HC Deb 07 May 1866 vol 183 c483

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he can give the House any information on the present untoward aspect of Continental affairs, and if Her Majesty's Government has either by itself or in accord with France made any friendly offers to the Governments of Italy and Austria, with a view of soothing existing differences and averting from Europe the threatened calamities of war?


I regret, Sir, to say I am not able to give my hon. Friend any satisfactory information or any satisfactory assurance with respect to the present untoward state of affairs on the Continent. The opinion of Her Majesty's Government on the causes and events Which have led to that state of things is well known. It is equally well known to Austria, Prussia, and Italy, that Her Majesty's Government would, with the greatest pleasure, make use of their good offices, and do their utmost, for the purpose of preserving peace, if those good offices were applied for, and if there was any prospect of such good offices leading to any satisfactory result. The wish of Her Majesty's Government has been expressed to the French Government to act with them with a view to that object. It is quite evident that it would be unadvisable on the part of Her Majesty's Government to enter alone into any offer of good offices to any of those Powers which I now fear are on the verge of going to war. In the present critical state of affairs it would be unadvisable and improper to enter into any details on the subject.


said, he wished to know, whether any proposal has been made for a Congress?


replied that no proposal had been made for a Congress, but the question had been under discussion.