said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any despatches have been received during the recess from Sir Frederick Bruce relative to the state of affairs in China; and whether the Government have received any official accounts of the proceedings of the Chinese force under the command of Major Gordon, of the Royal Engineers; and if so, whether he will lay them upon the table of the House; also, whether he will lay upon the table all the documents in possession of the Government relative to the dismissal of Mr. Lay from the service of the Emperor of China, and the withdrawal from the Chinese waters of the fleet lately under the command of 217 Captain Sherard Osborne of the Royal Navy?
§ MR. LAYARD
said, that papers on the affairs of China in continuation of those laid upon the table of the House in the previous year, would be shortly presented to Parliament. With regard to Mr. Lay, Her Majesty's Government had no official information, and, therefore, they had no papers in reference to him which could be laid on the table of the House. With reference to the withdrawal of Captain Sherard Osborne's fleet there could be no objection to present those papers to the House if the noble Lord would move for them in the usual manner.