HC Deb 23 July 1832 vol 14 cc642-3
Mr. Robinson

said, that the answer given by the noble Lord with respect to the Greek Loan on a former occasion might be very satisfactory as between Whig and Tory, but it was by no means satisfactory to the public, who were anxious to get rid of these foreign connections and liabilities.

Lord Althorp

did not think it desirable to go into the subject, but after what had fallen from the hon. Gentleman, he must say a few words. The hon. Gentleman must be aware, that some years ago, there was a strong feeling throughout the country in favour of the Greeks, and the most urgent remonstrances were made, to induce the Government to interfere, to secure the liberty of that people. At that time, negotiations were entered into, for the purpose of settling the government of Greece. He was then one of a small minority who thought that the Government of this country should have nothing to do with the question. Negotiations were, however, entered into, jointly with France and Russia, for the purpose of settling the affairs of Greece. It was then found that a loan was necessary, and it was determined that the allied Powers should be the guarantees for its repayment. The Government of the Duke of Wellington, therefore, thought themselves called upon to give a guarantee on the subject. In addition to this, that Government also found it necessary to make an advance, out of the Army Extraordinaries, to be repaid from the loan. Such was the situation in which Ministers found matters on entering into office. It was utterly impossible that the affairs of Greece could be settled, without guaranteeing the loan. They might have withdrawn from any further proceedings in the matter, but no one would contend that such a line of conduct would have redounded to the credit of the country. The three Powers had, therefore, become guarantees for this loan, and he saw nothing which led him to expect that the present arrangement would not be carried into effect, in a satisfactory manner, or that England would ever be called upon to contribute a single shilling on account of the loan.

Sir Robert Peel

deprecated all discussion at that time. He would only express a hope that this Government had not guaranteed more than a third of the loan.

Lord Althorp

said, that the guarantee extended only to one-third.

Mr. Hume

wished to know if any papers were to be laid before the House, to show that the people of Greece had been consulted on the government which they were to have, for, if not, he feared that what was termed the settlement of that country would prove to be any thing rather than a settlement.