HC Deb 02 April 1844 vol 73 cc1753-4
Sir R. Peel

appeared at the Bar with Papers by command of Her Majesty, and, on the call of the Speaker, brought up and laid upon the Table a copy of the Supplementary Treaty with China. The right hon. Baronet said, Sir, I cannot move that this Paper, which will probably be the last diplomatic act of Sir H. Pottinger, who is now retiring from his post in China at his own wish and request, and against the desire of Her Majesty's Government—I cannot move that this Paper be printed without paying a tribute which is justly due to the ability, the firmness, the zeal, the energy, and the disinterestedness with which that gallant Officer has performed those duties, which he undertook at a most critical moment, but which have been performed in such a manner as to secure for him the confidence and esteem of the Chinese, as well as the entire approval of the Government of the nation which he represented. I might, Sir, say a great deal in praise of the conduct and character of Sir H. Pottinger, but I believe that sometimes panegyric is weakened and diluted by words; and I will only add, that it is impossible to pay too high a tribute to the singular ability, tact, and talent with which he transacted all the duties committed to him.

Viscount Palmerston

had heard with great pleasure the honourable and well-deserved tribute which had been paid to the merits of Sir H. Pottinger, for those who knew with what difficulties he had had to contend, and how admirably he had overcome them, must feel how extremely eminent were the services which he had rendered. Not only had Sir H. Pottinger by his own merits acquired the praise which had been so handsomely bestowed on him, but it was by his own merit that he owed the appointment which he had received at the hands of Her Majesty's late Government. In selecting Sir H. Pottinger for the Chinese mission he had been in no way influenced by his political opinions. He did not to that hour know what those opinions were, and he had selected him solely in consequence of the ability which he displayed in performing the duties of the appointment which he formerly held in India. In justice to Her Majesty's Government he might express his belief that the successor of Sir H. Pottinger owed his appointment to similar consideration, and certainly it was doubly honourable to that gallant Officer, that having been appointed by one Government for his merit, he had by his merit obtained the approbation of another.

The Papers to be printed.