HC Deb 18 February 1842 vol 60 cc636-7
Sir Charles Napier

rose to put a question to the right hon. Baronet on a subject on which he felt considerable interest—namely, respecting the condition of the inhabitants of Lebanon. He had seen it stated in the newspapers that Emir Beschir, late ruler of Lebanon, had been sent to Constantinople, and the inhabitants of Lebanon had been placed under the tender mercies of two Pachas, and the forts on the coast garrisoned by Turkish troops. He wished to know whether the Government had received any information on the subject?

Sir Robert Peel

observed that it would be rather difficult for him to tell what might be the particular course of proceeding by a Government like that of Turkey. He, however, was not in a situation to give the gallant Admiral any particulars. It would be recollected that the object of the late operations of the British force on the coast of Syria was to restore the sovereignty of that country to the Turkish Government. No accounts had arrived from Constantinople since the 20th of January, at which time the Emir had not arrived there. With respect to the other point—the sending two Paellas to govern Lebanon—he was not able to answer. With respect to the government of the forts, all he could say at present was, that the Turkish Government had sent the Seraskier Pacha to Beyrout to inquire into the grievances, both among the Druses and Maronites, and also to consider the best mode of governing the district, but the result of this mission had not yet transpired. He regretted, therefore, that he could not as yet give the desired information to the hon. and gallant Admiral.

Sir C. Napier

was very much obliged to the right hon. Baronet for calling him gallant Admiral, but that was a mistake, as he had not got that rank yet.