§ Earl Grey presented to the House, by his Majesty's command, a copy of the Convention between his Majesty and the Emperor of all the Russias, and moved that it be printed.
§ The Earl of Aberdeen
said, that the noble Earl had departed from the usual practice of laying such documents simultaneously before both Houses, for a copy of this treaty had been yesterday laid before the House of Commons. He perceived from that copy, that this convention was signed on the 16th of November, 1831, and that by the first article of it, his Majesty engaged to recommend to his Parliament to enable him to make the payments guaranteed by the convention of 1815. When he recurred to the date of the convention, and when he recollected the arguments which had been made use of by his Majesty's Government, to justify the payment of these monies without the sanction of Parliament, he thought that there must be some mistake as to its date, and that it should be the 16th of June instead of the 16th of November, 1831. He would offer no opinion as to this convention now, as, seeing that his Majesty engaged to apply to Parliament to enable him to fulfil the engagements it contained, he presumed that the noble Earl would, at some time, and in some manner, call upon the House to do so, and that then they would be enabled to discuss the subject of this treaty. He observed that in this convention the two Powers referred to the convention of the 19th of May, 1815, and to an additional article connected with that convention. He believed that 1085 there was an additional article to the treaty of the 15th of May, which had never yet been laid before Parliament. Now, as the contents of that article might form part of the justification of his Majesty's Ministers for entering into this convention, he supposed the noble Earl would have no objection to the production of that document.
§ Earl Grey
said, that with respect to the first point alluded to by the noble Earl, that of informality in not laying the paper before the two Houses on the same day, he had only to state, that he was on his way yesterday to that House, for the purpose of laying the papers before their Lordships, when he was met by several noble Lords, who informed him that the House had already adjourned. With respect to the other question of the noble Earl, he was not aware that he could, at that moment, give him any information. As to the additional article of May 15, he did not know that it had not been laid before Parliament. If it had not been produced, he supposed that some reason existed for adopting that course. For his own part, he was not aware of any objection to a compliance with the suggestion of the noble Earl. He hoped, however, that the noble Earl would not press for a positive answer, until he (Earl Grey) had an opportunity of making some inquiry on the subject.