HC Deb 10 May 1830 vol 24 cc504-6
The Chancellor of the Exchequer

wished to ask the hon. Gentleman opposite, when he proposed to present the petition from Birmingham, as it was desirable that his right hon. friend (Sir R. Peel) should be present.

Mr. E. Davenport

said, that he would postpone it till Monday, when he understood the right hon. Secretary would he ready to attend. The right hon. Gentleman having asked him a question, he would beg leave to ask one in return. It should be remembered that the Parliament was getting old, and indeed it was not expected to survive the year, and it was therefore right that the country should be informed on the subject on which he meant to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman;—this subject was a Protocol, which was said by an Evening Paper to have been signed by the Ministers of France, England, and Russia, and which purported to be an engagement on the part of those three Powers for guaranteeing a loan to the Greek government. The amount was understood (but that did not appear from the document) to be between two and three millions, each Power being answerable for one-third, viz. 800,000l. Without expressing any opinion, what he wished was, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should state to the House whether such an engagement had been entered into on the part of this country; in which case, hon. Gentlemen would judge for themselves whether it was fitting that the British Mouse of Commons should be the last body in Europe to receive information concerning this transaction.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

hoped the hon. Gentleman would not hold it as any disrespect to himself if he stated that he considered it inconvenient in the extreme to enter into any of the points of a negociation that was unfinished, on account of any statements that might appear in foreign or domestic newspapers. He thought it more prudent to give no answer to the question of the hon. Gentleman, and he loss regretted it, because the papers which related to the whole transaction would be laid on the Table of the House in a short period, when the Members would have an opportunity of knowing what was the real state of the whole transaction.

Mr. Hume

said, that the question of the responsibility of this country for any loan to Greece ought to be fully understood; and before they proceeded to vote any further Supplies, they ought to have the whole liabilities of the year before them.

The Speaker put the question for the Committee of Supply.

Mr. Hume

said, that he must move the postponement of any further Supplies [cries of "No, No!"] He did not wish to go against the feeling of the House; but they had a right to understand what they were about.

Sir M. W. Ridley

said, that they had lost half-an-hour in discussing what they should do next. He had three or four petitions to present, and should be glad to take his turn. He did not see that there was anything more indecorous in receiving Petitions than there was in voting money at a late hour.

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