HC Deb 02 April 1849 vol 104 cc146-7

begged to repeat the question which he had on more than one occasion put to the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs on the subject of the capture of certain vessels at Monte Video.


believed that the question which the hon. Member had put to him was, by virtue of what adjudication the vessels referred to had been detained? Now, in the first place, no adjudication took place on the capture of vessels of war. If, therefore, the flotilla to which the hon. Member referred had been captured, no adjudication would have taken place, but it would have been a prize of war. But the fact was that the flotilla was not captured at all. The vessels in question were on their return from the blockade of Monte Video to Buenos Ayres, when the English and French admirals required that every English and French subject on board should be landed. The Buenos Ayres admiral declined to comply with that request, and endeavoured to proceed, but was interrupted by the English and French admirals, and compelled to return, and he then abandoned his vessels, which were not captured, but taken charge of, and some of them were lent to Monte Video; some were employed by the French admiral, and one by the English admiral; but Lord Aberdeen, in a despatch to Mr. Ouseley, treated them as liable to be returned whenever a pacification should take place.


asked if the noble Lord had any reason to believe, from any recent information from South America, that British commerce was likely to he relieved by the settlement of the question on the River Plate?


had no precise information on the subject; but from the general aspect of affairs he thought a fair prospect presented itself that matters would be arranged. At present British commerce suffered no obstruction at Buenos Ayres, where, by the last accounts, a perfect hunger and thirst existed for our goods, and British cargoes were purchased up with avidity. At Monte Video, however, he believed there was still some difficulty.

Subject dropped.