HL Deb 13 September 1831 vol 6 cc1369-70
The Marquis of Londonderry

wished to ask the noble Earl (Grey), when he intended to lay on the Table the papers relative to the affairs of Portugal, which he had the other night promised to produce as soon as he conveniently could? He also wished to ask him, whether he was prepared to lay on the Table the opinion of the King's Advocate, and the case on which it was founded, for it was his intention, if the noble Earl refused to do this, to make a motion on the subject. And, further, he was more particularly anxious to get an answer to these questions, as he understood that a ship or ships had lately been sent out to the Tagus, in order, probably, to take possession of whatever part of the Portuguese fleet might have been left by the French. It was highly desirable that the subject should be fully and early discussed.

Earl Grey

had no objection to the subject's being fully and early discussed. But he could not take upon himself to say exactly when the papers would be laid on the Table, because, as the noble Marquis must know, that depended on circumstances. He had no intention, however, to withhold the papers a moment beyond the time at which it would be proper to produce them. As to the opinion of the King's Advocate, and the case on which it was founded, he had himself no objection to produce them, but he must take an opportunity to inquire what was usually done in such cases. Perhaps there might be an objection, from that opinion being a confidential communication between the Ministers and the Crown Lawyers; but he himself had no objection. This was all that he thought necessary to say. As to the conjectures and surmises of the noble Marquis, the noble Marquis was perfectly welcome to make such conjectures and surmises, and to form such opinions as he pleased.

The Marquis of Londonderry

was anxious for an early discussion, because he was apprehensive that, after the Reform Bill came up, there would be no opportunity for a full and ample discussion of the affairs of Portugal. He hoped, therefore, that the noble Earl would bring forward the papers at an early period. If the noble Earl would not agree to do this, he would make a motion on the subject, and would give notice to-morrow when he intended to make that motion.

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