HC Deb 12 June 1820 vol 1 cc1039-41
Lord Castlereagh

said: I rise for the purpose of moving the order of the day for the further consideration of his majesty's message, with a view to its postponement until Friday next. In moving this adjournment, I trust the House will feel that it would be unbecoming in me to state any thing that has passed during the discussion, or to say a single word, as on the former occasion, as to the situation in which matters now stand. But I entreat hon. gentlemen to keep themselves and their impressions on the subject precisely in the same state, until a full explanation shall be given as to the position in which the great question may ultimately stand. In proposing to the House Friday next for the postponement of the order of the day, I mention it as the most convenient day. On Thursday his majesty's birth will be celebrated, and it has been usual for the House to adjourn upon that occasion, and I would rather take a later than an earlier period for the further discussion of this important matter. These successive adjournments ought to be viewed, not only as satisfactory to the House, but as material to the public interest, in order that the real state of the question may be made known as early as possible. Before I sit down, I have to beg the noble lord (J. Russell), further to defer the discussion of a question in which he is particularly concerned: any other day would be more convenient than the present, as it will be the duty of his majesty's servants to be in deliberation in the course of the evening. If the discussion to which I refer should be now brought on, I must therefore retire from it.

Sir M. W. Ridley

said:—I rise to express the anxious hope I entertain that every individual, in the House and out of the-House, will so far forward the views of the noble lord, as rigidly to abstain from injuring the cause of either of the illustrious parties, or of the nation at large, by giving publicity to any documents or any correspondence, whether genuine or garbled, which may by possibility fall into their hands. I am sure that I need only mention the circumstance to the House; for every gentleman who hears me will be immediately convinced of the danger that must inevitably arise, from publications which can have only one effect, however unintentional—that of exciting prejudice against one party or the other.

Mr. Brougham

said:—I heartily concur in the recommendation of the noble lord, and of my hon. friend who last- spoke, in wishing to abstain from saying one word upon the progress of these transactions. I rise only to express my entire concurrence more particularly in the latter part of the worthy baronet's observations, and to make my most positive assertion, if is be required, that neither the illustrious personage for whom we are concerned, nor her legal advisers, entertain any other sentiment. It is our sincere desire that every thing should be concealed, or known only to the illustrious personage, and to us three, her majesty's legal advisers. If any other disclosure have taken place (though I have seen nothing disclosed, because I have seen nothing the least like the real state of the facts), it can only have been produced by some incredible degree of indiscretion or breach of confidence, for which no blame is attributable to my learned colleagues or myself, nor to the illustrious personage for whom we act; but it must in fairness be in part ascribed to a circumstance, I am sure, as unprecedented as all the rest of these transactions—that her majesty is placed in a situation which renders it difficult to prevent the access of indiscreet persons [Cheers].

Lord Castlereagh.

—In the spirit of what has been just said, I may add, that this is a question on which all parties ought to say as little as possible; and I cannot give the House a stronger pledge of my feeling regarding it, than the determination I evinced to pass it over on the present occasion in complete silence. I am happy to hear what has been so properly stated by the hon. baronet and confirmed by the hon. and learned gentleman, regarding publications, though I certainly feel that the latter part of his observation was unnecessary.

Mr. Brougham.

—I meant nothing, I can assure the House, offensive to any quarter, because I know that offers have I been made to her majesty which would have enabled her majesty to be better; accommodated—pecuniary offers to an unlimited amount, that the queen might be provided for in a much more suitable style. Thus many of the chances of disclosure to which I alluded might have been removed; but accidently her majesty was placed in a situation which rendered it more difficult, as I said, to prevent the access of indiscreet persons.

The motion was then agreed to.