HC Deb 05 March 1849 vol 103 c167

rose to put a question, of which he had given notice, He found in the correspondence with foreign States, which had been laid on the table, in reference to the proposed relaxation in our navigation laws, a letter from Mr. Crampton to Mr. Buchanan, the United States Minister, dated January 16 last, in which was the following paragraph:— Although the proposed Bill did not attempt to make the relaxations in the British law strictly dependent upon the legislation of other countries, yet the general policy of each State will be a matter of consideration when such relaxations are in question; and I am instructed to ascertain at the earliest possible period, whether the United States will be prepared to accept advances made on the part of Great Britain for placing the ships of the two countries on a footing of equality, with the single reservation of the coasting trade; or whether the United States Government would prefer to reserve any particular privileges or exemptions to their national vessels, on the understanding that they may there by render it impossible for this country to concede to the United States shipping the whole of the advantages which will, under the contemplated measure, attach to the shipping of such States as may place British and national vessels upon a footing of more perfect equality. He now wished to know whether any answer to that letter had been received from the United States Minister; and, if so, in what spirit the offer had been met?


No official communication has as yet been received in reply; at the same time, Her Majesty's Government have no reason to doubt that such official communication, when it does come, will be couched in the same friendly spirit, and marked by the same conciliatory disposition, as is expressed in Mr. Bancroft's communication.