HC Deb 09 March 1865 vol 177 cc1371-2

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he has any objection to state to the House the substance of the information received by the English Packet, as to the condition of affairs in the River Plate; and, whether instructions have been given to the British Minister and Admiral to prevent a recurrence at Monte Video of a similarly deplorable sacrifice of life and property by the Brazilians and Insurgent Forces, as the Under Secretary of State lately mentioned having been occasioned at Paysandu, by the same invaders of the Republic of Uruguay?


In answer, Sir, to the Question of the hon. Gentleman, I have to say that, according to the latest accounts, an attack was likely to be made on the town of Monte Video, by the sea forces of Brazil, and the land forces of General Flores, assisted in some degree by a Brazilian force. The naval commander of the British force in the River Plate remonstrated with the Brazilian commander upon the presumed intention of bombarding the town of Monte Video, and urged strongly that precaution should be taken that the property and persons of foreigners, of whom a great many are British subjects, should be exempted as far as possible from injury in such an event. Further details are to follow, and papers on the subject are being prepared—those most recently received in conjunction with the others. I am sorry that war is carried on in that part of the world on principles not very congenial to the feelings of Europeans; but we are not interfering in that war, except by earnest representations that it should be carried on with as little danger to the persons and property of foreigners as possible.