HC Deb 06 December 1852 vol 123 cc980-1

Sir, I have to state to the House that Her Majesty has received a notification that there is a change in the form of Government in France; that the Empire has been re-established in France, and that the Emperor has been proclaimed under the title of Napoleon III. Her Majesty's Ministers, acting upon that policy so long pursued by this country—namely, of recognising every de facto Government—have advised Her Majesty promptly and cheerfully to recognise the new form of Government in France. At the same time it has been conveyed to Her Majesty—first in a friendly and semi- official manner, and ultimately in a formal and official manner—that in accepting the title of Napoleon the Third, the Emperor of the French does not in any way wish to assert his hereditary claim to the Empire. And he declares that his only claim to be considered Emperor is, that he has been elected to that high dignity by the people of France. He has also declared, in a manner perfectly voluntary upon his part, that he entirely accepts all the Governments and all the acts of the Governments which have occurred since the year 1814. I thought it due to the House of Commons that they should at once be placed in possession of these facts, and that they should not owe their knowledge of them to another source.


said, he wished to inquire whether the right hon. Gentleman would have any objection to place the despatch upon the table of the House?


I think there will be no objection to comply with the desire of the noble Lord; I have not, however, considered the question, and I trust that the noble Lord I will not press me for a more definite answer.