HC Deb 08 February 1841 vol 56 cc374-5
Sir R. Peel

wished to put to the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs the question of which he had given notice on a former evening. Before he did so, he wished to call his attention to passages in the speeches from the throne at the opening of the sessions in the years 1839 and 1840. In the speech of 1839 there was this passage:— Differences which have arisen have occasioned the retirement of my Minister from the Court of Teheran. I indulge, however, the hope of learning that a satisfactory adjustment of those differences will allow of the reestablishment of my relations with Persia upon their former footing of friendship. The subject was again alluded to in the speech from the throne in 1840, in these terms: — I have not yet been enabled to re-establish my diplomatic relations with the Court of Teheran, but communications which I have lately received from the Persian government inspire me with the confident expectation that the differences which occasioned a suspension of those relations will soon be satisfactorily adjusted. The right hon. Baronet was proceeding, when

Mr. O'Connell

rose. He begged the right hon. Baronet's pardon for interrupting him, and hoped he would be excused by the consideration that the subject just now before the House ought not to be left as it was. The life of Mr. M'Leod was at stake, and he was sorry that his hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) had interfered, for he thought that there ought to be expressed in that House an opinion that Mr. M'Leod should be saved, as he acted under the command of the officers of Her Majesty's Government—in fact, under the command of Her Majesty. Whether Mr. M'Leod was right or wrong, the House ought to declare that it was prepared to assist the Government in preserving him.

Mr. W. S. O'Brien

next rose to address the House, but there was a general cry of "Order," "Chair."

Sir R. Peel

resumed. He referred to the extracts which he had read for the purpose of asking the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, whether he could lay before the House any communication to show that the "differences" there alluded to had been, or were likely to be, "satisfactorily adjusted," and whether we were likely to be soon enabled to renew our friendly relations with Persia.

Viscount Palmerston

was sorry to say, those differences had not yet been finally and satisfactorily adjusted. The right hon. Baronet and the House were aware that they had made certain demands on the Persian government for the redress of certain wrongs for which they considered themselves entitled to reparation. Many complaints consisted of acts of ill-treatment of persons attached to British missions, or of British officers in Persia; and another ground of complaint was, that Persia still maintained possession of a city which belonged to the Indian territory. On the several points of individual grievances they had received explanations and assurances which, if they did not amount altogether to a literal fulfilment of the demands, yet appeared to them such as the Government might, without derogating from the honour of the country, say they had received sufficient satisfaction. It was on the territorial claims alone that there lay any differences between the two Governments. But while those matters remained unsettled, the mission from this country to Persia, which had retired to and were still at Erzeroum, could not, according to their instructions, proceed to Teheran.

Sir R. Peel.

—Those differences have been pending now three years. Would the noble Lord have any objection to lay before the House the communications which have passed on the subject?

Viscount Palmerston

had no objection to the production of the documents referred to.