HC Deb 06 June 1864 vol 175 cc1262-3

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the Conference has arrived at any decision respecting the maintenance of the Treaty of London, and whether the noble Lord is in a situation to communicate it to the House; and whether the suspension of arms between Denmark and the conflicting Powers has been prolonged?


With regard, Sir, to the first part of the Question, I trust that neither the hon. Member nor the House will think that I am wanting in respect if I am unable, with propriety, to state what have been the proceedings of the Conference with regard to the general matters which they have in hand. In the first place, an agreement was come to by the Plenipotentiaries, that the proceedings should be known only to themselves until some final arrangement was arrived at, and I am sure that the House will see that communications from time to time of what may have passed at particular meetings of the Conference, so far from rendering more easy a satisfactory arrangement, would probably interpose difficulties which it would not be easy to overcome. With respect to the latter part of the Question, I am at liberty to say that no arrangement has yet been made for the continuation of the suspension of arms, which will last till the 12th of this month, but there is good reason to hope that at the next meeting of the Conference some arrangement for that purpose may be made.


said, he wished to know whether the armistice would not expire on Sunday next?


As Sunday-is the day fixed, the armistice will, if it is not renewed, expire on that day.


said, he would beg to ask the noble Lord whether he can state on what day the next sitting of the Conference will be held?


No day has yet been fixed, for this reason; that the Plenipotentiaries are waiting for answers to Despatches which have been sent to their respective Courts. Some few days must elapse before those replies are received, and then the members of the Conference will be summoned to re-assemble.


said, he wished to know whether any arrangement has been made to prevent the war being renewed between the expiration of the armistice and the next meeting of the Conference, if that meeting should not take place until the existing suspension of hostilities is at an end.


No such arrangement could be made. There is no reason to doubt that the Conference will meet again before the expiration of the armistice.