HC Deb 04 February 1848 vol 96 cc82-3

wished to take this opportunity of putting a question to the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs respecting the past negotiations in the River Plate. The House would recollect that when the mission of Mr. Ouseley terminated, a copy of his instructions was laid upon the table by the Foreign Secretary. Since that period another mission had taken place to the same quarter; that mission had also terminated; and he wished to know whether the noble Lord would have any objection to lay upon the table a copy of the instructions furnished to Lord Howden?


replied, that he did not think the instructions referred to by the hon. Gentleman could at present be produced, consistently with the public interests. Though the mission of Lord Howden had failed, two other persons were still employed—one by the British and the other by the French Government— in continuing negotiations; and the two negotiations were so connected with each other—the one arising so much out of the other—that he considered it would be disadvantageous to the public service if the instructions given to Lord Howden were laid before Parliament at the present moment. There would, however, be no objection to the production of those instructions when some arrangement had been effected.