HC Deb 03 May 1847 vol 92 cc305-6

said, that he was anxious to put two questions to the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office, of which he had given him notice some days ago. The first question related to a rumour which had been sanctioned by the authority of the Journal des Débats, the organ of the French Government. The rumour was to the effect that the Governments of France, England, and Spain had determined to interfere in the affairs of Portugal, and that they based their right of interference on a treaty which, as many of its provisions were not acted upon, must be considered defunct—the Treaty of the Quadruple Alliance. That statement had appeared in the Journal des Débats of the 26th of last month, which contained quotations from the Spanish papers in support of its authenticity. He had looked into some of the Spanish papers, and had not found any statements to that effect, but he had not been able to look into all of them. The Journal des Débats, however, of Friday last, had considerably modified its former report. Now, it was right that the noble Lord should set the public mind at rest upon so important a matter. The second question was this—what was the nature and what the extent of interference in the affairs of Portugal which Her Majesty's Envoy of the Court of Lisbon had been instructed to adopt under the recent circumstances of that country?


In answer to the first question put to me by the hon. Gentleman, I have to state, that in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government the present state of things in Portugal is not a state of things to which the Treaty of the Quadruple Alliance is applicable, for that treaty exclusively refers to a dispute as to the succession to the Throne, and there is now no question of disputed succession in Portugal. As to the second question, I am persuaded that the House will feel that it is not possible for me to answer the question of the hon. Gentlemen in the shape in which he has put it. All I can say is, that it is the anxious desire of Her Majesty's Government to bring about a pacification—an accommodation between the contending parties, and that no effort on our part shall be wanting to heal the differences existing in that country.

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