any, together with the date of his departure from this country."

Mr. Addington

contended, that the hon. member had not made out any primâ facie case whatever, to induce the House to agree to his motion. With respect to the sending Correia out of the country, he appeared to know little more than that such a circumstance had taken place, and he was quite incorrect in his statement of the grounds which occasioned that proceeding.

Mr. Whitbread

. —What were the grounds?

Mr. Addington

. —They were sufficient to authorize the Secretary of State to act as he had done.

Sir J. Newport

. —Does the right hon. gentleman mean to say, that because the Secretary of State thought there were sufficient grounds to justify this proceeding, there was, therefore, no necessity for the House being acquainted with them?

Mr. Addington

. —It is evident that the Secretary of Stale acted on the presumption, that something improper had been done by Correia; and, in such a case, I am sure the House will not consent to inferfere.

Mr. Goulburn

said; the hon. gentleman had made a charge, founded on information he had received; the truth of that information was denied; and, he conceived, the denial on the one side would be considered as fully equivalent to the assertion in the other. If it were necessary for the House to examine all the cases of aliens who had been sent out of the country, then certainly this instance ought to be investigated along with the rest; but he saw nothing in the case now brought before them which called for any marked distinction. He certainly would not go into the particulars of the transaction; but he would state, that, though Correia had written, a libel against the Portuguese government, he was not sent out of this country on that account.

Sir Samuel Romilly

thought, that as abuse had been imputed, there was a distinction between this and the other cases under the Alien Act. The powers given by the Act were so extensive, that they required some interference of the House. In the case of De Berenger papers had been seized, for which there was no authority either in the Alien Act, or the common law.

The motion was then negatived without a division.