HC Deb 01 April 1878 vol 239 cc288-9

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to lay on the Table of the House any further Papers relating to the negotiations relating to the Congress? I would only point out, in explanation of that Question, that the Papers which came into our possession on Saturday show an interval of a whole month—from the 7th of February, as I believe, to the 7th of March—in the negotiations which took place, and one can hardly suppose that a number of important communications did not take place during that time. But I also want to point out that there are no Papers, such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Friday night rather led us to expect there would be, showing what view was taken by the other Powers of Europe of the preliminary objections taken by Her Majesty's Government to going into Congress — not only by the Court of Austria and by the Court of Berlin, but also by the other European Courts.


There are no communications, I think, that could be laid on the Table besides those which have been presented to the House. With regard to the delay to which the noble Lord refers, that was mainly due to the very long delay which occurred before the official and formal communication of the terms of the Treaty of Peace, during which it was impossible for these communications to be carried on. With regard to the communications with other Governments, I believe there are none but such as are of a confidential character, and which could not be properly laid before the House. With respect to one Paper which has been laid upon the Table this evening, and which I hope will be in the hands of hon. Members to-morrow morning, it is a Circular Despatch which has been prepared by Her Majesty's Government, addressed to all the Powers of Europe, and containing the expression of their opinions upon the position in which we are left by the Correspondence which has passed.