wished to put a question to the noble Lord, connected with the Russian-Dutch Loan, referred to in the Convention laid a few nights ago on the Table of the House. In the preamble of that Convention reference was made to a former Convention of May, 1815, and to an additional article to that Treaty. At the time, he was well aware that that additional article was understood to be a secret article, and at the time the object of making it secret was satisfactory enough. But the circumstances which made it so had since been removed, and none now existed. He thought it indispensable that the house should have it before them, as it must necessarily form one of the grounds upon which the two contracting Powers had proceeded in the new Convention. He hoped there could be no objection, therefore, to its production on the part of the noble Lord; and, if he should be of 1239 that opinion, there would be no occasion to move the House for it. While in possession of the House he would again take the opportunity of asking, when the noble Lord thought it likely he should bring forward the measures which his Majesty's Government proposed to found upon the Convention? He was sure the noble Lord would see the necessity of the House having due notice of the measure, and that there should be ample time for considering a matter of such vital importance.
§ Lord Althorp
would first answer the right hon. Gentleman as to the secret article of the Treaty of 1815. He was ready to concede to him, that the same objections to its publicity which existed at the time it was framed were now removed. But he would rather not, at the moment, give a positive answer as to whether he should feel himself justified in laying it before the House or not. With respect to the other point, the object the Government had principally in view was, to get forward with the Irish Reform Bill; and, until they saw what progress it made, it was impossible to fix a day for the discussion of the other question, which he admitted was one of very great importance. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman, however, that a notice should be given, so that the House should have ample opportunity of giving it every attention.
said, that respecting the important document to which he had alluded, he wished it to be understood, that he should move for its production if the Government did not think proper to lay it on the Table.