HC Deb 21 February 1868 vol 190 cc1007-8

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any diplomatic relations exist at present between this country and the Government of Mexico; and, if so, of what character they are; and, whether Her Majesty's Government intend to take any measures to enforce the due execution of the Conventions previously entered into between the two Governments in favour of British creditors and bondholders?


said, in reply, that in September last the Mexican Government formally announced to the then British Chargé d'Affaires their determination to hold no official communication with the Representatives of those Powers which had recognized the Mexican Empire. They founded that decision, as he understood, upon the principle that the recognition of the Mexican Empire was an act of hostility to the Mexican Republic which, as they contended, had never ceased to exist. Under these circumstances, Her Majesty's Government had no option but to withdraw the British Legation, which was directed to be done in a Despatch to the Chargé d'Affaires, dated the 25th of October last. At present therefore no diplomatic relations existed between England and Mexico; but that state of things was due, not to any act of ours, but to the action of the Mexican Government. The Conventions entered into between the two Governments remained in force; but the question what steps were necessary to enforce the due execution of those Conventions was one of a very grave character, upon which he was sure neither the hon. Member nor the House would desire him to express a hasty or ill-considered opinion. He could only say that the Question would not be lost sight of. He was prepared to lay the Papers on the table.