HC Deb 25 July 1831 vol 5 cc273-5
The Marquis of Chandos

said, he wished further to know, whether there was any truth in the statement made in the Speech of the King of the French, that the tri-coloured flag floated over the walls of Lisbon?

Lord Althorp

could not answer that question, as he had had no opportunity of speaking with his right hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty, on the subject. But the Speech of the King of the French did not state, that the tri-coloured flag waved on the walls, but under the walls of Lisbon.

Lord Stormont

asked the noble Lord (Lord Althorp), whether he would have any objection to allow some day to be set apart for the discussion of foreign politics. Events had taken place of so extraordinary a character, that notwithstanding the compromise which had been entered into with respect to the discussion of the Reform Bill, some day (whatever day the noble Lord might choose) ought to be devoted to their consideration.

Lord Althorp

said, that Government could fix no day for the discussion, while the negotiations were pending, but it was competent for any Gentleman to bring forward a motion on the subject.

Lord Stormont

intimated his intention of doing so, for in his opinion, the question of Reform was of inferior importance at the present moment to our foreign relations.

Lord John Russell

stated, there would be no objection on the part of Ministers to discuss foreign politics, whenever the noble Lord (Lord Stormont) should think proper to bring them under the consideration of the House; and he had no doubt that his noble friend (Lord Palmerston), who had just entered the House, would be ready to give all the information on the subject which was consistent with his public duty. But his purpose in rising at present was to state—what, perhaps, would not be properly understood from the Speech of the King of the French, that the demolition of the fortresses was not to take place immediately, but was to be consequent on the recognition of the King of Belgium by all the principal Powers of Europe, and on some arrangement which were to be formed by them.

Colonel Evans

quite agreed with the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) that the fortresses were too numerous and too large; and he concurred in thinking, that it was the interest of the different Powers to preserve the neutrality of Belgium.

The petitions to be printed.

Lord Althorp moved, that the House resolve itself into a Committee of Supply.

Captain W. Gordon

said, that in consequence of a paragraph which appeared in the Speech of the King of the French, he wished to know from the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) whether he had received any information of the French squadron having forced a passage up the Tagus?

Viscount Palmerston

said, that he had just received accounts from the English Ambassador at Paris, stating, that a telegraphic despatch had been received at Paris, containing information that the Commander of the French fleet had renewed the demands for satisfaction made by the French government, and that not having obtained the required satisfaction, the French fleet had entered the Tagus. A slight resistance was made by one of the forts, but when the accounts came away, the French fleet had entered the Tagus, and the government of Portugal had acceded to the demands of France.

The House then went into a Committee of