§ Mr. Maclean
had a question to ask of the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in accordance with the notice which he had given yesterday. He was anxious to learn from the noble Lord whether, consistently with the public service, he could state what was the present position of the negotiations between England and France with reference to the blockade of Buenos Ayres. He was also requested by persons deeply interested in the commerce between this country and 1114 Buenos Ayres, to ask whether there was a probability of this difference being speedily brought to a close, and of British merchants being enabled to resume those relations which had now been interrupted for two years.
§ Viscount Palmerston
replied, that the present state of the negotiations between France and Buenos Ayres, as regarded the good offices of England, was this:—Some time ago, Admiral Dupotet went out from France to take the command of the French squadron. M.—,a French diplomatic agent, was also sent out at the same time, with powers to negotiate. After remaining some weeks at Monte Video, the Admiral proceeded to Buenos Ayres. Mr. Mandeville, the British agent there, entered into a negotiation with him, and arranged to meet him on board the Actæon. At that meeting, Mr. Mandeville, by authority from the government of Buenos Ayres, made certain propositions to Admiral Dupotet, with a view to an arrangement between France and Buenos Ayres. The day after that another interview took place on board the Actæon between Mr. Mandeville, Admiral Dupotet, and Senor Arrieros, the Buenos Ayrean Minister for Foreign Affairs. Admiral Dupotet stated that he himself had no authority to negotiate, the authority being vested in M.—and returned to Monte Video to communicate with him. M.—did not feel himself authorized to accept this proposition, and thought it his duty to refer the matter to the consideration of the French government. The proposition was accordingly so referred, and arrived in Paris some short time since. But, he was not, of course, able to state to the House what proceedings had been taken by the French government. It was a duty on his part, not to express any opinion which he might entertain as to the probability of an early or late termination of the dispute. This much he could state, that no efforts would be wanting on the part of the British agents to bring the two parties to a fair and just arrangement.