inquired whether there would be any objection to laying upon the table a copy of the subsidiary treaty which had been entered into with the prince who now occupied the throne of Oude?
§ Lord Glenelg
declined laying the document before their Lordships, because, in fact, it had not been ratified by this Government, and could not therefore be regarded as a treaty.
said, that was no reason for its non-production; for, whether ratified or not, he believed, that it had been acted on.
said, that to assert, that there was no treaty in existence because it had not been ratified at home was not a correct representation of the fact. The treaty was ratified by the Governor-general, and certainly might be acted on. It would be a most extraordinary exercise of power if they were to annul or modify the treaty after it had been ratified by the Governor-general.
§ Lord Glenelg
said, the President of the Board of Control had refused to produce this document, and the House of Commons had coincided in the propriety of that decision.
could not see that any ground had been shown for withholding the treaty merely because it had not been ratified. If anything so monstrous should be disclosed in these papers as that they had at midnight extorted from their puppet an engagement, that he would at any time 1007 sign any treaty which they chose to dictate, and that such an engagement had been acted upon, unless Parliament was ready at once to abdicate all its functions of superintendence and control over the colonial and East-Indian administration of the empire, they were bound to insist on the production of such a document.
§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
did not rise for the purpose of entering into the question as to any objection there might be to produce this paper. He was bound to admit, that there was on the face of this transaction what must naturally have attracted the attention of Parliament; but he was sure his noble and learned Friend would hear with much satisfaction what he had now distinctly to state, that not only did his noble Friend at the head of the government in India, immediately, on being informed of this treaty, express his disapprobation of the manner in which the promise to procure it had been drawn from the sovereign of Oude, but he also caused it to be intimated in the most explicit manner to that prince, that he was in no degree bound by the promise to sign such a treaty, and entirely relieved from any stipulations or conditions it imposed.
thought that declaration amounted to little better than nothing. This poor man engaged, under duress, to sign any treaty that should be dictated to him, and what did it signify that Lord Auckland had said to him, "Whatever you may have signed is not at all binding on you?" The fact was, after that release he was found to have signed a treaty giving us seventeen lacks of rupees. Why did he sign or execute that treaty? He executed it post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
entirely agreed with the noble and learned Lord in thinking, that the treaty should be produced, and that the person who transacted it should immediately have been recalled.
§ Subject dropped.