§ Lord Eliot
said, he rose to put a question to the noble Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, which he would have asked in the Committee of Supply on Monday, had the House met on that day. It related to the affairs of Holland. He had had personal opportunities of observing the respect and esteem with which the English were formerly treated in Holland and Belgium. He was also acquainted with the manner in which the king of the Netherlands had endeared himself to the inhabitants of the northern provinces, though the obstinate prejudices of the Belgians prevented them from duly appreciating his worth. He had had ample opportunity of witnessing his mild and paternal government during the time he reigned over the united kingdom of Holland and the Netherlands. He had with pleasure observed the rapid progress which that country had made in internal prosperity. The Belgic Spates formed part of the kingdom which, he might say, was called into existence by the Congress of Vienna, and its integrity was recognized by the great Powers of Europe. For the acquisition of territory thus obtained, the king of Holland made great sacrifices. Some time since, the Belgians had thrown off their allegiance to the king of Holland. The great Powers would not resort to force, to compel the Belgians to return to their allegiance, but they interposed between the parties by mediation. Throughout the negotiations, the king of Holland had acted in the most conciliatory manner, though he would have been justified in considering the revolt of Belgium as an 663 insurrectionary movement, and in having recourse to arms to quell it. It now appeared, that Great Britain was a party to an arrangement by which the two kingdoms were to be separated. The effect which this proceeding had produced in Holland was very great. It had caused Sir Charles Bagot to be completely excluded from society. There was but one cry throughout Holland, not against the hostility, but the duplicity of England. As to the fortresses in the Netherlands which it had been agreed by the Allied Powers to raze, the inhabitants of the country considered them as much their own as the ground on which they were built. The question he had to ask he would put in nearly the noble Lord's own words, and it was—"Is there any objection to giving the other acts and documents the same publicity as the Protocol?"
§ Viscount Palmerston
said, it would be extremely inconvenient to enter into any discussion on Foreign Affairs at that hour, and impede the progress of the Reform Bill. He therefore would content himself with stating, in answer to the noble Lord, that he did see great and material objections to giving to the other documents the same publicity as to the Protocol in question. He could not possibly at present consent to lay before the House any other documents excepting those which had been made public.
§ Lord Eliot
asked, why it was, that publicity should not be given to those documents as well as to the Protocol?
§ Viscount Palmerston
replied, that the Protocol had been published in consequence of the allusion which had been made to it in the Speech of the king of the French, and which rendered it necessary that the matter should be fairly explained. By the publication of the other papers, the object which they had in view might be entirely marred.
protested against the eulogy pronounced by the noble Lord upon the king of Holland, and thought the Belgians were justified in revolting against a grinding despotism.