HC Deb 08 April 1859 vol 153 cc1546-7

I wish, Sir, to make a remark regarding the notice which has been given by the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton, that he would this day make some observations, and address certain inquiries to me respecting the present state of our Foreign Relations. I would earnestly request of the noble Lord that he would forbear to-day from making those observations and urging those inquiries. I can assure him that to do so on the present occasion would be inconvenient—and more than inconvenient to the public interest. What I propose to do is this — that on Monday or Tuesday, or, at all events early in the week, I will give notice of a day upon which I will make a statement with respect to the position in which this country is now placed in regard to Foreign Affairs and the negotiations that are going on. That will give to the noble Lord an opportunity of offering in a more satisfactory manner than he could to day those observations, which I am sure that the House will receive with great attention.


Of course, Sir, it is impossible for me to refuse to comply with the request of the right hon. Gentleman. I can assure him my only object is that the country should know, before Parliament is dissolved, what is the position in which we stand in regard to this matter. I have no doubt that the statement to be made by the right hon. Gentleman will completely answer the inquiries I proposed to make; and if it does not, an opportunity will then be given to myself an other Members to express their opinions.


I wish, Sir, to inquire of the right hon. Gentleman whether the question will be brought forward in such a form as will give any hon. Member an opportunity of expressing his opinion upon it.


That certainly is my wish. I shall probably give notice on Monday—it might be inconvenient that I should make the statement on Monday, because the notice to the House would not be sufficient. On that day, however, I shall be able to fix the day (certainly in the course of next week) upon which I shall make a Motion, which will give to the whole of the Members of the House an opportunity of expressing their opinions upon the question.