HC Deb 20 February 1857 vol 144 cc931-2

Sir, perhaps I may be allowed to take this opportunity of correcting in some degree a statement which I made yesterday in answer to a question put to me by the noble Lord the Member for Tyrone (Lord C. Hamilton). That noble Lord asked me whether any instructions had been sent out by Her Majesty's Government in contradiction to the instructions which had been forwarded by Lord Grey, when Colonial Secretary, to the Superintendent at Hong Kong with regard to the employment of a military force against China. My answer to that question was, that I believed that no instructions had been sent out relating to that subject. But I have since found, that although it is perfectly true that no instructions had been sent out in contradiction to Lord Grey's instructions, yet that there has been an instruction forwarded which did relate to that matter, and, therefore, the answer which I gave was not literally and completely accurate. I think that under these circumstances the fairest thing I can do is to lay before the House the paper that was sent out, and which, as it partook of the nature of a military document, had been transferred from the Colonial Office to the War Department.


What is the date of that document?


It is dated in 1853.


Sir, I wish to know whether any more recent instructions have been sent out in reference to this matter?


My belief is, that the instruction I have alluded to is the only paper which has been sent out upon the subject, and that paper is less an instruction than a communication from the Horse Guards, containing a mere statement of an opinion.