HC Deb 14 June 1847 vol 93 cc472-540

Order of the Day for resuming the Adjourned Debate on the affairs of Portugal, read.


commenced by remarking upon the extreme length of the papers presented to the House, and of the period over which they extended; yet, strange to say, there was omitted the most material document of all, viz., the Quadruple Treaty of 1834. He expressed his deep regret that the House were not permitted to proceed with the discussion on an earlier night. Upwards of a month ago he had asked a question on the subject—it being apprehended that the Three Powers intended to interfere—and on that occasion information had been solicited by him upon the subject. The noble Lord (Lord Palmerston) had replied that no interference of ours in the affairs of Portugal could then be based upon the Quadruple Treaty; and had stated that any such interference on our part would he directed to the maintenance of the present royal dynasty of Portugal. The noble Lord had, however, refused all information. Yet all the while negotiations were going on, interference was resolved upon, and the protocol had been signed, which the House only heard of first through the columns of a French newspaper. He felt deeply that in foreign affairs we should proceed in the open light of the constitution. But the Government were wholly out of this light of the constitution in the present intervention. He begged to refer to the precedent of 1826. The argument founded upon it was à fortiori; for if Mr. Canning, in that case, which was clear in its character, solicited the sanction of Parliament before he interfered, much more ought such a course to have been taken on this occasion. Mr. Canning had at that time brought down a Message from the Crown on the Monday, having received upon the Friday previous the intelligence on which he bad grounded his appeal to Parliament. He believed there was no instance in which a Government had resolved upon and commenced such an intervention without first obtaining the sanction of Parliament. At the present period the House proceeded to the discussion of the question under this great and ominous disadvantage, that the time was passed when any objections on the part of the Legislature could be of any avail. He, therefore, complained of the delay which had been interposed against bringing the subject forward. Notwithstanding the bulk of the paper, which not only told all that bad taken place (and told much that had never taken place at all), it told little that was not known before, and nothing that placed the matter at all in a new light. It was admitted that the case of the Government was the exception, and that those who objected to the interference upheld the proper and general rule of foreign policy. Of course it was just possible that the latter were right; and that the exceptional policy of the Government could not be sustained. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had maintained that the intervention was necessary, and had averted a European war. But he, on the contrary, maintained that the effect must be to weaken the alliance with Portugal; to alienate from us the feelings of the people of that country; to support the cause of despotism against popular rights; and it was a poor consolation to England and Europe that the House of Commons proceeded to discuss the question, each Member holding in his hand a "lusty folio" filled with ingenious diplomatic correspondence. There was not one proposition of the noble Lord which was not capable of an easy and efficient refutation. The blue book began too late for its purpose, and ended too soon. It began with the last scene of the first act of the drama now performing in Portugal. It ended at the very point most important, viz., our preparing to interfere in pursuance of the protocol. It left utterly undetermined the question of a casus belli; and, above all, it did not disclose any intimation to the Conde das Antas or the Viscount Sa da Bandeira of the intention forcibly to interfere. He wished particularly to refer to Mr. Bulwer's despatch of the 16th of April, as containing the solitary communication which could be adduced as affording any evidence of an intention on the part of Spain to interfere; and what did it amount to? Simply to an observation that Spain "might perhaps interfere." But this was in the face of repeated declarations of the Duke de Sotomayor and M. Pacheco, that Spain could not interfere, except with the full sanction of this country. This contradiction might have been explained, if the whole of the despatches had been given. No doubt the noble Lord might reasonably be incredulous of the pledges of a Spanish Minister. But why had not the whole of Mr. Bulwer's despatch been given? Throughout the blue book there were similar instances of suppression; and therefore it was impossible to place proper reliance upon the documents presented to the House. It was clear that in the intervention the Government bad violated our ancient alliance with Portugal, and the liberties of the Portuguese people, and bad done this, not in favour even of the Crown, but in favour of a vile faction, embracing all that was detestable and dishonourable. To this violation of international law, this outrage upon liberty and decency, the honoured name of the Queen of England was now attached, and the assent of the House of Commons was asked. Under the Constitution of 1838 it was impossible for a certain illustrious Personage, high in favour at the Court, to hold the command of the army. And M. Costa Cabral had promised that, if he had the Home Office conferred upon him, he would manage to have the constitution altered in this respect. This Minister thus succeeded in gaining the office he desired. Then ensued a scene of corruption so dark, so black, that it had been deemed decent to suppress it in the diplomatic correspondence presented. By peculiar and unexplained coincidences the very refuse of the population had acquired political power, and the wealth and education of the country had been prevented from being represented. Corruption never was conceived equal to that exercised by this Government of Costa Cabral. Discontent, of course, spread all over the country, and the corrupt Minister trembled. Then the experiment was tried of introducing one honest man (the Duke of Palmella) into office, with the pretty clear certainty, however, that he was only to be the tool and instrument of the faction who had recourse to his aid. Still the commencement of a just Administration under the Duke of Palmella produced the happiest effects throughout Portugal. Under his advice the Cortes were to be re-assembled. The consequences of this were dreaded by Cabral, who had not been able to repeat his process of corruption. The fatal 6th of October arrived. Decrees were tendered to the Duke of Palmella, appointing as his successor the Duke de Saldanha, altering the command of the army, and replacing all the creatures of Cabral in office. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had said that on the 6th of October the kingdom of Portugal was divided into three parties: that the first class adhered immediately to the Queen and the Government; that the second party consisted of the Junta, some of whom were men of violent democratic principles; and that the third consisted of a victorious army, commanded by Marshal Saldanha. He was sure that the noble Lord was incapable of presenting to that House any description which he did not believe to be true to the very letter; but, notwithstanding his confidence in the noble Lord, he must say that it was impossible for any one to give a more inaccurate account of the state of Portugal than that which had been given by the noble Lord. First of all, the noble Lord said there was one party which adhered immediately to the Queen. Now, when we spoke in this country of the party of the Queen, we generally understood that amongst that party there should be some merchants, some traders, some noblemen, some landed gentlemen, some shopkeepers, and some of the labouring classes; but not one of those classes was to be found amongst that body which the noble Lord had designated as one of the three parties into which Portugal was divided on the 6th of October. Who were they? They appeared to be Costa Cabral and his brother, and a few others. The noble Lord at the head of Foreign Affairs (Lord Palmerston), in his despatch to Sir Hamilton Seymour, on the 5th of April, wrote as follows:— I have said in the earlier part of this despatch that there is one arrangement which seems indispensable, but which is not mentioned in my public despatch of this date, and that is the departure of M. Dietz from Lisbon. Unless M. Dietz leaves Portugal, all other arrangements and all attempts to reconcile the Court and the discontented part of the nation will be vain; and Colonel Wylde must not, under any circumstances, leave Lisbon for Oporto until M. Dietz has embarked and sailed for England. His departure is a sine quâ non condition of any step whatever on the part of Her Majesty's Government to interfere in any way in the affairs of Portugal. It is needless to explain the well-known reasons which render this condition indispensable. He (Mr. Borthwick) owned that the people of Portugal, as well as the people of England, had some reason to be surprised with the difference between the words and the acts of the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. His hon. Friend the Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) had said that he was highly pleased with the words of the noble Lord, but he did not like his acts. He (Mr. Borthwick) re-echoed that sentiment. He was willing to bear his testimony to the fine addition which the noble Lord had, in the course of the recent transactions with Portugal, made to the diplomatic literature of this country. He was pleased with every word of the legal doctrine which the noble Lord laid down in those despatches. They possessed this merit, which was very rare in these times—they were all written in a manly English spirit. But after the noble Lord had stigmatised M. Dietz in his despatch in such severe and it seemed just language, as a party who stood in the way of the amicable settlement of matters, it seemed very strange that M. Dietz should be found dining in London in very much better company than he (Mr. Borthwick) had expected such a man would ever have reached. If he was not mistaken, the noble Lord himself was not very far distant from M. Dietz, who had been dismissed from Portugal in such an ignominious manner at the instance of the noble Lord himself. Now, when the people of England and the people of Portugal read the words of the noble Lord, and contrasted them with his acts, they could not help saying to the noble Lord, Qua te dementia cœpit? [Sir J. GRAHAM: Quœ.] The right hon. Baronet, though a northern like himself, had had the benefit of a university education, and he very willingly accepted the correction, and gave him his cordial thanks for it. He would take the liberty of making another quotation, which should have been adopted by the noble Lord:— Video meliora proboque, Deteriora sequor. That ought to have been the motto of the noble Lord. Was it right that the noble Lord should come down to that House and tell the people of Portugal that they were composed of three parties: that some of them were Miguelites, some of them Democrats, some of them Tories, and some of them Whigs? Why the people of Portugal, without distinction of political opinion, without distinction of profession, without distinction of age or sex, were groaning under an oppression which had reached the hearts and the homes of all. And when they rose with one united voice, they were, forsooth, to he put down by the Prime Minister of England, standing up in his place and telling them that some of them were Miguelites, and some of them Democrats, and some of them one thing, and some of them another! The answer of the people of Portugal to such language as that was, "We are the united people of Portugal; we have laid aside party distinctions; we deprecate Miguelism." The beginning and ending of this affair was attempted to be worked up by Costa Cabral first, and Mr. Bulwer afterwards. On this question of the different political factions in Portugal, he did not think that the noble Lord had argued with his visual fairness and candour. The noble Lord at one time spoke of the folly of apprehending any fear from the Miguelites, and at another he described them as a party that threatened the overthrow of the Throne, and the destruction of Portugal. In this question, he looked no further than to the English interest—he had no sympathy with the Miguelite party. The noble Lord would do him the justice of saying, that he had never interfered in that subject, and that he had no sort of sympathy with the Miguelites. He contended, however, that Miguelitism had never been mixed up in the slightest degree with the cause of the Junta, although the Junta were quite ready to receive support from the Miguelite party. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Roche) was avowedly a repealer in that House; he was sent to that House to vote for the repeal of the Union. Now, Her Majesty's Ministers thought that the repeal of the Union would be tantamount to a dismemberment of the British Empire, and they opposed that question; but he never heard of Her Majesty's Ministers having refused to take the vote of the hon. Gentleman in a division in that House: he had never heard anybody say that Her Majesty's Ministers intended becoming repealers, because they counted among their supporters the hon. Member for Cork, and other hon. Gentlemen who held similar political opinions. And with no better reason could it be urged that, because the Junta were ready to receive the support of the Miguelites, they were at all favourably disposed towards Miguelitism. The only object of the Junta appeared to be to release the country from the oppressions under which it groaned. It was most unjust to accuse the Junta party of any feeling of disloyalty to the person of the Queen or her legal Government; because, from beginning to end, their proclamations invariably declared that their object was to resist the faction which had, on the one hand, betrayed the Queen; and, on the other hand, oppressed the people. No act of disloyalty was brought against Das Antas and his companions. There never was a popular revolution conducted in the history of Europe with so much moderation as was that of the Junta of Portugal. And wherefore? Because they had no opposition to deal with—the whole country sympathized with them. He begged to call the attention of the House to the manifesto of the Junta party, published on the 8th of December, 1846. They said— The Junta of Provisional Government of the Kingdom, considers it its duty to address to the civilized nations of Europe a brief and sincere exposition of the motives which have impelled the Portuguese nation to take up anus in defence of its liberty and of its injured rights; and, likewise, of the loyal intentions of the Junta, in whose hands this brave people have deposited all authority during the captivity of Her Majesty Donna Maria H. Europe has seen all the efforts the nation has made since 1820, in order to establish and consolidate its constitutional liberty. But after the most heroic feats, when it seemed that the nation (desirous of repose) could enjoy the benefits of the constitutional system, acquired at the expense of so many sacrifices and of so much blood, a perverse faction, taking advantage of the weakness of our political institution, began to undermine, by degrees, the representative system, tearing one by one the constitutional rights; and ended by destroying completely our civil liberty, after having annihilated political liberty. The nation struggled step by step against this fatal system of sophistry, of fraud, and corruption, by means of the press and the Cortes; and such was its success in the elections of 1845, that the Lisbon Government was obliged to throw aside the constitutional mask, surrounded the electoral assemblies with soldiers, pointed every where the bayonet against the breasts of the electors, and fired on them rounds of musketry. And yet the noble Lord himself, the very hero of the British Constitution, stood up in that House to vilify those who had in Portugal attempted to restore the constitutional liberties of the subject. The noble Lord had said, that if the Junta party had succeeded, the blood of the citizens of Lisbon would have flowed in the streets. Why, the blood of the citizens was shed several times by the Government; and the people there had learned that there was but one resource—an insurrection. Such," in the language of the manifesto, "was the cause of the revolution of the Minho, which civilized Europe admired and applauded; and which ended by the most wonderful generosity and moderation of which an ill-used people could give an example. Did such language as that on the part of the Junta defend the principles of Don Miguel or his party? No such thing. The Junta, whilst they declared their determination to obtain the constitutional rights of the people, professed sincere loyalty to the Queen. If the Junta had really intended to unite with the Miguelites for the purpose of forwarding the interests of that party, it was clear that amongst the papers which were found on the person of the leader of the Junta, there would have been some which had reference to the Miguelite pretensions. But the fact was that no such papers were found. The Junta party declared distinctly to the Miguelites that the person and just rights of the Queen must be loyally protected; and that if they did not submit to those terms they could not receive their assistance. He thought that it was unnecessary for him to proceed to quote more largely from the blue book in the hands of hon. Members, for the purpose of proving that there was no such thing as a movement on the part of Don Miguel, or that he should proceed to prove (which would be a very easy matter) from the same authority that there was no attempt to establish an insurrection in the name of Peter V. He should now for a moment consider the speech of the noble Lord at the head of her Majesty's Government, and particularly that part in which he attempted to answer the hon. Gentleman the Member for Wycombe (Mr. B. Osborne). The noble Lord stated that the British Government, instead of supporting the cause of despotism by this interference, had, on the contrary, put an end to the cause of despotism in Portugal; that they had by their interference restored the charter of the people; that they had established the people's rights, and secured a constitutional Government to the country. With that simple remark the noble Lord said he had answered three-fourths of the speech of the hon. Gentleman. Now he (Mr. Borthwick) contended that three-fourths of that speech of the hon. Gentleman were unanswerable, and that up to that moment the noble Lord had not made a real attempt to answer them. And even supposing that the interference of Great Britain had, as the noble Lord said, secured to the people of Portugal a charter, he wished to know whether the noble Lord would undertake to say that that charter was the one which had been granted in 1836? Why, did not the noble Lord know that the Charter of 1826 had been crippled, and changed, and made lame and inefficient, by a thousand acts on the part of Cabral? Did not the noble Lord know that if the interference had secured a charter to Portugal, it was not such as was secured to the people by Don Pedro? Why, if anything had been secured, it was but a nominal liberty, if not actual despotism and real tyranny. And if any privileges had been secured to the people of Portugal, how were they to be secured to them? The noble Lord would no doubt answer, "By the faith of the Queen." By a Queen as proverbially fickle as Fortune herself! "By the faith of the Queen," who had violated and broken her most solemn engagements to her people? "By the faith of the Queen," who as often as she awoke from her rest plotted the destruction of her people's rights! "The faith of the Queen!" Why, surely the noble Lord talked of the faith of such a one on the old principle of Lucus à non lucendo. But what right had the British Government to interfere with the administration of the laws in Portugal? What right had they to interfere with the domestic Government of the people of Portugal? He asked the noble Lord, in the face of Great Britain, and in the face of Europe, what right had England to interfere as she had interfered in the affairs of Portugal? The very first thing that we stipulated for was with regard to the treatment of the prisoners at Torres Vedras. It had been said that we had secured an amnesty to them. An amnesty to a people whose fault had been the defence of their Queen against a faction that threatened danger to her throne and the destruction of her constitutional rights! Why, it was the Queen that ought to have obtained an amnesty from the people. But if the noble Lord did give them an amnesty, he might be permitted to pause here and ask the noble Lord when he proposed to bring back the prisoners of Torres Vedras, and whence he proposed to fetch them? Did the noble Lord know where they were? He contended that nothing more than a promise had just been given by the Queen of Portugal to her subjects as to their constitutional liberties, which promise was made with a deliberate intention to deceive. Who were the prisoners at Torres Vedras? They were men who, with Count Bomfim at their head, had received many wounds in defence of their Queen whilst fighting against Don Miguel. They were men who sided with the Junta. They surrendered, and stipulations were made as to their treatment as prisoners. Solemn treaties were entered into between those honourable men and the Queen of Portugal, by which their honourable treatment was to have been secured. The faith of generals and of a Queen was no slight, no trifling matter in the estimation of Europe. To those brave men with whom the Queen of Portugal negotiated as to the terms of their treatment, she owed a debt of deep and lasting gratitude, both for their personal conduct and their military service. Yet these men were placed on board a convict-ship which the surgeon declared not to be able to accommodate the half. The captain of the vessel actually remonstrated against so large a number being put on board of her. Whilst under sailing orders for the coast of Africa, the captain said, "If I sail with these men on board, not one-half of them will reach their destination alive." Mr. Southern hearing this, applied to the Government of Lisbon. He represented that the British Government would not tolerate this conduct, and entreated the Portuguese Government not to subject the prisoners to such treatment. To this remonstrance no definite answer was given, the Minister merely replying that the matter would be taken into consideration. Many days passed over; but nothing having been done regarding those unfortunate men, Mr. Southern wrote to Lord Palmerston, and informed him that he had not succeeded in obtaining the con- sent of the Government of Lisbon that the prisoners should be more humanely dealt with—that he had not effected their release. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) quoted unfairly from the despatches of Mr. Southern to Lord Palmerston. The noble Lord quoted this passage:— The note which I addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on this subject, and which is enclosed in my despatch of the 30th of January, was delivered to Don Manuel de Portugal at eleven o'clock in the morning of the 29th ultimo; and I find it has been the subject of repeated deliberations of the Cabinet. I am happy to think that the benevolent feelings of their Majesties induced them to support the views I had thought it my duty to lay before the Foreign Minister; but the opinion of the Cabinet, to which some extraneous persons were admitted, finally prevailed, on being backed by a threat of immediate resignation on the part of the Ministry. But the noble Lord did not quote the following from Mr. Southern's despatch of February 16, and which was much more to the purpose:— The commandant of the Avdaz brig of war, Rodonallo, who was in command at the time she received orders to sail to Angola, seeing the state of the prisoners confined on the lower deck of his brig, and being convinced that if conveyed in that manner few or none would survive the voyage, made a representation to the Government, requesting various changes might he made for their accommodation. What followed? Captain Rodonallo was consequently superseded, and Captain Sergio appointed in his place; he, however, only accepted the command on condition that he would permit no interference with the interior arrangements of his ship. So that the captain was actually superseded because he made representations to the Government of Lisbon of a nature similar to those made by the representative of Her Britannic Majesty. The fact was Her Britannic Majesty's representative was deceived—grossly deceived—by the Portuguese Government. The Portuguese Minister told him what that Minister must have known to be directly untrue. He told them that those prisoners should sail either to the Azores or to Madeira, or to some other of the wholesome settlements belonging to Portugal, and not to the coast of Africa. But, he added. "do not say anything about this, for if the fact were known we should become unpopular." It was secretly communicated to the British representative at Lisbon that the health of these men should be regarded, and that they should not be dishonoured by being sent to a penal settlement, which was the punishment of felons, and not of men who had been endeavouring to serve their country. And with that simplicity which throughout marked the conduct of the British Government, the English Minister believed this representation; and it was not until Mr. Southern, in a subsequent despatch, informed the Foreign Office that the ship had sailed with orders to proceed to Angola, that the noble Lord was really apprised of the fate of these prisoners. Mr. Southern, in that despatch, said he did not know to a certainty where the ship had gone to; all he know was, that the ship had left Lisbon, with all the prisoners on board of her, and that when he applied to the Portuguese Minister, requesting to know why faith had been violated with his Royal Mistress the Queen of Great Britain, the answer made to him by the Portuguese Minister was, that it was because England had interfered that the Portuguse Government could not do justice to these men. When England would have established the new Constitution in Portugal—when she had secured to the people of that country the Charter of 1826—when the Queen was secured upon her throne—and when, in addition to the plighted faith of the Queen of Portugal was added the faith of the noble Lord himself, which was somewhat more respectable, and the faith of the Queen of England—when they had done all these things, would they not be told by the representatives of the Queen of Portugal in Lisbon, if they came to ask for an electional franchise for the people—that quiet citizens might not be murdered, that the people coming to vote at the elections might not he shot—would they not, he repeated, be told that all these things must be done, because England requested that they might not; and that if England had not interfered, none of them would occur? In the meantime had he not a fair right to ask the Government of England what was their share in the responsibility of this Angola affair? Two of the unfortunate men were dead—probably more. What was the answer of the British Government to the just demands of those surviving prisoners and to the people of Portugal, for the Portuguese Government declared it was because of English interference they had been so treated? The plain fact was, the British Government had interfered not to sustain the liberties of any portion of the people of Portugal, but in favour of a foreign faction amounting in number to some fire or six individuals, to whom might he added those under their direction or in their immediate pay—paid too with money wrung by unjust exaction from the honest people of Portugal. That was the share they had in the transaction. Again, he asked the Government to explain these things to the House and to the country. It was not enough for the noble Lord to tell them that the liberties of the people of Portugal were secured to them by the charter. But what was the state of things in Portugal since the date of that charter, but a continuation of tyranny and despotism which at this moment was not interrupted, as shown by the treatment of the prisoners of Torres Vedras? Where were those men now? In the Castle of St. Julien. Das Antas was there a prisoner with 3,000 men. [Viscount PALMERSTON: 3,500.] The noble Lord seemed to exult in the number, showing his sympathy with the Cabral faction, who would rejoice, no doubt, in the same circumstance. They would no doubt prefer seeing 3,500 Portuguese there to 3,000; but he would ask the noble Lord, not what Costa Cabral would think of this, but what would the people of Portugal think of it? What, he repeated, would the Portuguese people say at seeing 3,500 of their countrymen in the Castle of Julien guarded by British bayonets? The noble Lord might say it was better for them to be there, and perhaps it was better for them to be there, than exposed to the tender mercies of their Queen, our ally. [Lord G. BENTINCK: The hon. Member for Pontefract asked where could they be safer?] The noble Lord had reminded him of the expression of the hon. Member for Pontefract; but if those men were now safe, the next question was, "How long would they remain so?" Did they propose to nominate the Queen of England as perpetual gaoler to the Queen of Portugal? Was the hon. and gallant Officer who commanded the British fleet in the Tagus to be sub-gaoler to Her Most Faithful Majesty? And if he resigned the command, was his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Marylebone (Sir C. Napier) to be promoted to that exalted position? And if not, were these prisoners, when the British officers no longer guarded them, to be handed over to the tender mercies of the Queen of Portugal? [Viscount PALMERSTON: They will be set free.] Was the noble Lord quite sure of that? And if so, would he guarantee to the House that they would not meet with the fate of the prison- ers of Torres Vedras? How could the noble Lord guarantee that they would be set free? Had the treatment of the Portuguese prisoners, or of those who were supposed to be adverse to the Crown, hitherto been such as to warrant them in the belief that clemency would be extended to these men? Had not the echoes of the streets of Lisbon been awakened by the cries of the tortured subjects of the Queen? Had not the fabled horrors of the Star Chamber boon realized in Portugal in the nineteenth century? Did they not know that that Queen, who was called the Constitutional Monarch, had been herself in moral captivity, incapable of giving effect to her own wishes on behalf of her own people? Did they not know that the liberties of the nation had, through English interference and English support, been sacrificed to the basest faction that ever disgraced even the name of faction? And what security did the noble Lord give the people of England or the people of Portugal that all those horrors would not be re-enacted? If the noble Lord said they could not occur, he asked for proof. But did the British Administration itself come clear out of these matters? Had Das Antas had notice of the casus belli? Did the noble Lord produce any document, any categorical information, that notice had been given to Das Antas to the effect that if he crossed the bar of Oporto, himself and his troops would be taken prisoners? He knew that Das Antas was not aware that such a step would be taken. He was prepared to say that Das Antas had never received any notice which was regular and proper, to the effect that he would be taken prisoner if he sailed beyond the bar of Oporto. It was true a threat had been held out, and a most improper threat it was. [Captain OSBORNE: And that was in May last.] The hon. Member for Wycombe was perfectly right; and the other threat to which allusion has been made by the noble Lord had been made before the protocols were signed. But that threat Das Antas, as an honourable man, could not have believed was sanctioned by the noble Lord; and he should be surprised if the noble Lord were to adopt that menace. It was made by a person who had been sent from England as mediator. [Captain OSBORNE: No, he was not.] Indeed his conduct did not much resemble that of a mediator, but rather that of the partisan of a faction. Throughout the whole business he never manifested anything like impar- tiality. In his address to Sa da Bandeira, he said— I am it this moment (May 1, 1847) informed that the forces under your command are marching for the purpose of attacking the Queen's troops. I therefore think it right to inform your Excellency that Her Majesty's Foreign Minister having accepted the mediation of England, should you prove victorious, you will probably find the British force in the Tagus prepared to defend the capital, and oppose your crossing the river; and, on the other hand, should your Excellency be defeated, it will become my duty to recommend that the troops under your command should be excluded from the benefit of the amnesty which I announced to your Excellency yesterday it was the intention of Her Most Faithful Majesty to grant. Did the noble Lord mean to say that he gave Colonel Wylde instructions? Did the noble Lord mean to say that on the 1st of May, 1847, Colonel Wylde had authority to act upon a treaty which was concluded in London on the 22nd of May? And if not, was it consistent with the honour of a British officer, who appeared there as a mediator, to tell Sa da Bandeira that if he proved victorious, he would be encountered by a British force? Colonel Wylde said, "Should your Excellency be defeated, it will become my duty." My duty! What duty had he to discharge? Was he the Minister Plenipotentiary on the part of Great Britain? and if not, of what baseness was he not guilty in endeavouring to make Sa da Bandeira believe that he had such power. He had no more power to make any recommendation than any clerk in the Foreign Office. The business of Colonel Wylde was to smooth down matters between the contending parties—to effect the pacification of the Portuguese people without taking part with the one side or with the other. And then he threatened the troops under Sa da Bandeira that if he was defeated, his troops would be exempted from the amnesty. So that a gentleman holding a high commission in the Army of Great Britain, and charged with an important mission, condescended to mislead the man he was addressing—he mistook his powers, and ventured to use the name of the Sovereign of Great Britain in a threat contemptible in its character and false in its foundation. But the noble Lord the Member for the city of London entirely failed to make out his case, and thought to dispose of three-fourths of the charge against the Government in a single sentence. The noble Lord attempted to vindicate the interference in this matter on the ground of precedent, and quoted the cases of the interference of the Prince of Orange, of Belgium, and of Greece, and did not hesitate even to refer to the interference with the affairs of Spain. He would like to ask the noble Lord if he were really in earnest in quoting Spain as a precedent? Did he mean to say that the people of England, asking the Prince of Orange to come over and aid them in the movement which they contemplated, was a parallel case to the present—that there was, in fact, the slightest similitude? Why, there was just this difference, that in the one case the people of England invited the Prince of Orange to assist them in recovering their liberties; and in the other, the Queen of Portugal asked the assistance of England to crush the liberties of her people. And, in fact, Vattel quoted the case of the Prince of Orange for a purpose directly opposed to that to which the noble Lord would apply it. Vattel said— Besides, the King does not forfeit the character of royalty merely by the loss of his kingdom. If he is unjustly despoiled of it by an usurper or by rebels, he still preserves his lights, among which are to be reckoned his alliances. But who shall judge whether a king has been dethroned lawfully or by violence? An independent nation acknowledges no judge. If the body of the nation declare that the king has forfeited his right by the abuse he has made of it, and depose him, they may justly do it when their grievances are well grounded; and no other Power has a right to censure their conduct. The personal ally of this king-ought not, therefore, to assist him against the nation who have made use of this right in deposing him: if he attempts it, he injures that nation." "England declared war against Louis XIV., in the year 1688, for supporting the interests of James II.; and again, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, for acknowledging the son of the deposed monarch under the title of James III. The noble Lord had quoted the case of Belgium; but surely there was no parity in the two cases. The people of Belgium rose against their lawful Sovereign. They were triumphant. The English Government interfered to consolidate the kingdom. They succeeded. What similitude was there in the two cases, he repeated? But the noble Lord had quoted our interference with Spain as a precedent; and he owned that that quotation, coming from the lips of the noble Lord, did not a little surprise him. What! our interference with Spain? How did the case really stand as regarded Spain? For thirteen years (from what causes it was not necessary now to speak) the people of Spain had been suffering under constant oppression. Her fields were lying untilled—her commerce stagnant—her resources undeveloped—her greatness as a nation sunk and destroyed. To all useful purposes, Spain had been blotted from the map of Europe. Her Court was powerless—her people demoralised and impoverished—her status in the family of nations gone; and yet, at the expiration of thirteen years, the Prime Minister of England rose in his place and said, our interference had been for the benefit of the Spanish people. And the noble Lord concluded his speech with a prayer in which he was sure no Portuguese would join, namely, that he hoped our interference would be as successful in this instance. If, indeed, England was as "successful in this instance," there was not a town in Portugal which would not be stained with the blood of her people—not a province of the kingdom in which peace could be said to have a settled habitation—not an hour during which the Queen could be said to be firmly seated upon the throne; and to all intents and purposes the power of Portugal annihilated and destroyed in the great family of European nations. But he would quote again what Vattel said respecting interference with a foreign State, and the House would say how far that eminent writer upon the law of nations justified the noble Lord:— The same question presents itself in real alliances, and in general in all alliances made with a State, and not in particular with a King for the defence of his person. An ally ought doubtless to be defended against every invasion—against every foreign violence—and even against his rebellious subjects. In the same manner a republic ought to be defended against the enterprises of one who attempts to destroy the public liberty. But the other party in the alliance ought to recollect that he is the ally, and not the judge, of the State or the nation. If the nation has deposed her King in form—if the people of a republic have expelled their magistrates and set themselves at liberty, and either expressly or tacitly acknowledged the authority of an usurper—to oppose their domestic regulations, or to dispute their justice or validity, would be interfering in the government of a nation, and doing her an injury. The ally remains the ally of the State, notwithstanding the change that has happened in it. But, in point of fact, Vattel did not more expressively or eloquently lay down those principles than the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in his despatches. Let them see how the case really stood. Great Britain and Portugal had maintained a close alliance for many centuries. That alliance had been illustrated by many treaties. He admitted that, during five centuries, Portugal had been to England a true and faithful ally. In the great European war, when all Europe was leagued against Great Britain, Portugal alone remained steadfast in her alliance; and when even Spain deserted us, Portugal still maintained the rights of Great Britain; and from that close alliance had mainly resulted the successful termination of the war. The importance of that alliance and the propriety of its contrivance was admitted by every one—by none more strongly than by the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell). But how did he propose to sustain it? One fallacy ran through the whole of the noble Lord's speech. He talked as if our alliance with Portugal meant an alliance with Costa Cabral, or an alliance between Great Britain and the Throne of Portugal. But it was not fair so to represent it. He asked the noble Lord to point out a single act committed by the Junta of Oporto, one word, either unfriendly to English alliance, or in which they showed themselves unfavourably disposed towards the reigning family. The noble Lord throughout his speech treated the question of the alliance between England and Portugal as an alliance between the two Crowns, and not between the two States, which in point of fact it was. England had during that alliance changed her form of government—she sunk (or if they pleased rose) under the usurpation of Oliver Cromwell, but one of the first acts of the Commonwealth was an amicable treaty with Portugal. He noticed this merely to show that the alliance was not, properly speaking, between the Crowns, but between the nations; and he maintained that they were at that moment severing that alliance, violating those ancient ties, by lending the power of England to establish a faction in Lisbon contrary to the will of the nation. Up to the period when those protocols were signed in London by France, Spain, and England, the name of an Englishman was deemed synonymous in Portugal for all that was honest, honourable, and friendly; but how would it be now, when the Portuguese saw their fellow-countrymen under the control of British bayonets—when they saw a faction, under which they had suffered so much, sustained in power by the force of England? Why, they would naturally say that the old alliance was gone for ever—and his opinion was that the course our Government was pursuing would end in one of two ways, either in the establishment of a republic in Portugal, and the destruction of that Throne which they were endeavouring to support, or in the absorption of Portugal by Spain —an event against the consummation of which the whole policy of England had been for many centuries directed. Even Colonel Wylde declared at last that there was no foundation for a Miguelite conspiracy. He said that a Miguelite conspiracy was a shadow, and that it would not be sustained by argument for a single moment. When Costa Cabral found that he could no longer induce England to interfere, by making use of that pretext, he then changed his tack, and tried to get France and Spain to promise that they would interfere; and, after all, the real argument which formed the basis of the whole speech of the noble Lord was, that if we had not interfered, France and Spain would have interfered. So it was in the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Durham. He said Her Majesty's Ministers interfered against their wills. So no doubt they did. The whole tenor of the despatches showed that they were conscious of doing what they ought not to have done, but that there was some mysterious influence which took possession of their faculties and compelled them to act, whether they would or no. What that influence might be, he could not pretend to indicate; but he was sure it was not this—it was not the fear of the interference of France or Spain. It was plain from the correspondence that both the Duke de Sotomayor and after him Pacheco declared that they would not interfere. A despatch from Mr. Bulwer to the noble Lord began by stating that he thought he had now satisfactorily concluded the whole affair; and that Pacheco would not interfere, except with the cooperation of Great Britain. He should look anxiously for any proof of the assertion that France showed any intention of interfering. It would certainly be a curiosity to see a despatch containing such a threat signed by M. Guizot, and sanctioned by his Royal Master—of that Monarch who would not call himself King of France, but King of the French, because he wished to be the exponent to the world of the great principle of popular force rising triumphantly against established and legitimate rule, he should certainly be curious to see the despatch so signed and sanctioned, stating a determination to sustain a despotic Sovereign against a popular revolution. It would complete the comedy—if, indeed, anything could be considered comic which was fraught with such eventful consequences—that M. Guizot and the King of the French, themselves the creatures of a revolution, should say to the people of Paris, "We know that you are all united to resist the despotic rule of your Sovereign—we know also that you have no intention to depose that Sovereign, hut to keep her prerogatives within the limits of the constitution; but yet I am determined that if you do not submit yourselves, I shall possess myself of your kingdom, and yield you up to the despotic sway which you have now risen to resist." But throughout the whole of this blue hook there was no despatch of M. Guizot that expressed such an intention; and even if there were, what would the argument amount to? It was nothing more than this—that a man consented to rob his friend's house because he knew that other two robbers were contemplating the act, and he agreed with himself that his friend would be robbed more gently if he did the act himself. The noble Lord had referred to treaties; but he contended that these treaties gave the noble Lord no right to interfere, except to come to the aid of Portugal; and he now asked the noble Lord to make out in the face of Europe the case on which he rested his right to say to his ancient allies, the people of Portugal, that though their Monarch had been taken captive by a faction—that though she had overridden the rights of her people, and was not sustained by a single party in the State—still he was determined to pervert his alliance with the people into a reason for taking up arms against them, because if he did not interfere, then Franco and Spain would interfere. The answer of Portugal to this was as clear as possible. They could refer to existing treaties; and if Franco or Spain invaded their frontiers, they would call upon England, in the name of their ancient alliance, to maintain the independence of Portugal against the intervention of a foreign State—an independence from which England in past times had derived great and important benefits. The noble Lord's only answer could he his sending a fleet or an army, or both, and driving the invaders from the territories and the shores of Portugal. In conclusion, he must say, that he was prepared to put aside the blue book al-together—he was prepared to put aside the treaties which the noble Lord had laid upon the Table of the House, and on plain common-sense principles—on the acknowledged amity that subsisted between the States of Great Britain and Portugal—on the practical benefit to Europe arising from the maintenance of that amity and alliance —in the name of outraged humanity—in the name of the Portuguese people, deprived of their liberties, and in no few instances of their lives—he called upon the noble Lord representing Her Majesty to stand up in his place in the House and to vindicate this monstrous exception; for he himself admitted it to be an exception from those general rules which guided our foreign policy. He asked him to show by facts which had not yet been presented to the House, not even in the able speech of the noble Lord at the head of the Government—he asked him to show by facts where was the necessity that urged a departure from the general rule of diplomatic practice in matters of this sort. In what were the liberties of Portugal less precious than those of our other allies, that they alone were to be trampled upon with impunity? In what was the Queen of Portugal more sacred than other tyrants, that we should undertake to sustain her alone against the indignation of her outraged people? Was it that for her sake we had previously deposed another tyrant, and that she was, therefore, the pet Queen whom we were to sustain against all comers with a feeling that savoured more of chivalry than of statesmanship? He found nothing that would excuse this in the speech of the noble Lord. The whole of that speech consisted of two points, one of which was admitted by the noble Lord himself to be a nonentity, namely, the existence of a rival to the Throne; and the other had been equally shown to have no existence, namely, that France and Spain would have interfered if we had not. Now, was England to lend itself to a course of policy so wicked, disingenuous, and tortuous, that it required for its defence arguments and explanations like these? This was not the character of the foreign policy of the noble Lord in former years; for no one had been more successful than he had in defeating the contemptible intrigues which had been formed against the power of England. The noble Lord, in 1841, established the policy of Great Britain in the East against all comers; and his conduct then was such as to make his name immortal among British statesmen. The noble Lord deserved even now the thanks of the country for his lofty bearing on that occasion. So even more recently, though unnoticed in the affairs of the Peninsula, through the errors of his predecessor, in a manner worthy of the best days of British statesmanship, he again vindicated the honour of his country, and again defeated, as far as it was then possible to defeat, the policy to which he had before referred. But now the noble Lord, in an evil hour, had fallen into the snares of those whose object was to sever England from her ancient ally, Portugal—to weaken the power of England in the Peninsula. Ever since 1831 this policy had been carried out. Conquerors had achieved great things by the sword; statesmen had achieved great things by diplomacy; but here was one who had achieved great things by marriage. The policy of France had always been to bring about a union between France and Spain, which would aggrandize France to the injury of England. What had been done? By intrigues of one sort or another, first of all, the Queen of Spain was married unhappily; and in her present separate state an heir to the Throne was not to be hoped for. Then came the marriage of the Duke de Montpensier, against which the noble Lord had most justly protested. Since, then, all the other heirs to the Throne, as though by some fatal ingenuity, had married beneath their rank, so that, under the existing laws of Spain, they could not inherit the Crown. The one heir that was left to the Crown was the Duchess de Montpensier. What was wanting to make that complete? Nothing more than the extinction of the friendly feeling between England and Portugal. The noble Lord knew better than he did whether he had pointed to the true explanation of the case; but whether it had happened by French contrivance or not, the undoubted effect of this step, on the part of England, was to injure such alliance. The extracts which he had read established, he thought, three points—that interference was contrary to the principles of international law—that the prisoners now under our care were unjustly imprisoned; and, what was more important than that, that we had alienated the affections of the people of Portugal—that we had violated the ancient alliance subsisting between them and us—that we had wasted the resources of Portugal, destroyed the liberties of her subjects, laid the foundation for a future despotism, and injured irrecoverably the prospect of European peace. If these were the effects of the policy of the noble Lord, the House ought to have an opportunity of expressing an opinion upon it; and he regretted that opportunity had not been afforded before it had become too late. He would support the resolution, the effect of which, if it were carried in this and the other House of Parliament, would be to revoke the protocol of the noble Lord, dated the 21st of May. He had no doubt he should hear many eloquent speeches from hon. Gentleman, tearing to rags the policy of the noble Lord, but ending with declarations that they would vote for the Government, because the matter was now a fait accompli; and that, whatever the consequences might be, still the faith of the Sovereign was pledged, and must at all hazards be sustained. Whether this view of the matter was right or not, at all events he had discharged his duty in stating his views, and should discharge it by giving his vote in support of them.


said, there were two questions raised by the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose: one, that they had interfered to the dishonour of the British name, in promoting the cause of despotism in Portugal; and the other, that intervention of any kind in the internal affairs of another nation was mischievous and unwarrantable. The hon. Gentleman who just sat down, applied himself at great length, and occasionally in a very impassioned manner, to the consideration of these questions; but some parts of the hon. Gentleman's speech effectually answered the remainder. It was impossible that any Government in this country would be disposed to act, or would dare to act, in the unjustifiable and illiberal spirit which the hon. Gentleman attributed to Her Majesty's Ministers. The hon. Gentleman himself had been in the habit for many years of interfering a good deal in the affairs of the Peninsula, though Spain rather than Portugal, and despotism rather than constitutional liberty, had chiefly the benefit of his intervention. He thought, therefore, that the hon. Member for Montrose should look with some degree of suspicion on the support of his new ally. He did not believe that either the present Government, or any Government that could be formed in this country, would or could have interfered for the support of unconstitutional principles; and upon that point it was not unimportant to observe the appearance which that House presented during the whole of this debate. If there had been any reason for supposing that the Government had interfered with the cause of constitutional liberty, he did not think that the debate would have been characterized by that langour which had marked it on that and the former evening. If there were any foundation for a charge against the Government, would not that House have presented a different aspect—would not public meetings have been held—and would not petitions have covered the Table of the House, expressing universal abhorrence of the conduct of the Government? It required not the papers that had been produced to absolve them from the charge. There could he no doubt but that they had interfered to reduce to obedience those who had been led to revolt against the Sovereign; hut it should not be forgotten that they had in the first instance exacted the Queen's consent to the terms of the constitution; and that they had established for the leaders of the revolt a re-establishment of the constitution as it existed before the 6th October last, and also complete indemnity for all that had since taken place. The hon. Gentleman who just sat down, was not, however, it appeared, satisfied with a restoration of the late constitution. Nothing short of a return to the constitution of Don Pedro, granted in 1826, and guaranteed in all its integrity, would satisfy the hon. Member; and in this he asked for more than the Junta itself demanded. Terms such as those which were proposed could not have been refused, unless either success or exasperation had given the leaders of the revolt other objects than the establishment of constitutional liberty. The noble Lord had not sanctioned interference for the sake or for the purposes of either one party or the other. This was not a mere party or a Portuguese question. It was an European question, involving the peace of Europe and the balance of European power. What course had the noble Lord taken? Why, acting in concert with France and Spain, he had interposed for the purpose of restoring tranquillity to Portugal, the peace of which was inseparably connected with the peace of Spain; and in which France, Spain, and England were united upon the basis of the present dynasty. Interfering in this way, the Three Powers interfered upon terms settled beforehand, irrespective of the views of either of the contending parties in Portugal-terms fair and reasonable, calculated to secure both the Throne and the constitution, both the honour of the Sovereign and the safety of her subjects, and which would give a triumph neither to one party nor the other. How, he would ask, would the prospects of the constitutional party in Portugal have been bettered if England had stood aloof, and thus have driven that country into the arms of Spain and France? He contended, those prospects would not, at all events, have been improved; but by the course taken by the noble Lord, England had been instrumental in obtaining, not merely the word of the Queen of Portugal that the rights of the people should be observed, but also security against the future separate action of Spain and France, which, as bearing upon the prospects of Portugal, would not be less beneficial than the co-operation of the Three Powers. The second question raised by the hon. Member for Montrose was, that any intervention in the affairs of Portugal was unwarrantable in principle, This was a phrase capable of two meanings. It might mean it was unwarrantable to violate the principle of non-intervention; or, admitting there were cases in which intervention was justifiable, it might be that in these exceptional cases we were not proceeding according to principle. The first of these he believed to be the meaning of the hon. Member for Montrose; and the hon. Member for Evesham was an advocate for inviolable non-intervention in the civil disputes of other nations. Nothing, in his opinion, was more dangerous than setting up the doctrine of the inviolable principle of non-intervention. What was the case in which the Government proposed to affirm the general principle of non-intervention? Much had been said respecting the supposed inconsistency of the noble Lord; but let his despatches be looked at. Did he in any one of them say, that the present was not a case for intervention? There was not a writer upon the law of nations who did not say that cases might arise in which it would be the right of one State to interfere with the internal policy of another; and as to asserting that there existed a contrast between the words and the actions of the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, no statement could be more utterly void of foundation. It might be perfectly true that the policy of Don Miguel was to abstain from taking any part in the present disturbances—it might be thought his policy to lie by till both the contending parties had become exhausted, and then, but not till then, suddenly to make his appearance in Portugal, and seize the reins of power. At the same time, he was perfectly ready to agree with those who thought that there was no Miguelite movement in the present Portuguese insurrection. In the course of the present discussion, the question relating to wars of succession had been gone into; and he believed he was warranted in saying that a negative had not been proved in that case; on the contrary, he believed it had been clearly enough shown that we did possess the right of interfering in wars of succession under certain circumstances. But might not a combination of circumstances arise which threatened a war of succession? and would not that justify an interference? and might not the noble Lord have held some such language as he had held to Spain, considering the interest which Spain had in the affairs of Portugal? If Spain had that interest in the affairs of Portugal, had not England also a great interest in maintaining the balance of power in Europe? Surely England had a strong interest in keeping Spain from acquiring a decided ascendancy in the Peninsula. On all grounds it appeared to him, that the intervention of England was perfectly justifiable; and even if dissensions were revived in Portugal, the noble Lord would have the satisfaction of having done his best to prevent them, and the responsibility would rest upon others. Allusion had been made by the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. B. Osborne) to the family connexion existing between the thrones of Portugal and England. He did not believe that at this day, and in this country, any Minister, whoever he might be, would dare to allow considerations of court favour or court intrigue, to thwart the national policy. And, after what had happened to the Sovereign of Portugal, duly appreciating the objects for which assistance had been given by other Powers to extricate her from dangers so great, efforts would not be wanted upon her part to enable the country she governed to devote itself to those acts of peace in which Portugal once led the way; and that henceforth Portugal, undisturbed by internal dissensions, and secure in the enjoyment of constitutional freedom, would recover the proud memory of her ancient days, when her princes taught the lessons of commercial freedom to the nations of Europe.


rose with considerable pain to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose; for he had entertained the hope that after all that had passed—after the almost unanimous assent which had been given by both Houses of Parliament to the conduct of the noble Lord upon that most delicate and difficult subject—the Spanish Marriages—he had hoped, that after all the bitter experience which they had had of intervention, the conduct of Her Majesty's Government in this matter would have been such as to meet with similar approbation. Now, the general principle of non-intervention had been admitted both by the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary and by the noble Lord the Prime Minister; but it was alleged that the particular circumstances of this case justified intervention. The noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown had defended an armed intervention on the ground that it was required—first, by the interests of Portugal; secondly, by the interests of England; and, thirdly, for the maintenance of the peace of Europe; but his firm conviction was, that the noble Lord had failed to substantiate either of these propositions, and his hon. Friend who had just sat down had not succeeded any better. His hon. Friend had said that the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary had not contended in his despatches that under no circumstances of internal dissension could foreign intervention be justified; and that was true; but what the noble Lord had by those despatches advocated was, that such interference with the domestic affairs of another nation was not justified, and ought not to take place, except under most extraordinary and unusual circumstances; and what he asserted, and was prepared to prove, was this, that those particular circumstances had not arisen in the present instance. He would ask the House, with respect to the noble Lord's first proposition, that the interests of Portugal required this intervention, that question which had been asked by every speaker who had proceeded him on the same side in that debate, but to which no satisfactory answer had as yet been given—what benefit had the Peninsula hitherto derived from past interference with its domestic concerns? He would ask, in the present instance, what benefits Portugal had derived from intervention? What a, spectacle did she present at the present time! An enslaved, oppressed, and ruined peasantry; an overbearing and degraded nobility; a bankrupt exchequer; a fraudulent, deceitful, and perjured Administration; a country in which all the arts of peace were forgotten; in which, as the noble Lord had stated, commerce and agriculture had ceased to exist, and which stood now, after twelve years of British intervention, a by-word amongst the nations of Europe. If they looked to Spain, what did they see there? The noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown had justified this intervention by reference to Spain; but the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary might tell his noble Colleague what had been the fruits of the intervention in the other part of the Peninsula. So late as July last the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary had described the effects of intervention in a despatch, which, for the beauty of its language and the accuracy of its facts, had never been surpassed by the production of any former Secretary. The noble Lord wrote thus:— That political condition must indeed he the subject of deep regret and concern to every well-wisher to the Spanish people. After a struggle of now thirty-four years' duration for constitutional freedom, Spain finds herself under a system of Government almost as arbitrary in practice, whatever it may be in theory, as any which ever existed in any former period of her history. She has indeed a Parliament by law; but all freedom of election for the Members of that Parliament has been overborne by force, or by other means: and no sooner does the Parliament meet, than upon the first manifestation of any opinion not in accordance with that of the Executive, the Parliament is either prorogued or dissolved. There is, indeed, by law, liberty of the press; but that liberty has, by the arbitrary acts of the Government, been reduced to the liberty of publishing what may be agreeable to the Executive, and little or nothing else. There are, indeed, by law, tribunals for the trial of persons accused of offences and crimes; but numbers of persons have been arrested, imprisoned, banished, and even in some cases executed, not only without condemnation, but even without trial.…. When Ministers of the Crown set at nought the laws which provide for the security of the people, it cannot be surprising if the people should at length cease to respect the laws which provide for the security of the Crown. That description, true and applicable to Spain, was ten times as true and ten times as applicable to the present condition of Portugal; and when he reflected on all the gross violations, not of this or that constitution, but of every right to which a civilized man in civilized society was entitled—when he thought of the thousands unjustly imprisoned, of the hundreds unjustly executed—when he remembered all the crimes and atrocities perpetrated in that country under the sacred name of constitutional liberty, truly he was astonished to hear it said, seeing what intervention had hitherto produced, that this present intervention would produce the fruits of liberty and peace. He believed, on the contrary, that it would help to give continuance to a system of Government which had been described by many hon. Gentlemen, but which exceeded in atrocity anything they had heard about it. It was a remarkable thing that in all the instances of intervention in the internal affairs of Portugal, hon. Gentlemen seemed to have forgotten that the last revolution in Portugal was allowed to run itself out—it was not stopped by British arms, but came to its natural termination. That revolution bad in it all the elements of the present movement; and the effect of it was, not that the Throne was endangered, but that the Queen was obliged, for a time—he admitted, a short time—to recede from her unjust, cruel, and unconstitutional proceedings—to expel from the Government men who abused her authority, and to select a constitutional Government; and no one had as yet succeeded in showing that the same result might not have followed this outbreak, if it had been allowed to take its own course. He might put out of view all that had taken place at the revolution of the Minho, when there was no foreign intervention, and at the revolution of the 6th of October; but the revolution of the Minho had produced very beneficial results in the opinion of the British Ministers. Lord Howard de Walden, on July 31st, wrote to Lord Palmerston— I understand that this law (of elections) has caused very general satisfaction, and is certainly extremely creditable to the Government, as an earnest of their desire to give the fullest scope to the free working of the constitutional charter, under the practical operation of sound representative principles. The instructions contained in the Duke of Palmella's proclamation to civil governors of every district met with similar approbation in a despatch of September 19:— It instructs them," says Lord Howard de Walden, "to secure perfect liberty of action to all parties at the ensuing elections, and specially prohibits any interference whatever of any agents of the Government in canvassing or influencing electors. To this circular of instructions was appended the programme of the Duke of Palmella's Administration; and he (Lord J. Manners) had felt considerable surprise at hearing his hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract, followed by the noble Lord the Prime Minister, ascribe the military revolution of October to the democratic character of the Septembrist programme. He was surprised to hear it said that a liberal programme could justify a military revolution. In fact, that programme was, in many respects, the same with that which the Duke of Palmella had submitted to the Cortes; but admitting that it was a very liberal programme, and that it contained serious and great changes in the charter, what argument was that to offer to the House of Commons as a justification for a military revolution? Was it come to that—that because men maintained extreme liberal opinions in Portugal, therefore a military revolution was justified? Were they now to be told, in the English House of Commons, that because certain people advocated extreme Radical notions, the habeas corpus and trial by jury were to be suspended—the elections were to be controlled—a military revolution raised—and every guarantee and promise given under the Royal word forfeited? Until he had heard the hon. Member for Pontefract, he had not believed that such an argument could ever be addressed to an English House of Commons. Now, a great deal had been said about the want of moderation in the Junta, and that they had made extreme demands; but let the House see what they had demanded, and then judge for themselves whether they had asked too much. He asserted that the moderation of the Junta had been remarkable. The Conde das Antas had never ceased to assert his fidelity to the Queen or his determination to maintain her Throne; but it was said that that was one of the blinds by which ambitious men sought to accomplish their designs. The same thing, however, was equally asserted by all the English authorities: in every place in which Colonel Wylde spoke of their designs, he said that he did not believe that they endangered either the personal safety or dynastic rule of the present Queen of Portugal. But as a contrast to the extreme moderation of the Junta, which was the more remarkable, as they knew by experience how deadly hostile the personal feeling of the Queen was to those persons who dared to oppose her will, he begged the House to look at the tone adopted by the supporters of this tyrannic system of Government, and they would see that from the first an attempt was made to give to the insurrection the character of Miguel-ism, and to call in foreign aid, knowing that their only hope of success was in the aid of foreign intervention. Mr. Bulwer wrote to Lord Palmerston, October 20, thus:— I know that the Marshal Saldanha first asked the Spanish Charge d'Affaires at Lisbon for armed intervention on the ground of the Quadruple Alliance; and I believe he has written to France, and also to England, mentioning his fears of the movement becoming a Miguelite one, and request- ing assistance of the Quadruple Alliance on that pretext. Mr. Southern also wrote to Lord Palmerston, October 23— Marshal Saldanha and other individuals connected with the Government are endeavouring to give this struggle a Miguelite character; I have made every inquiry to ascertain how far this is correct, and I have no hesitation in saying that this is an erroneous view of the movement. Throughout the whole continued series the blue book proved an attempt on the part of the Portuguese Government to show that the dynasty of the Queen was in danger, and a more successful attempt on the part of the British Ministers at Lisbon and Madrid to show that that representation was untrue; but the noble Lord, not content with doing that, had reminded Baron Moncorvo, even admitting that a Miguelite case might arise— that the ancient treaties by which Great Britain is bound to give naval and military assistance to Portugal, contemplate mainly the defence of Portugal against foreign invasion; and it was accordingly to defend Portugal against invasion from Spain, that a British force was sent to Lisbon in 1826. The noble Lord the Prime Minister had referred to the conduct of Mr. Canning in 1826; but it was certainly very different from the conduct of the noble Lord the present Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and he must be permitted to read the language of Mr. Canning on that occasion, which he wished the noble Lord had studied more attentively. Mr. Canning, in vindication of his conduct in 1826, and referring to the Treaty of 1703, said— Internally let the Portuguese manage their own affairs; hut with respect to external force, while Great Britain has an arm to raise, it must be raised against the efforts of any Power that should attempt forcibly to control the choice and fetter the independence of Portugal. But that was the course of England, France, and Spain on the present occasion: they had attempted to regulate the internal affairs, and were engaged in controlling the choice and fettering the independence of Portugal. He should not have adverted to this Miguelite pretext had it not been that the noble Lord opposite and the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had relied upon it. The hon. Member who had just sat down had used a curious argument: he had said that although the insurrection might not, and probably was not, a Miguelite insurrection, still, if success crowned the arms of the present insurgents, who could tell but that in the course of events something favourable might turn up for Don Miguel? and then his hon. Friend had said, "See how Spain would he situated!" Why, such an argument as that reminded him of the old lines which he had heard in his schoolboy days— A man may drink because he's dry, Or lest he should be by and by, Or any other reason why. It was remarkable how differently hon. Gentlemen had argued as to the claims of Don Miguel at different moments: at one moment he was described as such a monster of cruelty and tyranny that the very mention of his name was enough to frighten the Portuguese; and at another there was so great fear of a popular revolution in his favour that the interference of three great Powers of Europe was necessary in order to prevent the remotest possibility of such an event. He was not now going to argue the case of Don Miguel: he thought it was quite beside the present question; hut he would venture to suggest to hon. Gentlemen to consider this, if Don Miguel was so unpopular that the Portuguese people would not have him, what was the use of intervention? and if he was so popular that a revolution in his favour was dreaded, how could those who asserted the principle that the people had a right to choose their own governors, justify a foreign intervention to prevent the people of Portugal from exercising that choice? How was it possible to reconcile that principle—the principle which put the Prince of Orange upon the Throne of England, Louis Philippe on the Throne of France, and Leopold on the Throne of Belgium—with the notion that the popularity of a Prince was to be the ground for foreign interference against him? The noble Lord the Prime Minister, adverting to the pretext of Miguelism, had said that he could not justify it; hut he added that the junction of the Miguelites with the Junta made a force so formidable that the Government of Portugal could not resist it, and therefore it was necessary that other States should interfere. But it seemed to him that that was the very reason why any person who held liberal principles should not consent to interference. When all the strength of the nation was combined in support of one cause—the peasantry, the nobility, the country gentlemen, and the middling classes—how could those who favoured liberal principles argue that that unanimity was the very proof that the cause was bad, and ought to be put down? But, further, if the interests of Portugal required this interference, as the noble Lord had asserted, why, he would ask, had it not come after the first great success of the Queen's troops? Then it might have been said with some show of justice, "We will interfere at this early stage of the affair, and prevent, if possible, the further loss of life." Then, perhaps, they might have interfered with some advantage. They might have prevented the cruelties which had since been perpetrated, and given contentment to the great body of the Portuguese people. But no: they permitted the Queen's troops to commit every atrocity; they stood by, and vindicated the strictest neutrality; and it was only when the whole nation was combined against the tyranny under which it suffered that they turned round, violated all their principles, and took care that the arms of the Portuguese people should not be successful. The noble Lord had said, that the interests of Portugal and England required this intervention as soon as Spain had determined to interfere, whether they liked it or not: it had been said that Spain had declared her intention to march an army across the Portuguese frontier, whether England chose or not; but the hon. Member for Evesham had pointed out the distinct pledges which had been given by two Prime Ministers of Spain, that under no circumstances would Spain be tempted to interfere without the concurrence of England. Then, the noble Lord the Prime Minister had said that Mr. Bulwer, in extracting these pledges, would have been guilty of deceit if he had not meant to give that concurrence on the part of England; but throughout Mr. Bulwer's able and interesting correspondence, no trace appeared of his having ever given any such assurance; on the contrary, Mr. Bulwer stated that he did not believe that Her Majesty's Government would think that there was a case for interference, and he pointed out the reasons for that opinion. Even at the time when there was some ground for supposing that there might be a Miguelite insurrection of some importance, Mr. Bulwer insisted that Spain should not cross the frontier with an army without the concurrence of England; and so late as the 11th of February, the noble Lord, writing to Mr. Bulwer, said— Such an interference would he as destructive of the independence of Portugal, and as derogatory to the honour and dignity of the Portuguese Crown, as it would he repugnant to the principles which govern the foreign policy of Great Britain. He regretted to think that something else must have governed the foreign policy of Great Britain than the principles then stated. On February 5, Sotomayor pledged himself not to adopt any definitive resolution thereupon, without a previous amicable agreement with the British Cabinet; and that without such an agreement Spanish troops should not cross the limits. That pledge was renewed in April. Mr. Bulwer, on April 6, reported the following conversation with Pacheco:— And supposing they do not come to such compromise, would you then interfere? You must be aware that to interfere in Portugal without our concurrence is a serious affair?" Answer—"Oh! of this be assured, we will do nothing without your concurrence. In this case, he would say that England could have called upon Spain to fulfil these solemn pledges. And, he would ask, was England fallen so low that she could not compel Spain's neutrality? It was not that General Clinton, with his army of 5,000, was wanting, but it was the spirit of George Canning which was absent. What a spectacle did this present! England, ridiculing, condemning, forbidding Spanish interference for six months, and then, when all ground of dynastic interference was removed, obliged to yield to bankrupt, disordered Spain, and to give orders to her fleet from the Escurial! Could it be for Portugal's benefit that the national cause was put down by foreign power? England's interference had taken place, not because she thought it right to interfere, but because France and Spain had resolved to unite; and, therefore, she thought it necessary to interfere too. That was the spectacle which was now presented; a spectacle which, in his humble opinion, was not creditable to this country, and not likely to lead to what the noble Lord fondly anticipated—the future tranquillity of Europe. The noble Lord had also asserted that the interference of England was necessary for reasons involving material interests. He was not disposed to enter upon the discussion of the petty interests of trade or of Court influences—it was the great permanent interests of England about which he was anxious: and in connexion with them he would ask if it was wise in England to set forth to Europe this proposition, that wherever the Three Powers which were joined with her in the original treaty were agreed that interference in the affairs of Portugal was wise and right, that then, whatever might be her own opinion of that intervention, she must join with them in such acts as they might adopt? Well, then, could it be denied that, having commenced our interference in Portugal, we were not bound by a sense of justice to see that the interference was carried out to the necessary extent; and what might be the result of that policy? The noble Lord at the head of the Government had said that he must leave the result to the good faith of the Queen; and the hon. Gentleman who last spoke (Mr. Christie) said that there was the further security that Spain and France could not interfere separately from England. He thought it was obvious that any such guarantee could only exist in the imagination of the hon. Gentleman who had propounded it. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had also stated, that a sense of self-interest would induce the Queen to maintain the engagement into which she had entered. It was impossible, however, for hon. Members to shut their eyes to the fact, that, for twelve years, the Government of Portugal had been in the habit of violating every engagement into which it entered. It was impossible that the House could blind itself to the fact, that, throughout the contest which had occurred, even in the hour of extremity and of distress, that the faith then plighted was as little to be relied upon as wore promises made in the hour of prosperity. Why, the Queen solemnly swore to observe the Constitution, and she violated it in every part; she swore to accept the revolution of Minho and govern constitutionally, but she subverted it by military force. He had read with feelings which he could hardly describe the despatch of Sir George Seymour, in which he made use of language which looked like mockery after what had occurred, and which could scarcely be appreciated by Gentlemen who expected to find in diplomatic despatches nothing- but the words of truth and soberness. In writing to the Conde das Antas, on the 28th of May, Sir George Seymour said— Her Most Faithful Majesty took certain engagements towards Her Britannic Majesty's Government, made known certain intentions towards her subjects, and the one and the other were placed on the same secure basis—the unquestioned good faith of your gracious Sovereign. Now, let it be borne in mind that tills statement was made just previous to the capture of the fleet off Oporto; and could it be credited that a Ministry, whose employé had made use of such language as this, was prepared to act as they had done? On the 15th of February the English Minister at Lisbon was instructed by the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to go to the Ministers of this faithful Queen, and tell them it would be a breach of faith if they dealt with the prisoners taken at Torres Vedras in the way contemplated. On this subject Mr. Southern wrote as follows to Lord Palmerston:— Count Bomfin, Count Villa Real, &c, none of whom have as yet been brought to trial, or even identified, were placed in the guard-ship at Belem. In the night previous to the day before yesterday, Count Bomfin and his companions were suddenly taken from the frigate they were confined in, and placed all together in the hold of the brig Audaz, under sailing orders for Angola. As soon as this determination was known at Lisbon, a very general sensation of horror was felt. As to the treatment of these prisoners, the Queen's Government stood condemned by the language of the noble Lord and the British Minister at Lisbon, as having committed a breach of faith; and yet the House had seen that in May this same British Minister wrote a formal despatch to the Conde das Antas, telling him that the engagements of the Queen of Portugal respecting England and her own country rested on the same secure basis of her own unquestioned royal word. Well might Das Antas tell Colonel Wylde— It was absolutely necessary that his party should have some guarantee for the fulfilment of the conditions offered, for that neither himself nor any of his party placed the slightest faith in the promises of the Queen's Ministers, and that if they laid down their arms they would all be sent to Africa before the Cortes met. Had that declaration of opinion been met or disproved by events? Was the truth of it not notorious and sanctioned by what had been stated and admitted during the present discussion? So reasonable expectation could exist that the Queen would fulfil the engagements under which she had come. Nothing else could be expected than that she should violate them, as all others had been violated, and cast aside: what, then, could be the result? Should England be called upon to interfere in order to compel the fulfilment of the Queen's engagement? Should we take care that the prisoners which we had made, and which were now confined under the guardianship of British troops, were not deported to Africa? And if England were not again to interfere, what would be the result? Why, in a year, all the fair promises would be forgotten; discontent and revolution would again rear their heads; the Queen would have learnt to look to Spain and France; and under these circumstances could England remain inactive? No; interference, when once begun, must be repeated. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had endeavoured to justify the present intervention by instances in the history of this country and of Europe, and he had dwelt particularly upon the occurrence of 1688; but the noble Lord, ere he could make good his position, must be prepared to lay down the rule by which the merits of revolutions were to be tested. He was inclined to suppose that the rule which the noble Lord proposed was this, that whenever a revolution had so little hold on the affections of the people that it could only be brought about in the first instance and sustained and carried in triumph by the aid of foreign armies, it was to be called "glorious, pious, and immortal;" but, on the other hand, a revolution which was so deeply rooted in the hearts of the people that it could only be put down by the armed intervention of three neighbouring Powers, was to be called "inglorious and impious," and good care taken that it should not prove "immortal." As to the attacks which had been made on the Junta, he must say that more ungracious, cruel, and unjust accusations he had never heard made against any set of men. Irritated as the populace of Oporto must naturally have been at the capture of their fleet, their conduct towards every stranger whose country had taken part in the hostile proceeding was characterized by the greatest humanity and kindness, and throughout the whole correspondence on the Table of the House not the slightest allusion was made to any act of cruelty having been committed by the troops of the Junta. This circumstance contrasted strongly with the atrocities perpetrated by the Queen's forces. That morning he had received a letter from an English gentleman who carried on business in Oporto, which said— As for the authority of the 'Moderate' Portuguese, of which Lord John Russell speaks, the statement as to the bloodshed and all other horrors likely to occur from the Junta's triumph, Lord John Russell himself knows that it is notoriously-untrue. He begged to be understood not to approve of the language. What greater proof of this than that, although during seven months Oporto and the northern provinces were crowded with armed men of every class, only one instance of an insult offered to one person occurred during the whole period? One single thoroughfare in London in any one hour of the night exhibited more scenes of turbulence and disorder than the whole of Oporto for a period of two hundred days. Such was the statement of a gentleman who, so far from having any predilection to the Miguelites or favour for republicans, was one who, from his position, had the greatest possible reason to wish for the restoration of peace and tranquillity. After taking a review of all the circumstances which preceded and accompanied the revolution of the 6th of October, he could not avoid saying that the conduct of the Portuguese Government was such as to justify—if it be admitted that anything can justify a people rising against their governors—the people of Portugal in the attempt which they made to secure their liberties. The House had been told, indeed, that a material improvement had taken place in the character of the Portuguese Ministry—that men of moderate principles had come into power, who were prepared to act fairly and honestly towards the people; but, for his own part, he could place no faith in any such assurances. It was because he believed that this intervention was not for the good of Portugal—because he believed that the interests of England must suffer from the disgrace which he thought had been brought upon the English name—and that so far from tending to preserve the peace and security and tranquillity of Portugal it would produce a thousand times more disastrous results than those sought to be remedied—it was because the intervention was one-sided and partial, inefficient for securing the tranquillity and freedom of Portugal, certain to lead to European complications and to stand in the way of our protesting against foreign intervention in other countries—that he would support the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose. It was true that much of the evil which had been done could not be remedied; but this the Commons of England could do: they could by adopting the Motion repudiate this precedent; they could say to the Governments of Europe that they protested against this act of intervention, and would not allow it to be drawn into a precedent.


rose to move the Amendment of which he had given notice in the early part of the evening. He could not help expressing his regret that the House had not been favoured earlier in the Session with some of those expres- sions of attachment to constitutional freedom which he had heard from hon. Gentlemen on the opposite benches; because, if his memory did not fail him, he thought he could recollect hearing, not long ago, opinions expressed from the same quarter, to the effect that if there was a blessing for which people on this earth could be grateful, it was to live under an absolute despotism. He thought he had also heard public thanks offered to the Emperor of Russia, the Emperor of Austria, and the King of Prussia, for extinguishing the liberties and independence of Cracow. Bearing this in mind, he could not help thinking that there was something more than mot the eye in the support which, hon. Gentlemen opposite were about to give to the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Montrose. He could not help thinking—as hon. Gentlemen must, of course, be consistent in the maintenance of Protectionist principles—that hon. Gentlemen opposite were going to stand up for the cause of absolutism, and that they were confident that the interference of Her Majesty's Ministers rather tended than otherwise to promote the cause of constitutional freedom. Whatever opinion the House might form, or whatever difference might exist as to the merits of that Motion, no one would deny that the question deserved their calmest deliberation; and they would have neglected their duty if they had made light of the subject. But during the discussion there was one principle and object which ought to be kept constantly in view, now that intervention had taken place in Portugal, and whether that intervention was approved of or not; that object was, to secure to that distracted country, and to that people who had justly risen for the defence of their constitutional rights, all the advantages which the intervention could afford. Such was the view with which he had proposed his Amendment. After perusing the papers laid before the House—after having heard the speech of the noble Lord the First Lord of the Treasury in explanation of those papers—he had come to a very different conclusion from that which he entertained when he first heard of this interference with the constitutional rights and the domestic concerns of the people of Portugal. Throughout the papers he found a decided wish and determination on the part of the British Government to protect the rights of those parties who had risen in arms against the Portuguese Government. Though he did not intend to enter on the proof, and had no blue boot before him to quote from, the papers showed that the task of the British Government was a very difficult task. At this moment they were abused by both parties: by those who adhered to the views of the Portuguese Court, as well as by those who took the part of the Junta. One plea had been put forth in favour of the intervention to which he could not subscribe. It was stated, and in the public press it was constantly urged, that one reason, ground, and justification for such intervention, was, that if this country had not interfered, Spain would have done so. That was no justification whatever. Every demand for intervention ought to stand upon its own merits. If intervention was required anywhere, they ought to stand on the justice of the cause, if they approved; if they disapproved of intervention, they ought to resist it to the last. Such was the conduct of the British Government in 1826. What was Mr. Canning's language at the time when Portugal was threatened with invasion by a foreign force? Mr. Canning's speech on that occasion was almost the first speech he (Mr. Duncombe) had ever heard in Parliament, and he recollected the energy of its closing words:— We are prepared to plant the standard of England on the heights of Lisbon; and where that standard is, foreign dominion shall not come. If they were to do wrong because others threatened to do it, they might hereafter find themselves indebted for their rights as a free people, not to their own external influence, but to the forbearance of stronger Powers. With regard to the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose, he must say, after reading the papers, that he disagreed with the conclusion to which the hon. Gentleman had come. He did not think that this intervention would be "mischievous and dangerous to the liberties of Portugal." He had seen the difficulties with which the Government had had to contend. He had seen them abused by the Cabral faction, which had been the cause of all the dissension in Portugal. While hon. Gentlemen were abusing the British Government for supporting absolutism, what was the language applied to them in documents which were circulated at Lisbon? He held in his hand what was called An Appeal to the Loyal Portuguese, which characterized the proposals of the British Government to the Queen of Portugal as degrading; so de- grading, that "the enemy" (meaning the Junta) had not dared to propose them, and so injurious to the dignity of the Queen as to place the Throne below the level of the Junta of Oporto. This "appeal" called upon the people to rally round the Throne, and suggested that, if recourse must be had to foreign aid, they might have it from a neighbouring kingdom. When the House was called on to come to a conclusion on the subject, it was proper to see whether the British Government had encouraged the principles of absolutism, or had stood by the cause of constitutional freedom. That was the question. In his opinion, the British Government had stood by the cause of constitutional freedom; and the effect of their policy was to promote that cause. Sir H. Seymour spoke of the existence of a vindictive and persecuting feeling on the part of the advisers of the Queen: they met the proposal of an amnesty with universal disapprobation; and Sir H. Seymour spoke of this as being his great and almost his only real difficulty, hut one which was insuperable. It was creditable to the British Government that they would not consent to sacrifice a single individual who had risen in defence of the constitutional rights of the people of Portugal. The Queen's party continued obstinate for a considerable time, not being disposed to consent to a full amnesty. The Junta very properly said that, looking at past events—looking at the little faith they could place in those about the Queen—they must have other guarantees than the mere declaration of the party opposing them, that such and such were the conditions on which hostilities would cease. The Junta was justified in the course they had taken. They had now laid down arms, or rather their arms had been wrested from them. This country, having gone so far, must go still farther. But he believed the people of Portugal would have confidence in any declaration made in conjunction with the other two intervening Powers, if that declaration was supported by a strong declaration on the part of the House of Commons. With that view he had proposed the Amendment. It was due to those who had risen in defence of their rights that such a declaration should he made. Who were those persons? Were they of the class who generally get up revolutions, sans culottes, and such people? Some hon. Gentlemen might have read an Address which had been pretty generally circulated by those representing the Junta in this country. In that Address they expressed the earnest wish of the Portuguese nation to be governed by definite and permanent institutions, such as could and would insure to the people the enjoyment of real constitutional freedom—institutions which would not be changed at the desire or through the insidious designs of a Minister—which would be felt in the equitable administration of the revenues—would secure person and property—and tend to promote the prosperity of the national resources. They desired that the public confidence might be restored by fair and equitable means. Were any Gentlemen prepared to dissent from those principles? They proceeded to say that it was from no impulse of the moment that the people of Portugal had acted: it was real wrongs which had led them to assume the attitude they had taken; and experience taught them that they ought not to abandon it till they had got guarantees that the system would not be a mockery, and that Ministers would be held responsible for their own acts. It was in defence of those principles that the Portuguese people were in arms. They were on the point of triumphing, if triumph it could be called to expel their Queen from her Throne, when the intervention took place. He hoped that the representatives of the people of England would agree to the resolution which he was about to propose; and, if they did so, it would strengthen the hands of Ministers, and give effect to the declarations made by the First Lord of the Treasury in his place in Parliament. He believed that the intervention which had taken place in the affairs of Portugal deserved the approbation and gratitude of every free and civilized nation of the world. These being his views, he begged to move, as an Amendment, that all the words of the Motion after the word "that" be omitted for the purpose of substituting the following:— Great Britain having' become a party to foreign armed interference with the view of terminating the civil war now unhappily existing in Portugal, it is the opinion of this House, that on tranquillity being restored, it will be the duty of the British Government to endeavour, by all just means in its power, to secure to the people of Portugal the full enjoyment of their constitutional rights and privileges.


Sir, I have heard with great pleasure the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Finsbury. I beg to assure my hon. Friend, that in that Amendment is set forth, with great force and precision, the principles which have guided, and which will continue to guide, the conduct of Her Majesty's Government. The Members of the Administration feel that whenever the Government is, by an unfortunate necessity, compelled to depart from the general rule which prescribes abstinence from all interference with the internal concerns of foreign nations, it contracts a grave responsibility; and it is with a full conviction of this on their minds, that Her Majesty's Ministers have determined to interfere in the affairs of Portugal, and will continue to act on the principles which have hitherto guided their conduct. I see with the greatest pleasure that my hon. Friend, and others who, like my hon. Friend, were at first disposed to look with jealousy on the course taken by the Government, have, upon examination, found sufficient cause to change the opinion which they originally entertained. Sir, I am not surprised that such jealousy should at first sight be entertained as to the proceedings of Her Majesty's Government. There can be no doubt that the rule which condemns interference in the internal concerns of a. foreign country is a sound general rule. There can be no doubt that, on the Minister who so interferes, the burden of proof is thrown to show the necessity of interference. There can be no doubt that he is bound to make out his ease to the satisfaction of the public. In the present case it must be acknowledged that there are peculiar circumstances which make it one of great difficulty and delicacy: there can be no doubt about that. There can be no doubt—and this I shall acknowledge as a distinctive part of our case—that the Throne of Portugal has long been surrounded by evil counsellors. There can be no doubt that the most violent and unconstitutional measures have been adopted by the Court. There can be no doubt that some acts, which I am compelled to designate as cruel, have disgraced the history of the Portuguese Government. There can be no doubt that circumstances have occurred which justified the Portuguese people in receiving with distrust the assurances of the Portuguese Government. And I cannot wonder, therefore, that persons who dislike interference in general, and think interference with the international affairs of other nations a very had course of policy, should look with peculiar jealousy at such an interference as this, of which at first sight the object might seem to be to rescue a Government which has committed grave faults, from the peril which is the natural consequence of misconduct. All this I admit; yet, admitting it, I am still convinced that Her Majesty's Government chose the least of two evils; and under such circumstances a choice of evils was all that was left to it. Considering our relations with Portugal—considering the civil war which is raging—considering the strong inclination to interference felt by foreign Powers, I hold it, Sir, to be clear that no course whatever exempt from inconvenience and risk was open to the British Government. Similar cases frequently occur in public and in private life. It comes within the daily experience of all men, that persons are frequently, without any fault of their own, placed in situations in which they must act, and in which every course they can take has its risks and its inconveniences. Now, it is not a fair way of reasoning to exaggerate the risks and the inconveniences of the course actually adopted. No argument against the course taken under the circumstances is sound, unless he who pronounces the condemnation gives us also his own line of conduct, and shows us good reasons for believing that that line of conduct would be attended with less objectionable consequences than that which has been followed. And remember, too, that in such cases those who have to defend what has been done, always speak at a disadvantage. You feel the inconveniences of the course which has been taken; of the course not taken you do not feel the inconveniences. They arc mere matter of discussion and speculation. Why, you might deny in toto that there was any risk of their taking place at all. But of the course taken, you feel and know the evils. Under these circumstances, then, it is that I think Government is fairly entitled to call on every Gentleman who is in favour of the vote of censure under discussion to lay before the House not only a statement of the inconveniences admitted—and admitted to have arisen as inseparable from the interference which has taken place—but also to state to the House some plan of policy which would have avoided these inconveniences without leading to greater. No such plan of policy has yet been submitted to the House; and I doubt whether it be in the power of human wisdom to devise such a plan. I think that I see in every possible course, other than that which has been followed, inconveniences greater than those which have resulted from our policy. Sir, my argument rests upon the peculiar relations subsisting between England and Portugal. With many other Powers no such question as that which we are now discussing could have arisen. Suppose, for example, that a similar state of things to that of Portugal had occurred in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, or the Grand Duchy of Tuscany—then, indeed, it might have been the duty of the Government to have sent a frigate into the Bay of Naples, in order to protect, and, if necessary, to carry away, British subjects and British property; but there the matter would have ended. No interference similar to that which has in this instance taken place, would have been the subject of any discussion. But our relation with Portugal is a most peculiar one—one without any parallel in European politics—without any parallel, I may say, in the history of the world. Sir, I do not remember anything which struck me more than, when looking over that collection of treaties with Portugal which we called for—a collection extending from the days of the Black Prince downwards—from the year 1373, and produced, not for the gratification of any antiquarian curiosity, but treaties still in force, and in active operation—when, looking over these early treaties of the fourteenth century, one thing, I say, most particularly struck me. It seemed as if those who framed these ancient documents had some presentiment of the length of their existence, and that they would completely outlive all the arts of war then in use; for to the stipulation for furnishing troops, archers, slingers, and galleys, to defend Portugal, contained in the first treaty with that country, a saving clause adds the condition, provided that these should be the means of defence then employed. This may be fortuitous; but has it not a singular as-post in the middle of a treaty of the fourteenth century, to see such a clause as that? And, in truth, there is a great analogy between the manner in which these treaties were observed in the fourteenth century, and the manner in which they are observed in the nineteenth century—an analogy one of the most remarkable on record. Perhaps the noble Lord opposite, whose studies have been not a little directed towards those interesting and curious parts of history which belong to the times of chivalry, will remember Froissart's glowing description of how—in the year 1381 I think it was—the Portuguese ambassadors ap- peared before the Court of London—of the splendour of the pageant—of the magnificent reception which greeted them—of the presence of the representatives of the two great families in the realm (John of Gaunt, and Edmund Langley Duke of York), standing one on either side of the King—and how they addressed the Portuguese ambassadors—and how they told them to tell their fair Cousin of Portugal that what she wanted she should have; that Portugal was the friend of the friends of England, and the foe of the foes of England. And then, says old Froissart, the Parliament resolved that 500 archers and men-at-arms should be sent off to Portugal—ay, an expedition then, in the fourteenth century, just as the expedition of 1826, though armed in a different manner, sailed to protect the same country from danger from the same quarter. Such a close alliance between nations for 500 years, is almost without precedent; and let me recall, in connexion with it, a striking observation of Mr. Canning, that from the very first our treaties with Portugal had the character, not of mere formal diplomatic conventions, but that there was a force of fervent expression about them which bound the two countries in a far more kindly connexion. Why, in the very treaty I have mentioned, we hound ourselves to defend Portugal, by sea and by land, "against all who may live and die." Again, in 1661, the King of England "did profess and declare to take the interests of Portugal, and all its dominions, to heart, defending the same with his utmost power by sea and land, even England itself." And once more, in 1703, we confirmed our former engagements, and contracted new ones to the same effect in equally strong terms. Sir, there may be those who think that such relations as these were inexpedient for this country—a country so great and so powerful—to enter into. I hold, I confess, a different opinion. Any services we may have rendered to Portugal have been amply repaid. In all our contests, Portugal has ever been our friend. In the Seven Years' war, when France and Spain were leagued against us—when they attempted to incite Portugal on the same principle to join with them and help to free herself and Europe from the tyrant of the seas—then Portugal boldly refused their proffers. And yet it was a critical time for the Portuguese. The earthquake was recent, their capital in ruins, the king with scarcely a place to lay his head, a foreign army hovering on the frontier; still Portugal kept her faith, and acted up to the spirit of her treaties with England. Again, when it would have been easy for the House of Braganza to have made terms with our enemies, they preferred exile across the Atlantic to such a violation of their engagements. And then the soil of Portugal became the spot from which we moved the world. It was in Portugal that you fought your own battles, and successfully defended your own liberties. For nothing was more true than that passage in the despatches of our great military Commander—despatches which may outlive even the popular memory of his victories—nothing he ever wrote was more true than that sentence in which he expresses his belief that the question was between the defence of Portugal and the invasion of England. On that occasion Portugal suffered for us. By her devastation we were enabled to look in security upon our own cultivated fields; and as for those lines of Torres Vedras, they protected against spoliation and massacre a larger capital and a greater population than that of Lisbon, or that of Portugal. When that struggle was ended, you renewed, at the time of the general settlement of Europe, the treaties and conventions under which you had already acted. In consequence of those engagements, in 1826, you promptly sent to Portugal assistance against foreign invasion; and in 1834, when pretenders to the Crowns of Spain and Portugal—having to a great extent a common interest—made their appearance in the Peninsula, then, Sir, England took upon herself the defence of Portugal, and entered into the Quadruple Alliance expressly on the ground of our ancient, solemn, and special relations with that country. Thus, in this singular manner, are we hound up with a country which has now been for many months the theatre of a most disastrous struggle. If I be asked what the origin of that war was, then, Sir, I do not hesitate to say that I believe it was caused by the acts of the Portuguese Government. By violent and unconstitutional decrees, they banded against them large bodies of armed men professing to contend for freedom; and while the principles held by the Government, on the one hand, tended undoubtedly to despotism; on the other hand, you have opinions prevailing which as surely were incentives to regicide. Let it be remarked, too, that it was in the power of neither party effectually to control the body of its adherents. It was in the power of neither the Queen nor the Junta to meet on fair terms, whatever their inclination may have been. The Queen was held in a species of pupilage by her Ministers, who, whenever she was disposed to moderate councils, threatened to resign their civil offices and to lay down their military commands. Around the Junta had sprung up a crowd of adventurers eager for employment, and therefore ready to discountenance every whisper of peace. The country was uncultivated, trade was at a stand, British interests were suffering. But during several months the English Government interfered merely by preaching conciliation; by imploring the Court to act leniently and constitutionally; and by impressing on the Junta counsels of moderation. It is admitted even by those who blame the conduct of the Government—it is admitted even by the hon. Member for Montrose—that the principle of non-interference had never been more ably put forward than by the papers of my noble Friend (Lord Palmerston) during the first months of the conflict. But they say, and he says, that then there came a change—that then came interference. There must be some mysterious cause for this—some strong influence which I cannot describe, cries one—some backstairs intrigue, which I need not particularize, says another. Now, for my own part, I should have been inclined to say that, on the simplest inspection of these papers, the reason for the change will be seen on their face, and cannot be mistaken. It is this—while the question was a purely internal question, the English Government interfered only by counsel, exhortation, and friendly offices. But it afterwards became an international question, and then Government could refrain from interference no longer. An attentive examination of the despatches will show that England ceased to follow the strict course of non-interference when the question ceased to be an internal question of Portuguese politics. And I may ask the hon. Member for Montrose, however much ha may be attached to the general principles of non-interference, whether he will not admit that sometimes the internal policy of a country becomes its international policy—and that in such a case, the general principle of non-interference ought to be, and is frequently suspended? Two remarkable instances of this kind have been alluded to in this debate. We interfered under Queen Elizabeth in France. "What," it may be said, "did it signify to us whether the Government of France or the League got the better?" But the success of the League would have increased the power and the influence of the House of Austria, already too formidable in Europe; while, on the other hand, the success of Henry IV. tended to preserve the balance of power against Philip of Spain, and add to the security of England. Thus was the principle of interference justifiable. So, again, as to the States General, when they interfered in our internal policy in 1688. They saw safety in the predominance of the Orange party. If William III. were to be on the Throne of England, the balance of power would be preserved as against France; but were James II. on the Throne, he would have made England the vassal of France. That circumstance took the case of England out of the general rule; and such was the reason always advanced by the States General to justify their interference. Now if it be admitted that the rule of non-interference ceases to apply when the question becomes international, then certainly the rule does not apply to the present case. Is it not clear, that at the end of March or beginning of April, the question of interference was begun to be debated by other nations? I hold it, Sir, to be quite clear, that Spain did contemplate and fully resolved upon interference. One hon. Gentleman who spoke, is unable to find out the slightest trace of the probability of Spanish interference. Why, Sir, there is the note of Mr. Bulwer of the 5th of April, 1847, and what does it say?— Neither," it proceeds, "ought I to conceal from you, that, although the Spanish Government will he delighted that in this negotiation the representatives of the Allied Courts, accredited at that of Her Most Faithful Majesty, and who signed the Treaty of the Quadruple Alliance, should take part; yet this will not hinder, should it by any event not be possible for the Four Powers to agree and act upon a common and thorough understanding, should a case of urgent necessity occur, that the indispensable remedy would be applied, particularly endeavouring to do so in accordance with Great Britain, and to carry out the intervention in the manner and on the basis which might be determined on between the two Governments. I must, however, state to you, that in the event of a sudden crisis, during which the Throne of Donna Maria do Gloria might be overthrown, the Spanish Government could not possibly consent to such a catastrophe, and would act alone, and of its own accord. Again, there is the note of Mr. Bulwer, commenting on the language of M. Pa- checo. What do we find in it? Our Ambassador says— I however think that M. Pacheco's real wishes are to arrive at some fair transaction in favour of the Queen, in concert with ourselves; that he has no wish to interfere at all with an armed force, and is not likely to do so without our concurrence. But at the same time, I think, that the means he will adopt for arriving at a transaction, may he too calculated to elate the hopes of one of the parties, and thereby prevent its making reasonable concessions; and that, under certain circumstances, he may he disposed, and even compelled from the position in which he will find himself placed, to enter into Portugal without concert with us, and even contrary to our wishes and opinions. I say, therefore, Sir, that it is perfectly clear that an armed interference was contemplated by the Spanish Government; and I think it must also be added, that the French Government conceived that in taking that course, the Spanish Government would be acting warrantably. Thus, after having laboured, while the question was an internal one, to settle it by good offices, advice and mediation, you find that it had ceased to be an internal question. Circumstances change—events thicken—Spain collects her troops upon the frontier, and declares that in certain cases they shall enter Portugal. France again declares that, in her opinion, Spain has taken a just view of her rights. These, then, are the circumstances under which you have to consider what is the best course to adopt. But here let me ask, in what sense I am to understand non-interference? Do you mean merely to rest passive, without intimating to other Powers that they must not interfere—or are you to say, we shall not interfere ourselves, but we will interfere with Spain if Spain interferes with Portugal. Well, now compare the inconveniences of either of these courses with the inconveniences of that actually adopted. That is the whole question. Now, as to saying absolutely we shall not interfere—Spain and France may do so if they please—they may occupy Portugal, they may act just as it suits them, but we shall leave the affair absolutely alone: to have said that, and adopted that course of policy, would, I conceive, have been disgraceful to this country. Considering our ancient, our historic, our intimate relations with Portugal, such a course would have been nothing less than a complete desertion of the position England has always occupied; and had we adopted it, and allowed Spanish interference to take its course, then that interference would unquestionably have placed the liberties of Portugal and the lives of the Junta in a much more hazardous position than that in which they now stand. I mean to say nothing disrespectful—quite the reverse—of the Spanish people or Government; but certainly the observance of leniency to the vanquished in civil strife, has not of late years been carried by them so far as a humane man might wish. And I believe that there is not a single member of the Junta, or attached to the cause of the Junta in Portugal, who, if you asked him "whether—supposing an armed interference did take place—would you prefer as the interfering Power, Spain or England?" would not answer at once "England." If it be so, Sir, then I conceive that the course which we have followed is clearly a better course than that of leaving France and Spain to interfere, according to their own good pleasure. But there remains still another line of alternative policy. We might have said, we shall not interfere ourselves, but we will interfere with whoever else interferes. But, Sir, would any Member of this House counsel us to risk a threat without being prepared to risk a war? Would you tell Spain, "You shall not do what you wish to do, and what France thinks you are justified in doing?" Why then there would be war. ["Hear!"] I am not deaf to that cheer—I can well conceive that there are those to whom such a course would have its charms. See what thirty-two years of peace have done for civilization, for humanity, and good government; and when you compare the state of Europe during those thirty-two years of peace with what it was during the twenty-three years of war, that man, I say, incurs a grave responsibility who would set the first spark to the mass of combustible matter which, once exploded, could end in nothing but general European conflagration; and whether such a war would cease in 1850, 1860, or 1870, it is beyond the power of the wisest man living to prognosticate. I say, that unless you can show that what has been done is something so pernicious, that to avoid it we ought to have incurred the risk of European war, you must admit that we have done right. I think the hon. Member for Finsbury talked somewhat too lightly of war; but I quite agree with him that we should not give up to the Queen of Portugal the head of one of the Junta, to avoid war with all the Powers of Europe. I agree with the view taken by Mr. Fox, who, though the great advocate for peace, when some one hinted that Bonaparte might require the expulsion of the Bourbons from England, said— I never was a friend to that family—they are a bad family; but for the worst Bourbon that ever sprung from their stock, I'd go to war rather than that England should abjure the rights of hospitality. I recommend no disgraceful, no injurious, no pusillanimous course; but I say that if it was possible to effect any settlement which would be just, which would be humane, which would be favourable to the liberties of Portugal, and if by so doing we could avoid these two evils—the infamy and degradation of giving up Portugal to the absolute disposal of Spain, and the risk of a European war—such a settlement it was our duty to make. The strongest invectives have been pronounced against the Queen of Portugal and the Cabral party; but every invective against the Queen is the best panegyric on her conduct. Loud complaints have been made of the cruel and severe punishments which have been inflicted on those who have taken up arms against the Queen. But what is the first article of the conditions on which we have insisted? It establishes an absolute and complete amnesty; and if you draw an inference unfavourable to the humanity of the Portuguese Government from their having so long refused to agree to those terms, you should also have drawn the inference that, if they did agree to them, it was impossible they could refuse strictly to observe and execute those terms. Why was it worth their while to battle so long upon the subject, if they were about to make a promise which they knew they could break? The Portuguese Government said, "We will inflict no capital punishments; but let us have some persons sent out to the colonies." "No," we replied, "we cannot consent to that." "Then," said the Portuguese Government, "they shall not be consigned to a cruel and miserable exile; they shall not be sent to Africa; they shall be sent to Paris; they shall remain there till peace and order are restored in this country, and their fortunes shall be remitted to them." What was the answer of England? "Not one mile from the territory of Portugal." The Portuguese Government still asked, "Let them be exiled for 18 months?" "No; not one." "Only for 16." "No; not one." "Only for 10." "No; not one;" and to these terms we adhered to the last. Those who talk of us as having shown a pusillanimous desire to avoid a collision with France or Spain, should remember that in order to avoid any such collision, we would not have consented to the banishment for ten months to Paris of one member of the Junta. As far as respects the amnesty, then, I think our case is complete. The second article provides that all the unconstitutional acts of the Government shall be rescinded. The Junta complained, and most justly, that the assembling of the Cortes had been improperly delayed; but the second article of the conditions entered into by the Queen of Portugal provides, that the Cortes shall be called together at the earliest possible period. The fourth article of the conditions provides that no member of the Cabral party shall form part of the Government. [An Hon. MEMBER: How do you guarantee that?] I cannot conceive that you can very easily have a better guarantee than this, that instead of being an agreement between the Queen of Portugal and her subjects, this is an agreement between the Queen of Portugal, and England, Spain, and France, who possess the most undoubted power to compel the Queen of Portugal to observe the conditions to which he has assented. This, in my opinion, is a full justification of the course which has been taken by Her Majesty's Government. I think it right to call the attention of the House to one circumstance which has been alluded to, in order to put an end to all misrepresentation on the subject—I refer to the manner in which the orders of the British Government were carried into effect. I do not conceive, even if the officers commanding on the station had neglected to send a proper notice to the authorities at Oporto of the course they intended to pursue, that that circumstance alone would justify any one in adopting the views of the hon. Member for Montrose; but, at the same time, it is the duty of a Government, when the conduct of those who have served their country well and faithfully has been impugned, not to pass by the first opportunity of vindicating them. I say, that fuller and fairer notice never was given than was given in this case; and if any person who has the means of knowing the circumstances denies this statement, I will only say that I think he cannot deny it conscientiously. The following is a letter written by Captain Robb, of the Gladiator, to the Secretary of the Junta for Foreign Affairs:—

"His Excellency Senor Jose Passos, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Provisional Government, Oporto, Her Majesty's ship Gladiator, May, 23, 1847.—Sir: Having transmitted to your Excellency, through Her Britannic Majesty's Consul at this place, the wishes of Her Britannic Majesty's Minister at Lisbon, relative to the cessation of hostilities, until the delivery of the letter with which I am charged to his Excellency the Conde das Antas, and having received no reply to that letter, I have the honour to acquaint you that I am commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir William Parker, Bart., G. C. B., that if any demonstration is made on the part of the naval force of the Junta for quitting the Douro, to warn the Junta of the probability of their being stopped by a British force wherever it may be met with.—I have the the honour to he, &c.


"JOHN ROBB, Captain."

Senor Jose do Passos, in his answer, says— It is, therefore, that the undersigned saw with great regret that you declare, in conformity with the orders of his Excellency Admiral William Parker, that in case of the ships of the national squadron leaving the port, they will probably be detained by a British naval force. Under these circumstances, I defy any person to say that as full and fair warning as could he given was not afforded to the Junta. I have now really nothing further to say than to thank the House for their indulgence. I may, however, shortly sum up the case thus:—I say it was utterly impossible for us, related to and connected with Portugal as we are, to observe the ordinary rule of non-interference; for, the moment that France and Spain had shown an inclination to interfere, if we had not interfered, and if we had not at the same time suffered them to interfere, we should have lowered England to the very bottom of the scale of nations. If we had not interfered, but had declared that we would go to war with Prance or Spain if they interfered, we should, in my opinion, have taken upon ourselves a most terrible responsibility, and we might not impossibly have plunged Europe into a general war. Nothing remained but to interfere boldly, justly, humanely, and with a desire for peace. I defy any one to read the articles to which the Queen of Portugal has assented, and to say that this has not been the character of our interference. There were three objects, almost incompatible with each other, which we had, if possible, to maintain, and to maintain in such a way that by maintaining one we should not run the least hazard of not maintaining the others—the dignity of England, the liberty of Portugal, and the peace of Europe. We saw only one way of maintaining these objects. If our po- licy was right, I think there will be little dispute about the manner in which it has been carried into execution. It will scarcely be doubted that the means were adapted to the end, and that the instruments were sufficiently well chosen. I can only repeat to my hon. Friend (Mr. T. Duncombe) that we feel with him that the interference we have been compelled to adopt, does lay upon us the duty so emphatically set forth in the Amendment he has moved; and I will only add that our consciences acquit us—and I hope the vote of this House will acquit us—of having, in this most difficult and embarrassing conjuncture, failed in any part of our duty towards England, towards Portugal, or towards Europe.


said, every Member of the House must sincerely believe the statement of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Macaulay), that he had heard with much pleasure the Amendment of the hon. Member for Finsbury. The Government must no doubt have been highly delighted to find the hon. Member for Finsbury, who was pleased to make some reference to that side of the House, come forward with words of liberty on his lips, but with the love of despotism in his heart, to save them from a vote of censure for their interference in the internal concerns of Portugal at a moment when it was admitted that the interests of the Queen of Portugal had become desperate. The right hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh had entered into a very interesting history of various interferences which had taken place in the affairs of Portugal; but in making that statement, he forgot to mention one circumstance which had occurred in that history; and it was this—that when Philip II. of Spain sought to conquer Portugal, the method he had recourse to for that purpose was one which he (Lord G. Bentinck) thought Her Majesty's Ministers had successfully practised on the present occasion—he persuaded the leaders in Portugal to mix sand with the powder of their troops. And so on this occasion Her Majesty's Ministers had prevailed on the hon. Member for Finsbury, and those other hon. Members who were so ready to profess a love of liberty, to mix sand with their powder. The right hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh had not ventured to defend the proceedings which had led to the insurrection in Portugal; and whilst he found himself quite unable to defend the principle of interference in the domestic concerns of another country, he appealed to the House upon the danger which would have attended any other course. He said, "that the Government would have incurred a serious responsibility had they ventured to risk a war for the settlement of the affairs of Portugal—that there were hut two courses to pursue, either that England might look on and not interfere at all, or else she might threaten an interposition in case any other nation interfered, and prevent such interference." The right hon. and learned Gentleman read extracts from the despatch of Mr. Bulwer, at Madrid, of the 7th of April; hut, following the example of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, who read the despatch of the 5th of April, he had altogether omitted to read the despatch of the 6th of April. If the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman had not found it convenient to skip over that most important despatch of the 6th of April, the House would have been informed that at that time Her Majesty's Ministers were not afraid to incur the risk of intimating to the Government of Spain that it would be a serious affair if they interfered without our consent; which intimation was perfectly efficacious. It was true, as the noble Lord had stated, that on the 5th of April, M. Pacheco expressed a desire for an interference in the affairs of Portugal, and threatened to send troops to the frontier. But on the following day, Mr. Bulwer had an interview with M. Pacheco, and distinctly said to him— 'You must be aware that to interfere in Portugal without our concurrence is a serious affair.' The answer of M. Pacheco was, 'Oh, of this rest assured, we will do nothing without your concurrence.' Mr. Bulwer asked, 'Am I to be quite sure of this?' And M. Pacheco answered, 'Quite; and it seems to me that we are adopting your ideas when we mean to propose conciliation; we intend to maintain with you the most cordial relations on all questions; we hare just refused the demand of the Portuguese Government for an auxiliary legion.' Well, then, what ground was there for supposing that Spain would interfere against our wishes, or that there was a risk of war if we did not interfere? Then, with respect to France, he was at a loss to discover in any or all of the documents any determination expressed on the part of France to interfere, contrary to the will of England. So far from that, the utmost that M. Guizot or M. St. Aulaire at any time said was this, "that they would be prepared to consult with their allies as regarded any interference in the affairs of Portugal." The noble Lord at the head of the Government, and the right hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, had stated that they would be extremely sorry to belong to any Government that abandoned our ancient ally the Queen of Portugal; but they seemed to him to have left altogether out of their consideration the people of Portugal. And when they spoke of the ancient treaties with Portugal, and when the right hon. and learned Gentleman quoted the language of the Treaty of 1661, in which the King of England of that day, "in consideration of the great increase to his dominions which he had received from Portugal, and in consideration of the dowry which he had received with the Princess of Braganza, engaged that he would take the interest of Portugal to heart, and defend her and all her dominions as if she were England herself," Her Majesty's Ministers appeared to forget that there was some difference in this phraseology from that usually to be found in treaties of this kind. The treaty did not engage to defend the Duke of Braganza of that day, and his heirs for ever; but to defend the interests of "Portugal and all her dominions." And the question now was, whether we were bound, in virtue of any treaty which now existed with Portugal, to fly to the assistance of the Queen of Portugal against her own people who were in arms against her. If ever there was a question of doubtful interference, this was it, when it was frankly admitted by the papers laid on the Table, that up to the time of the active interference of the Allied Powers, "the Queen of Portugal possessed no territory in Portugal except the capital and those spots which were in the actual occupation of her military forces;" and it could not be denied that this was not an insurrection supported only by the lowest classes of the people, but an insurrection that had united under its banners people of all politics, Pedroites and Miguelites, Chartists and Septembrists; and when out of 126 of the ancient nobility of Portugal, 9 only were to be found on the side of the Queen's Government. He asked, then, whether there had ever been an instance of so flagrant an interference in the internal concerns of that nation. Indeed this did not admit of a doubt. It was acknowledged by the noble Lord in his despatch of the 5th of April; it was stated by him truly and frankly that the whole question was, "who were to be the responsible Ministers of the Crown of Portugal for the administration of the affairs of that country." Now the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman had both held up to something like ridicule those who would have ventured to recommend a different course of proceeding on this occasion. Surely the noble Lord must have forgotten the course which was taken by the Government of which he and the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs were Members in the year 1833. At that time the Government of Lord Grey took precisely such a course. On that occasion a Motion was made in the other House to recommend the acknowledgment of Don Miguel; and another Motion in this House was made at the same time of a similar character. The noble Lord then, as now, at the head of the Foreign Office, on the 6th of June, speaking of the conduct of Lord Grey's Government said— This Government did say to the Government of Spain, we have determined to remain neutral, and by that determination we will abide; but if you act upon a contrary principle, and interfere by force of arms in the contest about to be waged in Portugal, we pledge ourselves that when you take part with Don Miguel, we shall deem it necessary for our interest to take part with Donna Maria. Was not that a case in point with the present? Don Miguel was King of Portugal de facto in 1833; and yet the noble Lord at the head of the Government and the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office gave this advice to William the IVth. And it had the desired effect. Spain was silent—Spain did not move. So likewise at an earlier and a more brilliant period of our history. When, in 1826, France and Spain made a question of interfering in the affairs of Portugal, Mr. Canning—then in the Foreign Office—warned France "that he would not permit any aggression on Portugal." Spain had actually invaded that country in the cause of Don Miguel. Mr. Canning instantly interposed, and despatched 5,000 troops to Lisbon. The noble Lord at the head of the Government said that the interference of this country on the present occasion was not an interference to favour, but to put down despotism. The noble Lord, however, held different language in 1833 in reference to the same state of circumstances. The language of the noble Lord with respect to Don Miguel was to the effect that nothing could be more preposterous than to expect an amnesty from that prince in favour of the constitutional party. Referring to Don Miguel, and speaking of his predecessors in office, the noble Lord, said— They (Lord Grey's Government) then found, indeed, that the recognition had been proposed to him by their predecessors on the condition that he would grant an amnesty. But a more unfortunate proposition there surely could not have been made. It was a condition, the fulfilment of which required at least the possession of good faith and humanity on the part of the person upon whom it was imposed; and it was a mere mockery to demand such a condition from a prince who was notoriously deficient in both those requisite qualifications. Change the names and substitute the Queen of Portugal for Don Miguel, and there would not be a single word misapplied. And yet the noble Lord, when asked what guarantees would be given for the observance of terms towards the insurgents in Portugal, said "he would give as a guarantee the good faith of the Queen of Portugal!" If, however, guarantees on the faith of Don Miguel were looked upon by the noble Lord as mere mockery, in 1833, what else was that of the Queen of Portugal at the present moment? The Queen of Portugal was proverbial for her breach of engagements. She had broken her coronation oath, in which she had sworn to maintain intact the Charter of 1826, granted by Don Pedro. And that she did upon no provocation that could be learned, except that the people of Portugal, disgusted with the corruption and oppression of the Court, gave unmistakeable signs that the elections would not be satisfactory to the Court; that deputies would be returned to the Cortes, who were pledged to the expulsion of Dietz, and to the impeachment of the Ministers, who had so fearfully mismanaged the affairs of the kingdom in every respect. No people could have a more legitimate cause of quarrel than the people of Portugal had with the Cabral Government who ruled the country at that period. By a persevering course of venality and corruption, the Cabrals had entirely destroyed the finances of Portugal; while, at the same time, the taxes which they laid on for the purpose of rewarding their party wore a character of oppression almost unheard of. Some of these corruptions and oppressions would excite astonishment in the minds of those who heard them. They maintained on the army estimates 19,000 men, no more than 10,000 were to be found on the muster-roll. All the offices in the army were sold by the Cabrals, and the officers so appointed in their turn had recourse to a system of plunder to indemnify themselves. Every office in the State was sold by them—the office of Judge was not spared; and all this for the purposes of private peculation. These things were known to all Portugal. It was also known that five years before, Costa Cabral, at the age of 33, the son of a shopkeeper in the province of Minho, had only an official income of some 800l a year; and yet at this moment he was believed to be the richest man in the country, having recently purchased immense estates—one of them being that from which he took his title of Conde de Thomar—a confiscated property said to be worth 7,0001. a year; A sanatory act was procured to be passed by the Cabrals, the intention of which was to create no less than 4,000 offices wherewith to reward those persons employed under them, who were to be paid by fees, fines, and other iniquitous and oppressive modes of levying money. Great and grievous oppression was practised upon the population under the pretence of sanatory laws: for example, an imposition of 10s. on burials. To enforce it, the corpses of those whose friends were unable to pay were interred in unenclosed grounds, whence they were torn from their graves by dogs and swine, to the utter horror and disgust of the population. Maria da Ponte, the woman with whom the revolution in Minho commenced, had taken the dead body of her child, and insisted that it should be buried within the churchyard of the village. The priest grounded his refusal upon the actual law. The poor woman, unable to pay the fine, insisted that her demand should be complied with—other women joined with her—the military were called in—an insurrection took place—and the peasantry, though half-armed, defeated the military, and in a few days all Portugal rose in arms with one voice calling for the expulsion of the Cabrals. Another subject of complaint was, that the contract for the tax on tobacco, though never sold before for more than ten years, was sold for twenty-three years. The same occurred with the contracts for the taxes on soap and other articles. The contracts were disposed of and the people were plundered to enrich a notoriously corrupt Administration. Twenty laws were passed by decree, without any reference to the Cortes. At the elections the military were marched in to vote by companies. Vote by ballot is the law of Portugal; but Ministers, by having papers of a peculiar form and colour, knew how each man voted. One of the enactments of the constitution was that the military should not be allowed to interfere in elec- tions; but here it was found that the military not only interfered by voting, but they also interfered by force, and blood was spilled by them in many places, even within the walls of the churches where the elections in Portugal are held. If ever there were a people that had a right to rise against a Government, they were the Portuguese. A poll-tax of 20d. a head was imposed on all the people of Portugal—the rich and the poor. This poll-tax was laid on under pretence of maintaining the public roads in Portugal. The conditions attached to it were, that when a peasant was unable to pay his taxes, they might be commuted for eleven days' labour on the roads. This grievance, great in itself, was still felt to be further increased in its wrong, inasmuch as the contracts for the public roads were made the means of the most notorious jobbing: they were sold to companies, and these companies being entitled to charge 5 per cent upon the outlay, took good care that the outlay should be as extravagant as possible, with a view to increase the per centage; so that works which might be done for 100l., univerally cost three or four times that amount. It was notorious—the fact could be shown on proofs that were not to he resisted—that Jose Cabral made 50,0001. on the contract for public roads between Lisbon and Oporto. The peasantry felt whilst commuting with eleven days' labour on the public works, for a tax they were too poor to pay in money, such labour was not given for the benefit of the country, but for the advantage of those who had obtained the contracts. These exactions roused the people. The Juntas assembled in all parts of Portugal, and the Cabral Ministry was deposed in May 1846. But no sooner had the people obtained a Government such as they wished—no sooner did they feel convinced that justice would be done and their grievances redressed—than they laid down their arms. In a few days universal peace reigned throughout Portugal, and the people so conducted themselves as to prove that they were most worthy of a constitutional form of government. The Queen in a proclamation, in which she said, "Portuguese confide in me!" promised that all their grievances should be redressed. But the elections were close at hand: they were to take place in the month of October; and the constituencies were pledging the candidates to the expulsion of M. Dietz, the King of Portugal's secret adviser, and were call- ing for the just impeachment of those bad men, who for five consecutive years had been committing so many breaches of the constitution, and had been guilty of so much oppression. For these reasons, and no others, the Queen of Portugal, on the night of the 6th of October, in breach of her coronation oath, and of every article of the constitution, sent for M. Palmella and the military governor of Lisbon, put them under arrest, placed the King Consort in command of the army, and appointed a new Ministry; and although Cabral was not actually a member of it, still it was to all intents and purposes a Cabral Administration. Was not the natural consequence of such a proceeding as this—of such a breach of faith as this—that the country should rise in arms? Although the people were taken by surprise, still they armed, and were on the point of obtaining complete redress—not of dethroning the Queen, for nothing of the kind appeared in any part of their proceedings. Nothing could be more moderate than the declaration of Das Antas, as chief of the Junta of Portugal; he called upon the Queen to do that which would inspire the people with confidence, and they would lay down their arms submissively, as on other occasions. The noble Lord here read an extract from the address of Das Antas to the Queen, requesting —"Her Majesty to dismiss the Ministry which had made so unhappy an essay in their administration, and to appoint another which should inspire the people with greater confidence, in which case the people would lay down their arms as they had done on other occasions. Such was the petition which the undersigned members of the Junta ventured most respectfully to place in the hands of Her Majesty. He wanted to know then what pretext there was for ascribing to this Junta that they were a set of regicides? It was true that amongst the papers there was a wild sort of proclamation; but our Minister in Portugal wrote to the Secretary of State to say that he had been entirely unable to procure a single copy of the proclamation, and further that not a single name was attached to it. He asked the House were they to take this anonymous proclamation, which, for all that was known, might have been the work of the Cabralists themselves—were they to take this proclamation in preference to that which was officially put forth in the name of the Junta? And when violence was alleged against the Junta, could any conduct contrast more favourably with that of their opponents than did the conduct of the Junta with that of the Queen's partisans? We had as a contrast the conduct of the Queen's troops at Braga. We find them putting 150 persons to death, and only making a single prisoner. Every one must understand how it occurred that no prisoners were made; it was, no quarter was given, and killing was the order of the day. Did the troops of the Junta follow this barbarous example in the province of Minho? There we found that the troops of the Junta were successful, and that they were enabled to capture 139 prisoners. But there was no murdering of prisoners—no blood was unnecessarily spilled. And—attend to this—when the troops of the Junta were represented as driven to frenzy by learning that those officers who had capitulated at Torres Vedras, on the understanding that they were to receive all the honours of war, had been embarked for a penal settlement, and embarked, too, in a vessel calculated only to contain half the number put on board, and furnished, according to the surgeon's report, with provisions sufficient to maintain but half that number—when the soldiers of the Junta were driven to fury by the discovery of this outrage, and were about to retaliate on the Duke de Terceira and the officers imprisoned in Oporto; the Junta interfered, and were guilty of a pious fraud—the only fraud of which they were guilty—under pretence of greater security persuading the troops to give up their prisoner, really that he might be sent to a place where his life would be safe. Well, we were called on to interfere to assist the cause of liberty, and we were now told that the constitutional liberties of the Portuguese would be best protected by refusing to cast censure on Her Majesty's Ministers. What guarantee had we, even up to the latest period, that the Queen of Portugal repented of the violence of which she had been guilty? Why, even so late as the 5th of January last, after our Government had interposed, we find that between 350 and 400 political prisoners were made in the city of Lisbon. Two of those gentlemen had called on him yesterday; one of them was M. Manoel de Vilhena, nephew of the Marquess Saldanha, and he stated the nature of the treatment he and others had received. This gentleman had been laid up for some time in a sick chamber, and had taken no part what- ever on either side. He was walking unarmed one evening in the street, when he was suddenly seized by the police and hurried off to one of the principal dungeons in Lisbon. There he found he was in company with between 300 and 400 other political offenders, no one of whom knew what they were accused of, or who were their accusers. They were crowded together in a dungeon, and mixed up with between 700 and 800 felons. There they remained for twenty days, refused permission to see fathers, mothers, wives, or children. There they remained until the 29th of April, twenty days after an intimation had been given by Sir Hamilton Seymour that the Government of England would interpose by force in the quarrel; and there they would probably have remained as prisoners till this day, had not the prison been broken open and the prisoners released, when some seventy or eighty were butchered by the troops of the Queen of Portugal. What guarantee had we in the conduct of the Queen of Portugal's Government that any disposition would be shown by the Queen when again invested with power to govern her people with justice and humanity? The noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown might say—"Gentlemen ask what kind of guarantee have we that these terms will be maintained? I answer, we have given the Junta the faith of the Queen of Portugal, as pledged to the Allies." But the noble Lord had crushed the spirit of independence, and had broken the heart of freedom in Portugal. And though it was true some appearance of kindly government might he kept up for a little while, how was it possible for the Queen of England to secure the satisfactory government of the whole of Portugal, so as to give contentment equally to the people of Lisbon and to those of Oporto? The noble Lord told the House that he had alike proscribed the Members of the Junta and the party of Cabral; but who was to tell of whom the party of Cabral consisted? And this was all the guarantee for the liberties and prosperity of the Portuguese nation, and that they were to be allowed to enjoy those full rights and privileges conferred on them by their constitution! When it became a question of who should be the responsible Ministers of the Crown of Portugal—of what persons that Administration should consist, and who should govern the affairs of the nation —was not the plain course to take to let the victorious party claim the administration, just as in this country the victorious party claimed the administration from their Sovereign, whenever the people became uneasy under their governors, and desired a change? He did not know what the meaning of constitutional government was, unless it was this—that when a contest arose as to how the civil affairs of a country were to he conducted, that the party who gained a majority in the Legislature should he invested with power to conduct the affairs of Government. He felt that there never was an instance in the whole history of this country in which Government had interfered in the domestic concerns of another country with so little of justice on its side. And he considered, from the course pursued by Government, the greatest blow imaginable had been struck at free government in Europe. How could it be expected that the people of Portugal, after this, would venture to make any constitutional exertions to change their Government, let them disapprove of it as they might? They had made efforts—they had secured a majority—but no sooner were they on the eve of success, than the Government of the Queen of England interposed, and sent Her navies—yes, prostituted the Navy of England—to make prisoners of those who, in a just cause, had ventured to rise in arms against a tyrannical Government. He said "in a just cause," for it was laid clown by one of the greatest writers and highest authorities ont he laws of nations by Vattel, "that to attack the constitution of the State and to violate its laws, was a capital crime against society; and if those guilty of it are invested with authority they add to this crime a perfidious abuse of the power with which they are entrusted. And it became the duty of the nation to suppress them with its utmost vigour and vigilance." It was, therefore, clearly the duty of the Portuguese people to repress with the utmost vigour and vigilance all implicated in such an abuse of power as that of which the Queen of Portugal had been guilty. He believed that we had taken a part that would entail future difficulties upon this country. He did not know how, after this, we could ever prevent interference, and say to any other country, "You shall not meddle with the affairs of your neighbours." Should it be the pleasure of the King of the French to interfere in the government of Spain, and should Louis Philippe discover some convenient excuse for deposing Queen Isabella and making the Due de Montpensier reign in her stead, he did not know with what face we could forbid the King of the French from so doing. He believed that the course we had pursued was at variance with all we had done for the last twenty-seven years. From 1820, when the celebrated circular of the British Cabinet was issued to the Allies of Great Britain, deprecating foreign interference in the affairs of Italy, those by whom the councils of the King of England had been guided had incessantly laboured to prevent undue interference with the internal affairs of other countries. How differently the Duke of Wellington acted, when the French nation, for the offences of Charles X., which were as nothing compared with those committed by the Queen of Portugal against the Portuguese people, thought fit to depose that prince! He (Lord G. Bentinck) believed that by the return of post the noble Duke recognised the choice of the French nation of Louis Philippe as de facto King of the French. The same in respect to the affairs of Belgium. We saw the people of Belgium resolved to cast off the yoke of the King of Holland—we did not interfere to stop them. But with regard to Portugal, how the course we have been pursuing contrasts with that pursued by Mr. Canning in 1826, and in the years preceding 1826! So anxious was Mr. Canning that England should not appear even to interfere with the affairs of the people of Portugal, that when Sir C. Stuart permitted himself to be made the bearer of a constitution from Don Pedro, then in the Brazils, to Lisbon, Mr. Canning despatched, by an extraordinary packet, an order calling Sir Charles Stuart home, sending the positive commands of the King himself that he would not protract his stay at Lisbon for a single day; so deeply did Mr. Canning feel that the honour of this country had been compromised by Sir Charles Stuart. And it was within his (Lord G. Bentinck's) knowledge, that whereas Sir Charles Stuart had been promised a Peerage if he succeeded in the legitimate object of his special embassy to Brazil, Mr. Canning felt so deeply the false position in which Sir Charles Stuart bad placed this country, by allowing himself to be the bearer of the constitution, that he was of opinion that Sir Charles had forfeited the title otherwise so well earned to his Peerage; and it was only by the intervention of the late Lord Bathurst, that the Peerage was finally granted to Lord Stuart de Rothesay. What was the language of Mr. Canning to the House of Commons when on the 12th of December, 1826, he moved the Address on the King's Message respecting Portugal?— We go to Portugal," said Mr. Canning, "in the discharge of a sacred obligation contracted under ancient and modern treaties: when there, nothing shrill be done by us to enforce the establishment of the constitution, but we must take care that nothing shrill be done by others to prevent it from being fairly carried into effect; and with respect to external force, while Britain has an arm to raise, it must be raised against the efforts of any Power that should attempt forcibly to control the choice and fetter the independence of Portugal. That is the great principle on which this nation has hitherto acted, and it has succeeded. If we cannot afford to hold high and just language now, when we have an unanimous people on our side, how was it we did so in 1826? The conduct of Her Majesty's present Ministers presents a sad and sorrowful contrast to that of Mr. Canning in 1826, when, with right on his side, and feeling that we were bound to the people of Portugal by the ties of ancient alliance, he feared not the frowns of France, and still less the threats of Spain. But now, however, though Spain is our insolvent debtor for 70,000,000l. sterling, we are to be told, forsooth, that we must submit to be bullied and browbeaten by Spain. If the noble Lord be confident in the sense of right and in the justice of England, and disputes not the justice of the cause of the Portuguese people, how much better it would have become him to have held the language of Mr. Canning; and as Mr. Canning did, to have thrilled the heart of every Member of that House with a repetition of Mr. Canning's proud declaration with which be concluded that celebrated Address—"We go to Portugal, not to dictate, not to rule, not to prescribe constitutions, but to defend and to preserve the independence of an ally. We go to plant the standard of England on the well-known heights of Lisbon; and where that standard is planted, foreign dominion shall not come."

DR. BOWRING moved that the debate be adjourned.


wished before the question was put, to say one word in explanation. He had made a statement in the early part of the evening that no ca- tegorical answer had been given to Senhor Jose Passos, Secretary of Foreign Affairs to the Provisional Government at Oporto, to his inquiry whether, if the ships of the Junta went over the bar of the Douro, they would be liable to be captured by the British fleet wherever they might be met with. He wished to explain that a Gentleman, whose name he had mentioned to the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, called upon him, and gave him that information. But after the letter which had been read by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Macaulay) he was bound to say that he had been misinformed, and to admit that notice had been given.


was perfectly satified that the letter was addressed by Captain Robb, as stated by the right hon. Gentleman. There was, however, one word he wished to address to the noble Lord. A variety of letters had been published in the newspapers purporting to be a correspondence carried on between Sir G. H. Seymour and the Junta party. One, for instance, was a letter dated the 20th of May, and which was said to have been addressed by Sir G. H. Seymour to the Conde das Antas, but which, it appeared, was not delivered till the 31st of May; and another was a letter containing an order to the officer commanding the British fleet at Oporto to stop any ships belonging to the Junta coming out of the Douro. He thought it would be well if the noble Lord were to collect all these letters, and have them printed in an official form. He also hoped the noble Lord would be able to account for the eleven days that elapsed between the date and the delivery of an official document addressed to Das Antas, which at present seemed inexplicable, considering that the British authorities in Portugal had daily communications with the Junta party.


said, that with regard to the hon. Member for Evesham (Mr. Borthwick), the statement he had made respecting the want of notice to the Conde das Antas had been perfectly accounted for; at the same time, the hon. Gentleman would of course admit that his informant was not in a condition to know what had passed at Oporto. He agreed with the hon. Member that his informant was mistaken. Full notice was given to the Junta that their ships would he detained if they went out beyond the bar of the Douro; and Das Antas and the ships did go out with a full knowledge of that fact. With respect to what had been said by the hon. Member for Montrose, as to there having been an interval allowed to take place between the date and the delivery of a letter from Sir G. H. Seymour to Das Antas, the reason of that delay was, that Das Antas was absent from Oporto at the time the letter arrived there, and several days elapsed before he came hack. With regard to the production of further papers, he begged to observe that those already produced were up to the latest date of the time they were asked for. He had to select them from a great mass of papers. Those papers had since accumulated, for a great many had passed subsequently to that period. He promised his hon. Friend that the House should be in possession of the latest correspondence that had occurred within the shortest time in which they could be produced.

Debate adjourned.

House adjourned at ten minutes past One o'clock.