HC Deb 14 July 1845 vol 82 cc476-7
Mr. Milner Gibson

asked whether General Rosas, of Buenos Ayres, had the right to stop the navigation of the river Plate, and to prevent communication with Paraguay by those waters; and whether the British Government had acknowledged the right of General Rosas to close the navigation of the river Plate to foreign vessels?

Sir R. Peel

said, that General Rosas, in the assertion of belligerent rights, had intimated an intention to establish a blockade of the waters referred to; and the British Government had expressed its disposition to assent to the blockade, on the condition that it should be generally enforced. The French Government had, in the first instance, claimed that French vessels should be exempted; and Great Britain then of course refused to permit the blockade. Subsequently, however, France, it was understood, had professed her willingness to have her vessels included in the operation of the blockade; and Her Majesty's Government then also assented on the condition, as before, that the blockade was to be, so long as it lasted, of universal application. As to the Paraguay, General Rosas, occupying both banks of that river, claimed the right of preventing navigation upon it. With reference to the Plate river, the blockade of that river required the consent of the other Powers, and Great Britain had assented on the conditions he had stated. If the hon. Gentleman, however, required fuller information on the subject for the guidance of merchants, his best course would be to apply to the Foreign Office.