HC Deb 16 August 1843 vol 71 cc864-7
Mr. Mangles

had been informed, that in consequence of the Portuguese tariff being kept in abeyance from 1842 to 1843, the wine trade was in a state of stagnation, and great loss accrued, not only to the revenue but to those engaged in it. He was informed also, that in consequence of arrangements made in July last with the Government, that trade had revived. From the circumstance, however, of the arrival of the Marquess of Palmella in this country, and its being supposed that he meant to re-open the engagements entered into, the trade had fallen back to the state of stagnation in which it was in 1842. He wished to know, therefore, whether any negotiations had been commenced, and whether it were intended to alter the present duty?

Sir R. Peel

Her Majesty's Government publicly declared a short time since, that the negotiations with Portugal were brought to a termination, in point of fact that they were broken off, Portugal not being willing to agree to such terms as the interest of this country required. The Duke of Palmella has arrived in this country, and, I understand, he has come partly with the view of making some fresh proposal on the subject alluded to, and that he has full powers to do so. If that be so, he has come exclusively at the instance of the Portuguese government, and not in consequence of any invitation by this Government, or of any previous communications made to Portugal by our Government. Up to the present moment there has been no official intimation made by the Duke of Palmella to the British Government, but I cannot doubt the fact which has come to the cognizance of the hon. Gentleman, that the Duke of Palmella has full powers to treat on this subject with our Government. I am so sensible of the evil which has accrued to trade, commerce, and revenue, from the protracted negotiations that have already taken place on this subject, that I will undertake to promise the hon. Gentleman that the treaty which may be entered into will not, in any event, be protracted by dilatory negotiations.

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