HC Deb 09 May 1881 vol 261 cc17-8

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that a considerable number of French troops have been landed in the Bay of Biserta, contrary to the protest of the Bey of Tunis; whether this act, under such circumstances, does not constitute an act of war against the Government of Tunis; and, if so, whether it has been preceded or followed by a declaration of war against the governing power of Tunis; and, whether he will lay upon the Table Papers in the Foreign Office relating to the subject during the Government of Lord Palmerston, about the year 1863?


Sir, it is true that French troops have been landed in the Bay of Biserta, and that Her Majesty's Government have received from the Bey of Tunis a protest against the violation of his territory; but his Highness at the same time states that he continues to be at peace with France, and the Consul of France still holds relations with the Bardo. With regard to the presentation of the Papers of 1863, it would not be convenient to pick out for present publication portions of a very long correspondence, which was of immense bulk, in 1838 and 1864.


asked, whether the hon. Baronet would be willing to lay on the Table the despatch conveying the assurance given to Lord Lyons by M. de St. Hilaire in regard to Tunis?


, in reply, said, that despatch contained assurances which were repeated last week, so there were two despatches, and these would ultimately be laid before the House; but it was not desirable to do that at this moment. The substance of these assurances had been stated twice by himself, and were also stated in the other House by Lord Granville on Friday last.