HC Deb 18 April 1872 vol 210 c1476

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If he would state to the House why Her Majesty's Government had not made the presentation of the Counter Case conditional on the withdrawal of the indirect claims on the part of the Government of the United States, and the admission that the indirect claims were not within the limits of arbitration?


I hope, Sir, the ton. Member will not think me guilty of any discourtesy if I express my doubt as to the expediency of my answering the Question he has just put to me; and mainly for this reason—that what he asks is not information as to any matter of fact, but as to policy and argument. It would hardly be satisfactory to the House that I should state, in answering a Question, the reasons for any particular portion of our conduct without affording an opportunity to hon. Members of making comments on those reasons. I hope, therefore, the hon. Gentleman will be content to let this matter stand over for a short time. We shall be very anxious, indeed, to explain the whole of this matter to the House; but at present, as he knows, we are expecting—I do not mean in a day or two, but in a short time, we have reason to expect further information from America, and the definitive answer of the American Government to the matter laid before them will probably form a material epoch in the progress of this important affair.