HC Deb 25 July 1877 vol 235 cc1796-7

said, he had placed in the hands of the Clerk at the Table the Question which he had desired to ask on the previous evening, and which, had he been permitted to place it on the Paper, he would have prefaced with an expression of regret that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had altogether declined to answer it.


said, that if the hon. Member now proposed to ask the same Question which the right hon. Gentleman declined to answer yesterday he was altogether out of Order.


said, he did not complain of the excellent judgment of the Gentleman who sat at the Table; but the Question which he proposed to put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer was—Whether any communications had been made to Russia by Her Majesty's Government indicating the point at which they would deem it necessary to take hostile action, with a view to obtain the objects of the Government by negotiation instead of force? He did not know if the Chancellor of the Exchequer would think it right to give an Answer; but it would relieve him (Mr. Whalley) and many others of any further trouble if the Chancellor of the Exchequer would inform the House what were the relations existing between this country and Russia with regard to the war now going on in the East, and any other information which he might think it desirable to give to the House.


I cannot think it convenient or for the interest of the public service that I should answer Questions of the nature of that put by the hon. Member for Peterborough. I do not wish to complain of his being desirous to obtain information; but I am obliged to say, in the interest of the public service, that it is not a Question that I can answer. If there were any information which Her Majesty's Government thought it desirable to give to the House, we should take an opportunity of doing so.