HC Deb 23 February 1871 vol 204 c748

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Why the Despatch of Sir Andrew Buchanan of the 9th day of September, reporting a Communication by the Emperor of Russia to General Fleury, and which Despatch is referred to at page 84, Despatch No. 137, of the Correspondence respecting the Franco-German War, is not given in the volume?


Sir, I am not surprised that my hon. Friend should have called the attention of the House to the omission in question, and Lord Granville regrets that, through an oversight, he should have referred in a public despatch to one of a confidential character; that despatch referred to a conversation between the Emperor of Russia and the French Ambassador, to which Sir Andrew Buchanan was not a party, but the substance of it was confidentially made known to him and reported in the same confidence to Her Majesty's Government. For this reason it would be impossible to publish the Paper in question, as the doing so would involve a breach of confidence.