HC Deb 02 July 1847 vol 93 cc1169-70

had a question to ask of the noble Lord with reference to the recent proceedings at Hong-Kong. He did not wish to reflect on the conduct pursued there; but what he wanted to know was, whether the recent hostile proceedings taken by the Governor of Hong-Kong had been adopted on his own responsibility, or on the authority of instructions sent out to him from this country.


My answer to the noble Lord is, that the Governor of Hong-Kong reported certain insults and injuries which were inflicted on British subjects in China; and the answer of the Government to him was, for him to demand of the Chinese Government redress for such insults. After he had sent those reports, other cases of a similar character arose, of which the accounts did not reach this country until a very short time ago. The Governor, taking into consideration that he was desired to demand redress in certain cases, and those other cases occurring afterwards, thought it right to consult with the general officers commanding and the conclusion to which they arrived was that the only mode of obtaining redress was by getting the commanders of the naval and military forces to interfere. A most able sally was made—certainly in a naval and military point of view, one most ably designed and ably carried into effect. That is the only answer I can now give to the noble Lord; but when the papers are produced, the particulars will show why the Governor of Hong-Kong thought it necessary to enforce redress, and why he felt that redress could not be obtained in any other manner.