HC Deb 04 April 1845 vol 79 c176
Mr. Milner Gibson

wished to ask a question of some importance of the right hon. Baronet on the subject of the present state of our relations with the Brazils. It was well known that our commercial Treaty with that country expired in the month of November last. Under the provisions of the Treaty British subjects residing in the Brazils were entitled to certain privileges, which were not possessed by the Brazilians, in reference to the disposal of their property by will, the English Consul taking care that in the event of the death of a British subject his property went to his heirs. The commercial Treaty expired in November last; and it was the general opinion that the privileges which had been enjoyed by British subjects had expired with it. A case had recently arisen in which considerable alarm had been felt as to the disposal of the property of British subjects dying in the Brazils, or dying in this country, and leaving property in the Brazils. He wished to ask the right hon. Baronet, first, if the Government had taken the matter into their consideration? Secondly, if Mr. Hamilton had made any communication to them on this subject? And thirdly, if he could hold out any hopes that the same privileges would be continued to British subjects in the Brazils which they had enjoyed previously to the expiration of the Treaty?

Sir R. Peel

replied, that it often happened that the merchants of Liverpool and Manchester received earlier intelligence of matters of this nature than was received by the Foreign Office. The Government had not received any account of the transaction to which the hon. Gentleman referred; but he would make this general statement, that by the Treaty which expired in 1844, on the death of any British subject in the Brazils the administration of his effects devolved upon the British Consul, and not upon the Brazilian authorities. Her Majesty's Government had made a proposition to the Brazilian Government on the subject of the Treaty, and that stipulation was a part of the proposal which they had made.

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