HC Deb 05 February 1844 vol 72 cc228-9
Sir Charles Napier

said, it might be in the recollection of the right hon. Baronet at the head of Her Majesty's Government, that on two occasions last Session he inquired if he was prepared to lay on the Table the instructions given to our cruisers on the coast of Africa relative to visiting vessels bearing the American flag. He now wished to repeat the question; and he would also ask the right hon. Baronet whether he had received any information of the intention of the American government to establish military posts on the Oregon frontier?

Sir R. Peel

said, he would answer the first question of the gallant commodore to-morrow or the next day. As to the second, he was not in possession of any further information as to the intention of the American government to place military posts on the line towards the Oregon, than that which the gallant officer was already aware of.

Lord J. Russell

understood it had been stated last year that there were negotiations on foot with the American government on the subject of the Oregon territory. He wished to ask the right hon. Baronet whether such negotiations were now pending, or whether there had been a cessation of them?

Sir R. Peel

said, that if he recollected rightly, he stated last year, that which was exactly in conformity with the fact, namely, that the British Government had originated a communication with the Government of the United States, with regard to the extreme advantage of proceeding amicably in the arrangement for the settlement of the disputed points; and certainly the answer which had been received to that communication, justified the British Government in hoping that before this, some progress would have been made towards an arrangement. A change had recently taken place in the person of Her Majesty's representative at Washington, and the new Minister had gone out with full instructions on the subject, which he hoped would be productive of the end desired.

Mr. Hume

wished to know whether the right hon. Baronet would object to lay on the Table of the House the papers relative to the Oregon territory?

Sir R. Peel

said, that, as the papers related to a matter of so much importance, he thought the hon. Gentleman would take the wisest course by not pressing for their production at that time.

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