HC Deb 27 July 1868 vol 193 c1825

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, What obstacles now impede the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between this Country and the Republic of Mexico?


Sir, the relations at present existing between England and Mexico are not of a satisfactory character. We have no diplomatic intercourse with that Republic, and, consequently, we have no direct means of affording that protection which we should wish to give to British subjects resident in Mexico. But I wish to point out—though I think I stated it before in this House—that though this state of things is one which Her Majesty's Government regret, it is not directly or indirectly their doing. The fact is that the present Government of Mexico, acting, as I venture to think, not very wisely, but acting, no doubt, within their right, chose to consider the recognition by England of the Mexican Empire an act of hostility against the Mexican Republic, which, they contend, was the only legitimate Government ever in existence in that country, though, of course, during the time when the Empire of Mexico was de facto established, it must necessarily have been in abeyance. They therefore upon this ground thought fit to break off diplomatic relations with this country. We cannot deny their right to do that. Neither do I think it would be—I will not say suitable to the dignity, but consistent with the self-respect of this country, they having taken that step, that we should ask them to re-consider it, and admit us again to friendly intercourse. All I can say is, that whenever they may think it right to take what I will venture to call a more rational view, and show a wish to make up this difference, they will not find any difficulty in the way of a reconciliation on our part. But I think the House will agree with me that the first overtures ought to come from them, and not from us.