HC Deb 30 September 1841 vol 59 cc1015-7
Viscount Sandon

rose to move for certain papers relating to the Anglo-Spanish Commission, and the Anglo-Portuguese Commission, which he said would fully prove to the House, that while the claims of the Anglo-Spanish Legion had been settled in one year, the Anglo-Portuguese Commission, which had already been sitting for one year, presented no prospect of its termination for two years longer, and that the instalments which might then be agreed on, would not be all paid off before the expiration of two years more. The Anglo-Portuguese claimants were now enduring great hardships, and if their claims were to remain so long unsatisfied, they would derive but little benefit from the settlement of them. The noble Lord concluded by moving for the following papers: — Date when the Legion was disbanded; copy of the mixed British and Spanish Commission, relating to the claims of the British Auxiliary Legion in the service of Spain; copy of rules for the guidance of the commissioners; the date when the commission commenced the reception of claims; the number of claims sent in and adjudicated upon, and the respective dates of such adjudications; the mode in which such claims were agreed to be paid, and have been paid and satisfied the number of com- missioners, secretaries, and clerks engaged in such commission; the amount of the expenses of such commission, specifying the commissioners' salaries, and those of the secretaries and clerks; return of the expenses, if any, which were allowed, and to whom, in respect of the prosecution of such claims, and how paid; was any and what deduction made from the claimants for the purpose of paying agents, or any other expenses? Date of the disbanding of the respective naval and military forces; the date of the mixed British and Portuguese Commission, appointed to examine and decide upon the claims of British subjects who served in the army and navy during the war of restoration in Portugal; copy of the rules for the guidance of the commissioners; the dale of the installation in office of the commissioners; the date of the decision of the Belgian Minister on the question of contracts; the date of the commencement of the reception of claims; the number of days, and of hours per day, during which each commissioner respectively has been engaged in the labours of the commission; whether any accounts have been examined by one commissioner in the absence of the other; the number of claims received, and the number, if any, investigated and adjudicated upon, and of claimants to whom notice of such adjudication has been given; the number of secretaries, clerks or others, employed under the commissioners, the dates of their several appointments, with their respective salaries; the salaries of the commissioners, and from what source paid, together with an account of all other expenses incidental to the commission.

Sir R. Peel

said, that he thought the motion had very much the appearance of having been suggested by a claimant who felt disappointed at the delay. To some of the returns he had no objection; but he certainly could not consent to those which implied any reflection upon the commissioners. What he should suggest to his noble Friend was, to withdraw the motion for the present, that he might have an opportunity of considering, with his noble Friend, to what extent he should limit it. If his noble Friend would withdraw the motion until the next day, he would then be prepared to give him all the information he could fairly require.

Viscount Palmerston

begged to observe, that the delay had arisen from the difficulty which the British and Portuguese Governments found in coming to an arrangement about some of the details.

Lord Ranelagh

expressed a hope that the British Government would take steps to procure the restoration of Don Carlos to liberty. He had never taken up arms against the French; and there was a time when France would have scorned to be the prison-house of princes.

Viscount Sandon

had no objection to acquiesce in the arrangement proposed by his right hon. Friend. The noble Lord accordingly postponed his motions.