HC Deb 21 June 1861 vol 163 cc1421-2

said, the would beg to ask the Secretary of Stare for Fo- reign Affairs, Whether he has received any, and, if any, what assurance from the Government of Spain that it will not take advantage of the events which have lately occurred in the eastern portion of the island of St. Domingo to introduce Slavery or the Slave Trade into any part of that island?


said, he could best answer the question of the Member by reading to the House extracts from two Despatches which had recently been received. In a Despatch, dated April 22nd, Mr. Edwardes stated that Marshal O'Donnell had told him— You can toll your Government that which it will be pleased to hear—namely, that whatever may be our decision, whether or not we accept the annexation of St. Domingo, no slavery shall exist there, because I consider it contrary to existing treaties and not in accordance with civilization. It exists in Cuba and in Porto Rico because the land requires it. Again, in a Despatch of date May 2nd, Mr. Edwardes wrote— As to the question about slavery, Marshal O'Donnell stated to him that 'he had given me assurances which he was ready to repeat, and His Excellency did so in the same terms that he used on two previous occasions, which I have already had the honour to report to your Lordship.'