HC Deb 06 August 1860 vol 160 cc696-7

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he has now received official information that Abd-el-Kader, by his active and courageous exertions, saved the lives of a lame number—said to be several thousands—of the Christian inhabitants of Damascus, who would otherwise undoubtedly have been massacred; and, if so, whether it would not be generous and sound policy on the part of this Country that we should make some public acknowledgment of such services, as an example and encouragement to the cause of humanity in those countries?


said, the only official allusion to this subject which he found in the despatches lately received was contained in these words:— It is notorious that for some days the Algerines of his Highness the Emir Abd-el-Kader saved from the ruins several hundreds before the Pasha thought of doing so, He would put it to the hon. Gentleman whether there might not sometimes be an abuse of this privilege of asking Questions. Almost every day he was in the receipt of despatches, the contents of which he had to consider, and with respect to which he had to concert with his Colleagues the course to be pursued, afterwards laying the advice of the Government before Her Majesty. If, however, hon. Gentlemen came down to the House asking Questions about despatches which had only just been received, and requesting to know the opinions of the Government on the subjects to which they referred, it was impossible, with every desire to satisfy the curiosity of hon. Gentlemen, that such questions could be answered.