HL Deb 14 June 1842 vol 63 cc1515-6
Lord Howden

would ask, although his noble Friend the Secretary of Stale for Foreign Affairs was not in his place, whether the Government had received any official report of the recent events in Syria, and whether they confirmed the accounts he had himself received, that that unfortunate country was rapidly retrograding to a state of anarchy? He thought that the policy we had pursued in the East, and especially towards Syria during the last three years, was wholly in error. It was now as difficult for an European to proceed from Beyrout to Damascus, as to travel in the interior of Africa.

The Duke of Wellington

rose to order. He would ask, whether it was right for the noble Lord to make a speech when it was not his intention to make a motion, and had given no notice what he meant to comment upon the conduct of the Members of Government. Such a course was not consistent with the rules of the House, and his noble Friend would forgive him for calling him to Order.

The Earl of Haddington

said, in the absence of the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, did not think it likely that such a question would have been asked of him. He did not possess such information as would entitle him to give an answer to the question. If the noble Lord required any information with respect to the affairs of the East, and would give notice, his noble Friend the Secretary for Foreign Affairs would attend in his place. In the office which he held he had seen letters from officers on that station, but the best information was in the Foreign Office.