HC Deb 25 March 1823 vol 8 cc691-2
Lord John Russell,

adverting to the war which was apparently about to commence between France and Spain, observed, that it was highly important the House should be informed of the true situation of this country, with regard to the approaching contest. He therefore begged to ask the right hon. secretary, whether there were any stipulations, in any treaties, by which this country guaranteed the throne of France to Louis the 18th, and his successors?

Mr. Canning

replied, that in a matter of a nature so grave, he would not return a positive answer, as he could not recall to his memory all the treaties, with all their stipulations, which might exist. There was, however, a stipulation in existence, by which any attempt made to resume the crown of France by any members of the family of the late usurper was to be resisted by all the great powers of Europe. There was also a stipulation, that, in the event of a rebellion breaking out in France, Austria, Russia, and England, should meet, and concert the measures necessary to be taken.

Lord John Russell

said, he considered that the invasion of Spain by the Bourbons totally altered our relations with France. After Great Britain had spent, it appeared fruitlessly, no less than a thousand millions, in the hope that the re-establishment of that family would secure the blessings of peace to Europe, it was now incumbent on the government of this country to clear itself of all stipulations which might involve it in still further expense for the support of that family.

Sir R. Wilson

said, he had formerly put a similar question to a late noble lord, and had received from him a positive assurance, that we had not guaranteed the throne of France to the Bourbons. He hoped the right hon. gentleman would not take on himself an odious responsibility, which his predecessor had declined

Mr. Canning

said, he had been asked as to a fact, and had not given an opinion He had observed, that in case of an attempt to restore the family of the usurper, the allies were bound to act in concert against it; and he had further stated, that in case of rebellion or other revolutions, the allies were only bound to meet and consult together.