HL Deb 25 January 1821 vol 4 cc116-8
Earl Grey

rose, to call the attention of the noble lord opposite, to a subject connected with our foreign policy. He had been unsuccessful in his attempt to obtain answers to the questions which he had put to the noble lord on a former night, which led him to fear that he should obtain no information on the present occasion. The noble lord must be aware that a circular letter had lately been addressed to different continental states, and among others, to the senate of Hamburgh. It was in the following terms:—

"The overthrow of the order of things in Spain, Portugal, and Naples, has necessarily caused the cares and the uneasiness of the powers who combated the revolution, and convinced them of the necessity of putting a check to the new calamities with which Europe is threatened. The principles which united the great powers of the continent to deliver the world from the military despotism of an individual issuing from the revolution, ought to act against the revolutionary power which has just developed itself.

"The sovereigns assembled at Troppau, with this intention, venture to hope that they shall attain this object. They will take for their guides in this great enterprise, the treaties which restored place to Europe, and have united its nations together.

"Without doubt the powers have the right to take, in common, general measures of precaution against those states whose reforms, engendered by rebellion, are openly opposed to legitimate governments, as examples have already demonstrated, especially when this spirit of rebellion is propagated in the neighbouring states by secret agents.

"In consequence, the monarchs assembled at Troppau, have concerted together the measures required by circumstances, and have communicated to the courts of London and Paris their intention of attaining the end desired, either by mediation or by force. With this view, they have invited the king of the Two Sicilies to repair to Laybach, to appear there as conciliator between his misguided people and the states whose tranquillity is endangered. By this state of things, and as they have resolved not to recognize any authority established by the seditious, it is only with the king they can confer.

"As the system to be followed has no other foundation than treaties already existing, they have no doubt of the assent of the courts of Paris and London. The only object of this system is, to consolidate the alliance between the sovereigns: it has no view to conquests, or to violations of the independence of other powers. Voluntary ameliorations in the government will not be intruded. They desire only to maintain tranquillity, and protect Europe from the scourge of new revolutions, and to prevent them as far as possible."

He would not stay to inquire how far the conclusion of this circular was in unison with the sentiments stated at its commencement: all he wished to know, was, whether the determination here expressed by the allied powers was founded upon treaties. In this circular it was inferred, that the allied powers would have the consent of the courts of London and Paris to their proceedings. He wished to know whether this paper had been communicated to the government of this country, and whether the inference of support from England had been authorized by the government?

The Earl of Liverpool

said, he had not the least difficulty in answering the question of the noble earl. The paper to which he referred was, he believed, an incorrect copy of a real paper which did exist. However, he had no difficulty in stating, in the first place, that there were no treaties of the nature alluded to in that paper. In the next place, he was able to assure the noble earl, that the court of London was no party to any proceedings now in progress with reference to Naples. In consequence of a paper, similar to that referred to by the noble earl, a paper had been addressed by this government to the difterent powers of Europe, which he should have no objection to lay before the House. That paper would explain the whole policy pursued by this government with reference to the affairs of Naples. He repeated, that he had not the slightest objection to the production of that document, though he could wish, as a matter of convenience, that the noble earl would not move for it that evening.

Earl Grey

expressed himself perfectly satisfied with the answer of the noble earl. He certainly should not move for the production of the paper to-night, after what had fallen from the noble earl; but he hoped that it would be speedily laid before the House, and he confidently expected, from the answer of the noble earl, that that paper would contradict the inferences drawn by the courts of Peters-burgh, Berlin, and Vienna; and show, that they had no right whatever to count upon the co-operation or assistance of this government.

The Earl of Liverpool

had no difficulty in assuring the noble earl, that the paper he had referred to would give a complete contradiction to any inferences, calculating upon the assistance of this government. There, were some arrangements which prevented its immediate production; but he should be ready to lay it before the House in the course of the next week.