HC Deb 06 February 1843 vol 66 cc201-2
Captain Pechell

said, that in the statement made the other night by the right hon. Baronet, in reference to the number of cruisers on the coast of Africa, he had said, that he should be able in two or three days to afford the information required. Since then the question had been mooted in the French Chambers, and it had been stated that the cruisers furnished by each power were to be attached to the African station alone, and that they were not to go to the coast of Brazil and to the Cape of Good Hope. It had also been stated by the Foreign Minister of France, that in the execution of the article he had stipulated for a certain number of cruisers, and had demanded that they should remain attached to that coast for which alone their warrant was issued. He wished to ask whether the Government assented to what M. Guizot had stated to have been agreed on, or whether, in the treaties of 1831, and 1833, there was any mention of a stipulation to that effect?

Sir R. Peel

did not think that the statement of the hon. and gallant officer could be an accurate report of the Speech of the French Minister for Foreign Affairs. There had been no engagement entered into which compelled this country to limit the number of its cruisers—it was at liberty to exercise its own discretion as to what force was necessary for the suppression of the Slave-trade. The French had an equal right to exercise their own discretion in determining what number of cruisers they should employ; they had entered into no engagement to limit their number. The hon. and gallant officer asked him whether it was true that the right of search had been confined to the coast of Africa. What this country had undertaken to do was this, that when an officer was removed from one station to another, he should receive a fresh warrant, authorising him to act upon the new station.