HC Deb 07 June 1861 vol 163 cc762-4

said, that, before the Order of the Day for going into Committee of Supply was read, he wished to make an appeal to the hon. Member for Galway (Mr. Gregory), and to ask him whether it was absolutely necessary that he should proceed with the Motion of which he had given notice:—"To call the attention of the House to the expediency of the prompt recognition of the Southern Confederacy of America"? He believed he was speaking the opinion of a great number of persons who were well acquainted with everything which related to the United States of America, and who were deeply interested in our maintaining friendly relations with those States, when he said that it would be very inexpedient at the present moment to enter upon such a discussion.


said, in answer to the question of the hon. Member, he could assure the House that he was the last man who would willingly involve the country in any embarrassment, or take any course which would in any degree be prejudicial to the maintenance of friendly feelings with America. He had proposed to bring forward this Motion because he thought it only fair that one section of the States should have an opportunity of justifying the course which they had taken, and the only object which he had in view in bringing forward the subject was that he might endeavour, if possible, to give a perfectly impartial statement of the differences which exist between the two sections of that country. He must say that he felt himself almost pledged to do so, in consequence of the letters that have been published in the papers, and the speeches that have been made by American Plenipotentiaries; but, although they had heard only one portion of the question, although the information which had been published came almost exclusively from Northern sources, and although he was almost pledged to persevere in his Motion, yet seeing that there was such a strong feeling in the House on the subject, he was unwilling to do anything which could in the slightest degree aggravate or embitter the dispute. He would not put himself in opposition to the wishes of the House, so generally expressed, and, therefore, he would postpone the Motion to some future opportunity. His hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham said, "Withdraw it." He would postpone it sine die, with the hope that he should have some opportunity before the close of the Session of bringing forward the subject; because he must say that it was most unfair and most unjust that publications should be circulated throughout England in which the Southern Confederacy were accused of unwarrantable secession, and its members were called traitors and perjurers; and that he should have no opportunity whatever of putting forward their case in a manner in which it could be dispassionately considered.


said, he wished to know whether the hon. Gentleman meant to bring the subject forward on another occasion or to postpone it altogether?


said, he hoped it would be understood on behalf of those who did not take the same view as the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken—["Order."]


I must remind the noble Lord that there is no Question before the House.


wished to ask the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. Forster) whether it was his intention to proceed with his Motion; which, he apprehended it was perfectly competent for him to do, notwithstanding the withdrawal of the Motion of the hon. Member for Galway?—"To call the attention of the House to the inexpediency of interfering in behalf of those Citizens of the United States who are now in insurrection against their Government, by a recognition of the Confederacy which they have formed."


entirely agreed in the feeling of the House that it was most undesirable there should be a discussion on the merits of the quarrel between the States of America. He should never hare thought of putting his notice on the paper had it not been for the notice of the hon. Member for Galway. If it were only the intention of the hon. Member to postpone his Motion for a short period he believed it would conduce to a better understanding of the relations with America and to preventing misconception were he to bring forward his Motion to-night, [Cries of "No!" and "Agreed."] With the understanding that the Motion of the hon. Member was postponed indefinitely, he would withdraw his Motion altogether.


asked the hon. Member for Galway, whether his notice would remain on the paper? ["No—he said sine die."]

On Motion for the House to go into Committee of Supply,