HC Deb 04 May 1840 vol 53 c1182
Sir Robert Peel

I wish to ask the noble Lord a question respecting the differences at present subsisting between the Neapolitan government and this country. In answer to a question put on Friday last, I understood the noble Lord stated, that her Majesty's Government had issued orders for reprisals, and that certain Neapolitan vessels had been actually captured. The question I wish to ask is, if the mediation of the French government for the settlement of the existing differences between this country and Naples has been offered, and been accepted by either or both parties?

Viscount Palmerston

said, that the good offices of the French government for the arrangement of the differences between her Majesty's Government and that of Naples had been offered some time ago, and had been immediately accepted by her Majesty's Government. At the same time a similar offer had been made by the French government to the government of Naples; and it appeared from the latest despatches received both from Naples and Paris, that that offer had been accepted by the government at Naples.

Sir R, Peel

asked if the order for reprisals had been consequently rescinded?

Viscount Palmerston

said, that it had been agreed, that as soon as our representative at the court of Naples should be officially informed of the arrival of any French diplomatist, charged to exercise the good offices of the French government, he should immediately transmit to the officers commanding her Majesty's ships instructions to suspend reprisals for a certain time; but, from despatches received that day, he had learned that at the moment that the French mediation had been accepted by the king of Naples, and when, according to the agreement, the reprisals would have been stopped, the Neapolitan government had laid an embargo on all British vessels in Neapolitan ports; and, consequently, the order for reprisals had not been suspended.