HC Deb 21 March 1848 vol 97 cc847-8

begged to ask the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it were true, as reported, that the Marquess of Norman by, acting on instructions which he had received from the Foreign Office, had gone to M. Lamartine to apologise for this country having afforded an asylum to the Royal Family of France. He wished to state that he did not believe that the rumour had any foundation in fact, but he thought it was desirable that the noble Lord should have an opportunity of contradicting such a statement.


There is no foundation for the statement that any communication of the kind to which the hon. Member has alluded has taken place, or has been sent from me to Lord Normanby, or through any other channel, in regard to the Royal Family of France. It is, however, true that Lord Normanby conveyed in a private letter to me a statement that misapprehension and some degree of jealousy were likely to arise on the part of persons in France in regard to the reception which might be given in this country, not to the Royal Family of France, but to the late Ministry of the French Government; and I, in a private letter, desired Lord Normanby, in case of any such feeling being expressed to him, to state that the reception given to these persons was, and would be, the reception always given by this country to men who, from unfortunate circumstances, found themselves obliged to seek any asylum among us—the reception of hospitality; but that in all dealings with the French Government Her Majesty's Government would act honestly, fairly, and openly, and that in no case would there be the slightest ground for imputing to us any act hostile to them.


begged to ask his noble Friend whether there was any foundation for a rumour that some documents had come into the possession of the Provisional Government of France implicating the Duke and Duchess de Mont-pensier in some extraordinary transactions; and that these documents had the effect of hastening the departure of those personages from England?


I am very glad that my noble Friend has put the question to me, if there appears to have been on the public mind any doubt on this matter. There has been no such communication made to Her Majesty's Government by the Provisional Government of France. I have not heard that any such correspondence, or any correspondence of any kind affecting the Duke and Duchess de Mont-pensier, has been discovered. I have no knowledge or belief of anything of the kind having taken place, and at all events no communication of the sort or kind has been made to me. With regard to the departure of the Duke and Duchess de Mont-pensier from this country, it was entirely the result of their own choice; and so far from that departure having been the result of any communication that had been made by us, I think the House will see that there are many reasons why we should think it desirable that they should remain here instead of going away.