HC Deb 03 May 1843 vol 68 cc1243-4
Mr. Borthwick

had a question to put to the right hon. Baronet relative to the detention of Don Carlos in France. A question had been asked on this subject in the French Chambers, and the difference of treatment pointed out which Was experienced by Queen Christina and Don Carlos. From the answer of the French minister, it seemed to be implied that there was no intention on the part of the French government of liberating Don Carlos. The question he had now to put was, whether her Majesty's Government, observing the position of that illustrious personage, had the intention of interfering, by friendly mediation, to obtain his liberation.

Sir Robert Peel

intended to answer the question without reference to what might have passed in the French Chambers, and of which he could have no cognisance. His answer was for the House of Commons. He had already given, about three weeks ago, all the information on this subject it was in his power to afford. He had undertaken to say, on the part of the British Government, that they had no wish that Don Carlos should be subject to any restraint whatever; but that considering what had passed relative to that prince, and what might be the consequence to Spain, they could not consent to an unlimited liberation of Don Carlos. What had passed and what might be apprehended, justified, he thought, the British Government and the French government in imposing the present restrictions upon Don Carlos. He was quite sure that if an efficient guarantee for the future could be given, there would be no objection on the part of the French government to release Don Carlos; but they could not forget what had passed, and the consequence was that they could not consent to his unconditional liberation.

The Order of the Day was then read.