HL Deb 15 June 1847 vol 93 cc540-96

My Lords, the course which has been pursued in the present Session by those in both Houses of Parliament who, like myself, have not the advantage of being able to place entire confidence in the measures of Her Majesty's present advisers, will, I think, sufficiently vindicate us from any imputation of being influenced by any desire of practising hostility to that Government, of having endeavoured vexatiously to thwart or to impede any of their legislative measures, or of having any desire minutely to criticise or captiously to censure any of those acts which they have thought it their duty to perform in conformity with their executive power. With respect to the internal affairs of this country, I think it will he admitted by the noble Marquess opposite, that although we have found ourselves on some occasions called upon to oppose Her Majesty's Government, we have done so with no indication of hostile feeling; that in proposing amendments to the measures that have been suggested, those amendments, both their form and the language with which we have supported them, have been such as to show our unfeigned desire to co-operate by more effectual provisions in the measures which Her Majesty's Government have themselves contemplated and desired. And with regard to that important question which has absorbed so much of your Lordships' attention in the present Session, much as we have disapproved of several relief measures which have been taken by Her Majesty's Government with respect to Ireland, yet we have always been ready to make allowance for the difficulties of the situation in which they have been placed, and the embarrassments those difficulties have caused to them, whilst our measures have not been calculated to throw unnecessary blame upon them, or to condemn errors of judgment which on their part Her Majesty's Government have frankly and honestly admitted. With respect to the foreign policy of the country, there were many in Parliament who much disapproved of the course, and still more of the tone, adopted in our diplomatic negotiations at the commencement of the Session, on the subject of Spain; but so far from pressing on your Lordships or the country the expression of our disapproval, we have sedulously endeavoured to abstain from and prevent all discussion on those points of difference; because we think that, whatever may be our opinion respecting the conduct of Government, the expression of that opinion and the renewal of those discussions would servo no other purpose than to create and to renew excitement and irritation between this country and that great neighbouring State with which I have always been of opinion that it was essential to the peace of Europe that we should maintain the most friendly relations and the most amicable concurrence. But when I find her Majesty's Government entering on a course of foreign policy which appears to me to be inconsistent with the first principles of justice, and in violation of the universally received law of nations, which is not only not called for or required by any obligations of treaty on our part, but is rather contrary to the provisions and positive stipulation of treaties—treaties of old standing and frequent renewal—when I find that our interference in the internal affairs of Portugal is undertaken not only in a manner at variance with the rights of that independent nation, but also in a spirit which I must say is far from being one of impartiality between the contending parties—believing that the admission of that principle and the introduction of that force is likely to place this country in a position of serious and long-continued embarrassment—my Lords, then I feel it is our duty no longer to keep silence; it is your Lordships' business to vindicate yourselves in the eyes of the country, in the eyes of Europe, in the judgment of the present time and the judgment of posterity, from the supposition that you partook in the principles or approved the course which has been pursued; and it is your duty to see that you shall not subject yourselves to any misrepresentation or misunderstanding of your opinions by maintaining a silence which might appear to indicate approval of the course that has been pursued. My Lords, I say also that if it be your duty on subjects of this grave importance to express an opinion as one branch of the Legislature of this great empire, the present is emphatically the time at which the expression of that opinion ought to be given to the world. My Lords, we do not now interfere with any pending negotiations; we do not call for any disclosures necessary for the elucidation of facts, but dangerous to make with a view to the public interests. The action of the Executive Government is complete; the Ministers have fulfilled the responsibility which their situation and their office have imposed upon them; they have, in the exercise of their high functions, concluded a treaty or convention—call it what you please—an agreement with foreign States, which in good faith is binding upon this country, whatever may be our opinions, and whoever may be the Minister who shall have to carry it into execution. No vote of your Lordships can interfere with the execution of that treaty; it is, as regards the acts which have been undertaken to he performed, a treaty binding upon this country; and the Government themselves, in laying that treaty upon the Table of your Lordships' House, announced to you that they had conferred upon it their final sanction; they appeal to you for your judgment, they challenge your decision, they offer to you a full exposure of the facts, and they ask you to pronounce your judgment, whether they have rightly, wisely, discreetly, and soundly exercised the trust which the constitution places in their hands. My Lords, my charge against Her Majesty's Government—for I do not disguise it that it is a charge against Her Majesty's Government—consists in this, that the treaty into which they have entered is in violation of the principles of international law—that it is a violation of a great fundamental principle—that it is called for by no treaty—nay, that it is repugnant to the treaties into which we have heretofore entered with Portugal—that their mediation has not been impartial; that their execution of the treaty in good faith, as I doubt not they desire to execute it, is difficult, if not impracticable, in itself, and likely to lead this country into a perpetual labyrinth of complications threatening the most serious embarrassments to our diplomatic and foreign relations. My Lords, I conceive that there is no principle more distinctly established or more universally recognised than this, that with respect to the purely internal and domestic concerns of any State, no other country has a right to interfere, but least of all to interfere by force of arms; and that the only possible qualification of this universal principle is, that the affairs so-called domestic and internal, are in their nature such as immediately and directly to endanger, if not the institutions, at least the great loading interests of the country which claims a right to interfere. My Lords, I will not attempt to strengthen my position on this point, which lies at the root of the question, by adverting to the dicta of jurists, though such may be found in abundance; but I trust I may be forgiven by your Lordships if I advert to facts and circumstances in the memory of some of those whom I have now the honour of addressing, and within the limits of what we may all of us call our own time, for the purpose of showing the unvarying and constant course of proceeding in our ordinary policy, not adopted by this or by that Administration, but by every statesman of the present century, without reference to their differing political opinions. My Lords, it must be in our own recollection that our greatest and most powerful neighbour—the chief among the Continental States of Europe—has twice been visited by revolutions which have shaken society to its foundations, and which have overturned the Throne of that country. Now, upon neither of these occasions, or upon account of these internal troubles and dissensions, did this country feel itself justified in interfering in the internal affairs of France, nearly as that country is connected with this by the multiplicity and number of our diplomatic relations. I need hardly remind your Lordships, that when, in 1792, the French Revolution was at its height—when the Sovereign of France was no longer in the exercise of his regal functions, but was a prisoner in the hands of his revolted subjects—when you had withdrawn, and rightly withdrawn, the Ambassador accredited to a Sovereign who no longer possessed the powers of sovereignty—my Lords, upon that occasion, nay, upon the very eve of the bloody tragedy which crowned that Revolution, and which created so much astonishment and detestation—the language of the Throne of this country, within a month of that proceeding, was the language, no doubt, of apprehension with respect to the consequences, but still of abstinence from pretensions of intervention in the affairs of another State. In the Speech from the Throne delivered on the 13th December, 1792, His Majesty declares— I have carefully observed a strict neutrality in the present war on the Continent, and have uniformly abstained from any interference with respect to the internal affairs of France; but it is impossible for me to see, without the most serious uneasiness, the strong and increasing indications which have appeared there of an intention to excite disturbances in other countries, to disregard the rights of neutral nations, and to pursue views of conquest and aggrandizement, as well as to adopt towards my allies the States General (who have observed the same neutrality with myself) measures which are neither conformable to the law of nations nor to the positive stipulations of existing treaties. Under these circumstances, as a matter of precaution, the King applied to Parliament to enable him to augment the naval and military defences and forces of the country; but even after the murder—the judicial or civil murder—of Louis XVI., it was France against England, and not England against France, which first issued the declaration of war. Then began that fearful and prolonged struggle which, with two brief intermissions, subsisted for the period of three-and-twenty years without any relaxation of its violence; during the course of which every country but this was overrun by the colossal power of France — every Throne but this was shaken and subjugated by her armies. This country alone, unsubdued, amidst all adverse circumstances, stood the brunt of that stern and long protracted contest, in the labouring years of which, inch by inch, from Torres Vedras to Bayonne, and from Waterloo to the walls of Paris, the tide of French encroachment was driven back. In its progress, the independence of nations long shackled was maintained and asserted, and by its results was finally established the great principle for which we had been contending upon the ever-memorable field of Waterloo. My Lords, when, again, in the year 1830, the Sovereign of France, by a violation of the laws of his country—by an infraction of the constitutional rights of his subjects — was driven from his throne— that Sovereign, on whoso head you had helped to place the French crown, for whose family you had made so many sacrifices—did you for a moment dream of interfering to re-establish in France the tyranny of Charles X.? No, my Lords, you pursued another course; you directed your Ambassador to recognise the new Sovereign; and in the Speech from the Throne, delivered in 1830, His Majesty announced to Parliament that— The elder branch of the house of Bourbon no longer reigns in France; and the Duke of Orleans has been called to the Throne by the title of King of the French. Having received from the new Sovereign a declaration of his earnest desire to cultivate the good understanding, and to maintain inviolate all the engagements subsisting with this country, I did not hesitate to continue my diplomatic relations and friendly intercourse with the French Court. At a somewhat earlier period, the great principle of non-interference was laid down by the noble and gallant Duke on the cross benches (the Duke of Wellington), when, at the Congress of Verona, he addressed to the French Plenipotentiary a memorandum to the following effect:— Verona, Oct. 30, 1822. Since the month of April, 1820, the British Government have availed themselves of every opportunity of recommending to His Majesty's Allies to abstain from all interference in the internal affairs of Spain. They considered that an interference, with a view to assist the monarch on the throne to overturn that which had been settled, and which he had guaranteed, or to promote the establishment of any other form of government or constitution, particularly by force, would only place that monarch in a false position, and prevent him from looking to the internal means of amelioration which might be within his reach. My Lords, one other great authority I may be allowed to cite, with whom I know many of your Lordships differed materially in political opinion; but one to whose memory I look with affectionate reverence—one whom noble Lords opposite are bound to receive as an authority of great weight—and one of whom those who differed the most with him in political matters would not have hesitated then, and still less would hesitate now, to declare that he was a statesman keenly anxious for the welfare of his native country, keenly and delicately sensitive to the honour of that country in. her domestic as well as her foreign relations. My Lords, in 1830 negotiations were going on between the Five great Powers of Europe, in pursuance of the stipulations of the Treaty entered into for the purpose of arbitrating and settling terms of arrangement between Belgium, then virtually separated from Holland, and the kingdom of Holland itself. The Speech from the Throne, delivered by the advice of Lord Grey, announced in deliberate terms the principle which I am anxious to lay down to your Lordships. It said— The principle on which those conferences have been conducted, has been that of not interfering with the right of the people of Belgium to regulate their internal affairs, and to establish their Government according to their own views of what may he most conducive to their future welfare and independence, under the sole condition, sanctioned by the practice of nations, and founded on the principle of public law, that in the exercise of that undoubted light the security of neighbouring States should not be endangered. To the principle so laid clown, a noble Friend of mine, not now in his place, demurred, as not going far enough, because, he argued, that with that qualification there was no neighbouring State which might not fairly say that the internal concerns of the neighbouring countries, and a change in their political institutions, might not be held to be dangerous to its interests. This afforded Lord Grey an opportunity of strengthening the position he laid down, that interference in the affairs of foreign States was not allowed by the requirements of international justice. Earl Grey said— The construction which he (Earl Grey) put on them was this—that no form of government which a nation might choose would justify an interference in its choice, unless one of direct hostility or danger to the party interfering. Even the apprehension of danger to a country would not be a justifiable ground of interference. He would go farther, and say, in the particular case, that if the Belgians had adopted a republican instead of a monarchical form of government, he did not think that it would have been a justifiable ground for interference by other countries. That was the language of Lord Grey at a memorable time. The revolution of France was not twelve months old; the constitu- tional, although the revolutionary throne of Louis Philippe was not firmly established; republicanism was neither dead nor asleep in France; the establishment of a republic in Belgium, upon the frontiers of France, amongst a people speaking the same language, and connected by many ties with France, must necessarily have excited the jealousy of the constitutional monarch of France. Under such circumstances, Lord Grey laid down, without qualification or hesitation, the principle that even such a state of things would not justify the interference of France; and that he, as a British Minister, would not permit such interference. My Lords, it may be, however, said, that although this principle be clear with respect to other nations, yet there are between these two countries of England and Portugal, such close and intimate relations, such especial obligations as would justify, with respect to Portugal, a course which would not be justified with respect to any other country. My Lords, it is true, we have special and close relations with Portugal—we have obligations to Portugal, confirmed by a series of treaties, the earliest of which, I believe, was concluded not far from 500 years ago. But if those obligations bind us to one thing distinctly, it is this—that, under all circumstances and in all conditions, we will not permit the soil of Portugal to be invaded or violated by any foreign Power whatsoever. My Lords, it was upon this principle that, in virtue of the stipulations of treaties, Mr. Canning sent that expedition to Lisbon, with a view of securing Portugal against the invasion of Spain. At that time a civil contest was going on in Portugal; but it was not upon that ground that Mr. Canning called upon the British Parliament to interfere—it was because, in the prosecution of that civil contest, one of the Pretenders to the throne of Portugal was levying troops in Spain, was there recruiting his forces and mustering his bands, and was from thence, with Spanish assistance, invading the soil of Portugal. It was upon these grounds that Mr. Canning called upon Parliament to sanction his interference, when he wound up his address with that famous peroration which I had the good fortune of hearing. He said, "Let us fly to the aid of Portugal, by whomsoever attacked, because it is our duty to do so; and let us cease our interference when that duty ends. We go to Portugal, not to rule—not to dictate—not to prescribe constitutions—but to defend and preserve the independence of an ally. We go to plant the standard of England on the well-known heights of Lisbon. Where that standard is planted, foreign dominion shall not come." My Lords, I would that the spirit of Canning was now presiding over the foreign counsels of this country. I would that there were here the indignant eloquence of a Canning to denounce the conduct of those Ministers who, for the purpose of saving a foreign Sovereign from the effects of her own misgovernment, interfered to subvert the constitutional liberties of Portugal; invited a French fleet to enter the waters of the Tagus and the Douro; and called upon a Spanish army to invade those fields of Portugal which this country has bound itself by treaty to protect from all aggression. It was not Mr. Canning only, my Lords, who thus construed the duties and obligations of this country. In 1828, after a series of violations of the most solemn engagements, and by acts of unparalleled treachery, Don Miguel, who had been appointed Regent of Portugal, succeded in usurping the throne of his niece, his Sovereign, and his intended wife. At that moment the troops of this country were in Lisbon. Did we maintain them there for the purpose of interfering even in that case, in which the throne of a Sovereign whom you had recognised was invaded by a usurper, who had bound himself to you by the most solemn obligations to make no such attempt? No, my Lords, far from it. The period of danger from foreign intervention had gone by; there were no longer attemps at Spanish interference; and at the moment when the cause of the usurper in Portugal was triumphant, he was assailed by no menaces from without. Thus the conditions on which alone you were entitled to interfere had expired; and the British troops that might have effectually protected the throne of your ally, were withdrawn upon the faith of the treaty, because their presence interfered with the settlement of the internal dissessions of the country. My Lords, I will not fatigue you by citing the statements which were made by distinguished men of all parties on that occasion; all men joined in approving the course which had been taken. Sir James Macintosh—no unimportant authority in matters of constitutional and international law —declared it to be his opinion that affairs had been so ordered as to give to this country the means of demonstrating to the world its entire impartiality in the performance of its obligations of those treaties, first, under a democratic or constitutional form of government, then under the absolute monarchy established by Don Miguel. The form of government, he contended, had rightly been considered as having no bearing on the question; but he looked to the fulfilment of treaties, and consequent upon that the total abstinence from interference in the internal concerns of other States, as the great principle on which this country had always acted. The noble Marquess opposite on that occasion also strongly approved of non-interference in the affairs of Portugal, and expressed his anxious wish that His Majesty's Government should impress on all foreign countries the duty of adhering strictly to the principles to which they had themselves so firmly adhered. My Lords, I need hardly remind your Lordships, that when, in the following year, the contest between the princes of the House of Braganza still continuing, the Marquess Barbacena, on the part of the Queen of Portugal, applied for assistance, on the ground of treaties, my noble Friend the Earl of Aberdeen, then Foreign Secretary, replied— It is assumed that the usurpation of the throne of Portugal, by the Infante Don Miguel has given to Her Most Faithful Majesty the right of demanding from this country effectual succours for the recovery of her crown and kingdom. But in the whole series of treaties there is no express stipulation which can warrant this pretension; neither is such an obligation implied by their general spirit and tenor. It is either for the purpose of resisting successful rebellion, or of deciding by force a doubtful succession, that Great Britain is now called upon to act. But it is impossible to imagine that any independent State could ever intend thus to commit the control and direction of its internal affairs into the hands of another Power. For, doubtless, if His Britannic Majesty be under the necessity of furnishing effectual succours in the event of any internal revolt or dissension in Portugal, it would become a duty, and indeed it would be essential, to take care that no such case should exist if it could be prevented. Hence a constant and minute interference in the affairs of Portugal would be indispensable; for His Majesty could never consent to hold his fleets and armies at the disposal of King of Portugal without exercising those due precautions and that superintendence which would assure him that his forces would not he employed in averting the effects of misgovernment, folly, or caprice. The truth is, that the whole spirit of the treaties, as well as their history, shows that the principle of the guarantee given by England is the protection of Portugal from foreign interference. And although, my Lords, in the civil war which for so long a time afterwards raged between the princes of the House of Braganza, the Opposition of the day more than once charged against the Government misconduct in the mode of dealing with the question, yet the principle of non-interference and neutrality was agreed upon as the starting point from which to set out, and the charge against Government invariably was, that for the purpose of favouring that political party to which they appeared most disposed to adhere, the Government of the day had departed from the neutrality which had been the uniform policy of British Ministers. I am, perhaps, detaining your Lordships at too great length by citing authorities for the application of the principle for which I contend, and which lies at the root of the whole subject; but this principle I think it my duty to substantiate to your Lordships, not only by the maxims of jurists and writers on public law, but by the practice which statesmen of all shades of politics have followed, which, I maintain, goes to establish beyond dispute the justness of this principle of non-interference by any foreign nation in the internal affairs of any other independent State; and that these obligations are not weakened—on the contrary, that, if affected in any respect, they are strengthened in the present case by stipulations to which we are pledged by treaty in respect of our ancient connexion with Portugal. There is one consideration with which I must trouble your Lordships on this part of the question; and I do it the rather that for the purpose for which I am striving it is my duty to press an authority to which I may appeal with confidence for the effect it will have on the noble Lords opposite. At the same time there is a qualification of that opinion of so apposite a character from the noble Lord who pronounced it, that I think it well worthy of your Lordships' attention; and the rather as it affords a proof that this whole course of proceeding has rendered the noble Viscount now at the head of our Foreign Affairs, with all his talents, ability, and industry, a most dangerous Foreign Minister for England. The principle laid down by Viscount Palmerston, in the debate which took took place in 1829, was this:— The ground upon which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department has defended the doing of all that has been done, and the not doing of all that has been omitted, is the principle of non-interference. That is to say, the principle that every nation has a right to manage its own internal affairs as it pleases, so long as it injures not its neighbours; and that one nation has no right to control by force of arms the will of another nation in the choice of its Government or ruler. To this principle I most cordially assent. It is sound—it ought to he sacred; and I trust that England will never be found to set the example of violation. But in all discussions, it is of great importance to come to a clear understanding of the precise moaning of terms used in debate; and let us, therefore, strip the word interference of an ambiguity which tends to perplex and confuse. If by interference is meant interference by force of arms, such interference the Government are right in saying, general principles and our own practice forbade us to exert. But if by interference is meant intermeddling, and intermeddling in every way, and to every extent, short of actual military force—then I must affirm, that there is nothing in such interference which the laws of nations may not in certain cases permit; and that the whole history of the connexion between England and Portugal has been almost one unbroken chain of such interference on our part; nay, more, that the complaint to which the present Government is most justly exposed, is, not that they have not interfered, but that they have interfered only on the wrong side." * The noble Lord has here laid down his general views on this subject. He stands up against interference or intervention, but he upholds the principle of intermeddling on all occasions. There is the very secret of the noble Viscount's policy, that in his management of foreign affairs he has gone on intemeddling so far as he can go without the necessity for an armed intervention; but this principle has at last led to the necessity for that very armed intervention which he himself declares the general-principles and practice of the English Government alone forbids him to adopt. It may be said that the conduct of Government on this occasion was somewhat similar to that they adopted in 1834. In that year there was a state of things very remarkable. Two female Sovereigns, who were recognised by this country, sat on the Thrones of Spain and of Portugal. Two male Pretenders sought the Crowns of these countries, and both of them being combined, their forces were at the same time within the kingdom of Portugal, there consulting and concerting the means of a conjoint invasion of Spain and Portugal, to obtain the dominion over them. It was then, my Lords, that Spain, with justice, as I say, complained of these proceedings. Spain had good grounds of complaint against Portugal, and she had also a right, for her own safety, to expel the Pretender to the Spanish Throne from Portugal. England recognised that principle: she combined with France and with Spain for * Hansard, Vol. xxii. New Series p. 1645. the definite purpose, and for that alone, of expelling from Portugal the Pretender to the Throne of Spain; and they limited the performance of the treaty to the specific object for which it was intended—that is to say, the expulsion of Don Miguel and Don Carlos from the kingdom of Portugal. But so anxious was the noble Lord then at the head of Foreign Affairs—my lamented Friend, Earl Grey—to keep within the narrowest hounds, and to preserve in the strictest conformity with the national obligations, the agreement as entered into between Spain and Portugal for the expulsion of the claimant of the Throne of Spain from the latter kingdom, that when the forces of His British Majesty were invited to co-operate with that object, so far from asking the French fleet to enter the Tagus along with us in support of these measures, His Majesty the King of France agreed with this Government that in the event of his assistance being required or found necessary, he should be ready to give such assistance, and such assistance only, as would be found absolutely necessary to carry out the object of these Powers. And, my Lords, it is a very difficult question whether that treaty with regard to its duration and object was not unduly extended by the four additional articles which were subjoined to it after the retirement of Earl Grey from the office of Secretary for Foreign Affairs; for these articles, though stated to be in fulfilment of the treaty, contemplated—not the expulsion of the Pretenders to the two Crowns from the country, but an adjustment for the purpose of maintaining the rights and liberties of Spain and Portugal. I have always thought this was a question of great difficulty, and of extremely doubtful policy. I have always considered that it went beyond the necessity of the case, and formed a most dangerous and inconvenient precedent; for whatever may be the question, we cannot limit the principle to the case of Spain, and it may lead to much more serious results. If this be indeed so, and that this principle of non-interference is to be laid down without any qualification, it becomes my duty to show to your Lordships, in connexion with the second branch of this question, that the state of affairs in Portugal in which you have been called upon to interfere, is a state of things purely domestic and entirely internal, and not such as to call for your interference. I will show your Lordships it is a state of things which entitles no other country to interfere, affecting the dynasty of Portugal solely, and all in conformity with the constitutional rights of the subjects of the Queen, which had been infringed by arbitrary conduct on the part of the Government. But in order to substantiate this assertion, I am afraid I must trouble you, my Lords, to go back to a period antecedent—though not very much so—to the date of the papers which have been laid on the Table by Her Majesty's Government. These papers inform us of the occurrences of the revolution, but they do not inform you of its causes; and I will, therefore, state to your Lordships what were those causes which led to the coup d'etat, and the revolution which accompanied it. During the period of March or April, 1846, there was, I believe, not nominally, but certainly really and in effect, at the head of the so-called official Government of Portugal—that of the Duke de Terceira—a Minister who had the real control of that Government—Senor Costa Cabral. He was a man of bold, stirring, energetic, ambitious, and not over-scrupulous character, who had commenced life as the ultra supporter of most ultra republican principles, and who in 1836 was considered the indiscreet leader of the party of Septembristas. He supported them, however, with considerable ability, and on their coming into power he was rewarded with a subordinate post in the police of Lisbon. In that capacity he showed himself possessed of some energy, and made himself of use to the Government; and at no distant period, from being the leader of the radicals, he came forward in the character of a most violent partisan of absolutism, and. with all the zeal of a recent convert, went beyond its most extravagant doctrines. Being considered somewhat of a dangerous character, he was not included in the arrangement of the Duke de Terceira's Cabinet; but by heading a successful emeute he made himself so formidable to the Government, that he ultimately obtained his object; he was called into the Cabinet, and was appointed to the post of Minister of the Interior. It is not too much for me to say—for there is abundant proof of the truth of the assertion in the Foreign Office of this country, at this very moment—that under the government of Costa Cabral peculation, corruption, and oppression prevailed through all classes employed by the Portuguese Government; that scarcely one-half of the money levied ostensibly for the maintenance of the army was applied to that ob- ject, the remainder finding its way into other channels; that contracts were made for public works on terms ruinous to the public, in consequence of an understanding between the contractors and the officers of Government; that public works were charged to the public five times the amount that could be demanded in fair and open tender; and that he concerted with the Ministers of the day to betray the interests and liberties of his country. To such an extent did this corruption go, that at the elections the troops of the line were marched into the towns by companies and regiments, and with arms in their hands were marched under the command of their officers into the churches, tendered and gave their votes for the free election of the Cortes of the country. I shall now proceed to state the cause which, though it led to the overthrow of his Government, is one of very little moment. Among the other courses which he had adopted to increase the revenue, and among the vexatious laws he had passed, was one by which public cemeteries were instituted in Portugal; and the regulations compelled all persons to bury their dead in those cemeteries, and to pay a certain specific sum for the burial. There were no walls around those cemeteries—the bodies buried in them were left uncovered and exposed to be torn by dogs; and one universal feeling of disgust pervaded the country at this tyrannical enactment. But a change soon took place—a woman was the author of it, and the result which followed it. It so happened that a woman named Maria da Fonte, whose child had died, brought its body to the priest, and required it to be buried in the church. He refused, alleging as his reason the law which forbade him to do so. The woman excited a tumult; the people took part with her—some blood was shod. The troops were called out; but the women and the peasants fell on the soldiers, and in a few hours the flame of revolt spread from one side of the country to the other. The army was marched against the insurgents; but the troops soon found they had to put down the feelings of a whole people, and officers and men alike shrunk from the task. In the course of a very short time the Government, alarmed at the consequences of its oppression and exactions, tendered their resignation to Her Majesty; and Her Majesty, alarmed at the prospect before her, accepted their forced resignation, and called to her councils the Duke de Palmella. In the course of one week from that time, the country was at peace; the insurrection subsided; and Cabral, the notorious origin of the whole, being removed, the people no longer stood a day in revolt against the constituted authorities. They placed confidence in the promises of the Duke de Palmella, and in the good intentions of his Government. The first acts of his administration will indicate to your Lordships what had been the character and conduct of his predecessor, and what was the change of his policy. The principal measures he adopted were—the revocation of the two obnoxious laws, viz., of the public health, and of the new system of taxation; the appointment of a commission to draw up a now law of elections; the liberation of the parties thrown into prison under the powers granted by the law suspending the guarantees; the restoration of the liberty of the press; and other popular measures. The Duke de Palmella, in pursuance of his policy, proceeded, according to the powers vested in him, to form an electoral law for regulating the manner of elections, by issuing a proclamation; and Lord Howard de Walden informed the Government of this country that this law was very generally approved of by all classes in Portugal. Thus matters stood on the 6th of October, 1846, which is the period at which the papers laid by the Government on the Table of the House commence. The Duke de Palmella enjoyed the confidence of the people; but unhappily he did not stand in equal favour with the Sovereign. The Crown was surrounded by evil advisers, whom he had not taken the precaution to remove; and the royal ear was poisoned by alarms of ulterior views, sedulously, but as I believe most falsely, spread, from those who might be returned to the new Cortes. On the 6th of October, took place that extraordinary event which is related to your Lordships in these papers. Without warning or notice—without preparation, or the least intimation of what was likely to take place, the Duke de Palmella was sent for to the palace, and there meeting with the Count Bomfin, the military commandant of Lisbon, they were both informed it was Her Majesty's pleasure they should resign their offices—to sign their own dismissals, as well as the appointments of their successors—and that they should remain as prisoners in the palace, until this act of what I may scarcely call "spontaneous" resignation took place. It is said, the Duke was asked a question on the part of Her Majesty, to which an unsatisfactory reply was given; and in connexion with this subject I omitted to state that the period for the convocation of the Cortes was now close at hand; and that it, in fact, only wanted four days of the elections, under the electoral Bill of the Duke de Palmella. I have good reasons—indeed I may say authority—for stating that the communication made by the Duke de Palmella to Her Majesty, on this occasion, was in substance that there was not any ground of apprehension of danger from the prevalence of extreme opinions in the new Cortes; and that, on the contrary, he looked forward with considerable confidence to a Cortes that would reconcile a due regard for the rights of Her Majesty with the observance of the liberties of the people. The Duke de Palmella, therefore, advised Her Majesty that the elections should be allowed to proceed without interference; and he represented that to meet men of violent and extreme opinions the constitutional mode of proceeding was, to allow them to show that violence to the world. It is curious enough to observe, that the elections justified the result of the predictions of the Duke de Palmella, and a considerable number of moderate men were returned to the Cortes. He knew well (the Duke went on to say) there was another opinion entertained by an eminent person with respect to the representation; but that, sincerely desirous as he was to restrain the too great violence of the popular party, he had no power of restraining it, and checking its course unless he had that which as yet he had not—the cordial confidence of Her Majesty, and the active co-operation of those who held employments under her. Whatever the answer made by Her Majesty to this statement, it is clear it had no influence on the course pursued subsequently. The decision had been taken before; the plot was formed, the mine was laid, and now it was sprung, at the last moment. The officers of former Governments who were displaced by the Administration of the Duke de Palmella were in attendance in the ante-chamber of the palace, for the purpose of being restored to their situations; and they knew the purpose for which they had come, though the Prime Minister himself was ignorant of the Queen's intention—that he was to be dismissed. The Duke de Palmella bowed to the authority of the Sovereign; and, to his credit be it spoken, notwithstanding his personal wrongs were not slight, he never for one moment swerved from his loyalty and allegiance. His resignation was tendered and accepted. He attended the subsequent deliberations of the Council—he gave his vote in the negative with regard to the arbitrary decrees by which his dismissal was followed up; and it was only on the intimation of the royal pleasure that it was inexpedient for him to remain in Portugal any longer, that the Duke de Palmella, with a blameless character for loyalty, sought shelter in this country. It was very soon found out that though the Administration which succeeded him was nominally placed in the hands of Marquess Saldanha, it was in effect a restoration of all the power and authority of Costa Cabral. Marquess Saldanha himself confessed he had no persons whom he could call into his Ministry unconnected with Cabral. He admitted that his whole Government must necessarily be formed of the Cabralista party; and, much as he desired to control and moderate the violence of the party, it was quite clear that it was a Cabral and nothing but a Cabral Administration. When the news arrived in Madrid, the Absolutists were delighted at the return to the old state of things. They indulged in very free and strong expressions of exultation; and, as if to mark that connexion between them, Mr. Bulwer wrote to say that Marshal Saldanha was another Cabral; and Gonzales Bravo, returning to Portugal, was accompanied thither by a friend of sympathetic feelings—no other than Costa Cabral himself. This was a little strong; and yet Viscount Palmerston here congratulated the Portuguese Government on the care they had taken to separate themselves from Cabral. True, he was not at Lisbon; but he was at Madrid, in the very focus of the Cabralista intrigue which was moving heaven and earth to subvert the Duke de Palmella; and he was there not as a private individual, but as one charged with the representation of the Government of Portugal—as the accredited Minister of the Queen of that kingdom. And you want nothing else to show you this was a return of the Cabral Administration, which, by the unanimous outburst of popular indignation, had been hurled from power six months before, than the fact that they restored the acts imposed by the Cabralista Ministry itself. The very day after those proceedings took place, their first act was the revocation of the electoral decree, and the suspension of the approaching meeting of the Cortes. The next was the suppression of all newspapers, with the exception of the Diario, the official organ of the Government; and in the course of a few days Her Majesty assumed to herself the absolute dictatorship of the kingdom. On the 3rd of November the sanguinary edict was issued that all insurgents taken prisoners should be shot. On the 14th of November an edict was issued seriously affecting the credit and property of British merchants, and of all classes of traders in Lisbon, by compelling a forced circulation of the worthless notes of the Bank of Lisbon. These are the measures adopted in the very first fortnight of its existence by the new Administration, which was to show itself so entirely unconnected with the despotic measures of Cabral, and to vindicate the solemn pledges of Her Majesty to the people, calling on them to confide in her, and assuring them that all her acts should be in accordance with the terms and limits of the constitution. If this were the course pursued by Government, let me ask your Lordships what was the state of feeling on the part of the country and on the part of the people of Portugal? After what took place on the 6th of October, the Duke of Terceira was sent to Oporto to carry into effect the same arbitrary measures that had been adopted at Lisbon; but he found the people there discontented and indignant, He soon found also that his authority was slighted; the decrees of which he was the bearer were treated as so much waste paper; and he himself was seized and imprisoned in the castle of Foz. In a few days a Junta, and not a Regency, as some called it, was established at Oporto under the Conde das Antas. Another sprung up at Coimbra; and Marshal Saldanha, on the 11th, contemplated the possibility of Her Majesty being compelled to leave her capital, and to embark on board one of Her Britannic Majesty's vessels in the Tagus. On the 14th, Mr. Southern writes— I have the honour to inform your Lordship that Marshal Saldanha called on me this morning to explain to me the very alarming aspect which events were assuming in this country. Immediately after the sudden change of the Government in the night of the 6th instant, and the substitution of the military authorities and commanders of regiments of the time of the Cabrals for those acting under the Duke of Palmella's Government, the Duke of Terceira was commissioned (by Royal decree of the 6th, published in the official Diario inclosed to your Lordship in Lord Howard de Walden's despatch of the 8th instant) to proceed to Oporto as the Queen's lieutenant, accompanied by various officers, generals, and aides-de-camp, to operate the same changes in the north as had taken place in the capital. I learn from Marshal Saldanha that the Duke of Terceira arrived at Oporto in the Mindello steamer on the evening of the 9th, and that in the same night the populace, who had been joined by the troops in the garrison, rose against him, and attacked the house where he and his staff were lodged, took them prisoners, and carried them off to the castle of the Foz. General Count das Antas, who commanded in the north for the late Government, was at the time at Braga; he arrived, however, at Oporto on Sunday the 11th, when, Marshal Saldanha assures me, he joined in the formation of a council of regency, of which he is the president, M. Jose Passos the vice-president, and Major Avila the secretary. I asked Marshal Saldanha if he were sure that this was a council of regency and not a mere junta of provisional government, when his Excellency assured me that Pedro V., the Prince Royal, had been proclaimed as Sovereign, and that this council had published a most violent attack upon the Queen. At Coimbra this same regency has also been sot up by the Marquess of Louie, the civil governor of the district of Coimbra for the late Government. Your Lordships, who know the position of those places, will remember that in ten days from those acts—from a period of perfect tranquillity—from the universal expectation of good days to come and of a constitutional Government—this insurrection took place. You will see that from Oporto to Coimbra, half way to Lisbon, from Cintra to Obidos, throughout the Alemtejo to Braga, to the Algarves—the flame of insurrection broke out, without any concert, among the people: at the time, in fact, the Queen of Portugal possessed no authority except what she maintained under the very bayonets of her soldiery. The feeling spread over her dominions; and even in the distant port of St. Michael's, the same spirit of indignation prevailed, and there too a Junta was formed. If you want the cause of all this, I must say you should look for it in the acts of the Government. I do not say, post hoc, propter hoc; but I ask your Lordships if ever any effect of Government was so clear as this, or one so closely following the cause from which it arose? If there be any fact, we cannot doubt it is that a simultaneous revolution was caused by the acts of the Government alone, and by the unconstitutional proceedings of the Ministry—the recall of one whom the universal indignation of the people had driven from his post. Was this, I ask your Lordships, a pretence for foreign interference? Was there any danger to foreign States— any overthrowing of the Throne? No. On the contrary, it was a movement to vindicate the Throne. The Junta protested they entertained the deepest respect for the rights of the Sovereign; but at the same time declared a still deeper attachment to the constitutional rights belonging to them as the subjects of a limited monarchy. I shall not weary your Lordships with the details of the struggles between the disciplined troops and the badly armed and undisciplined peasantry, maintained on their side with spirit and resolution in a contest which they viewed in the light of a sacred cause; but this I will observe, that throughout the whole of it there was but one gleam of success on the arms of the Queen of Portugal, when a victory was gained at Torres Vedras by Marshal Saldanha over a portion of the insurgents commanded by the Count Bomfin and Count Villareal: after an action in which considerable gallantry was displayed on both sides, the forces of the Junta surrendered themselves—not at discretion, but as prisoners of war. Mark this, my Lords, and what followed, I pray you. Among those prisoners were some of the noblest, ablest, and most enlightened men of Portugal. They were all immediately brought to the seat of Government as prisoners. And how were they treated after this surrender? I trust your Lordships will forgive me trespassing on you at such length in drawing your attention to some circumstances in connexion with this case; but I wish to direct you to what Mr. Southern wrote on the 30th of December, 1843, as to the course to be pursued when prisoners were taken:— I am informed that it is the intention of the Government to send three gentlemen to the coast of Africa. As this punishment implies the loss of health, if not the sacrifice of life, the report has filled the very respectable, and, indeed, distinguished families to which they generally belong, with the deepest affliction. Mr. Southern again interfered in favour of the prisoners, and hoped his remonstrance might be attended with effect; and on the 30th January he writes— In the night previous to the day before yesterday Count Bomfin and his companions were suddenly taken from the frigate they were confined in, and placed all together in the hold of the brig Audaz, under sailing orders for Angola. The captain received his instructions to leave the port immediately; and he was only prevented from doing so by a storm of wind from the bar. Now under what circumstances, let me ask, were those positive orders given for their embarkation? On the 1st of February, Mr. Southern wrote— Since the date of my despatch some of the prisoners have been withdrawn from the brig, to the number of six or seven, and sent to the hospital of the Limoeiro, on account of sickness; amongst them is Count Avillez. Many others are sick; the Count Bomfin has several open wounds, and Count Villa Real, who lost a leg at the battle of the Chao da Feira, and which was aukwardly amputated, is under surgical treatment. There now remain thirty-eight prisoners; and though they have had time to receive supplies from their families and friends, still they are nearly in the same crowded and deplorable state as before. Even the captain of the vessel remonstrated against the indecency and inhumanity of sending out a vessel crowded as she was with a body of distinguished persons in accommodation not sufficient for the vilest and lowest felons, without danger to health, and unable to contain half the number of persons. Surely, my Lords, this representation was listened to by the Government of Lisbon, backed up as it was by a certificate of the surgeon that he would not insure their safety. No, my Lords, but the commander of the vessel was suspended and dismissed; and the surgeon who represented the cause of humanity was discharged—was placed in prison with the intention of bringing him to trial for certifying to the truth. And thus these unhappy prisoners were sent out in defiance of the remonstrances of the British Government. At first there was some discussion raised as to whether they wore to be sent to Goa, or to Madeira, or to the Azores. But it was resolved to send them to the coast of Africa. And what was the plea for sending them to the pestilential climate of Angola? It was, my Lords, that at Goa or at Madeira so universal would be the sentiment in their favour, that to these colonies the Portuguese Government absolutely did not dare to send them; while that from the Azores it was impossible to keep them from returning to Portugal. They were sent then—sent, under the circumstances and in the manner I have described—to the coast of Africa. And now, how had affairs been going on in Portugal? Within a few days after the first success to which I have alluded—the success against the insurgents—there was one security for public liberty left still—there was trial by jury. It was not destined to exist long. Within four days after the taking of the prisoners, trial by jury was abolished with reference to almost every offence, and a commission was substituted in its stead, issuing from the Grown; while further it was enacted that if any person arrested before the abolition of trial by jury had not yet been tried, that in that case they were to be subjected to the retrospective operation of the new law. From that day all persons who might be charged with offences were deprived of the protection of trial by jury, and handed over to the tender mercies of the Crown. But it has been attempted to be shown that this contest—leading to all these enormities—was not a civil contest, or one in which the object of the insurgents had been to establish constitutional rights, but that in point of fact it was a Miguelite insurrection. That is an allegation most positively denied, not only by the Junta, but in more than one despatch contained in these papers, and written by your own diplomatic agents in Portugal. It is denied that the Miguelite party had anything to do with the insurrection, further than this, that when the revolt broke out, some of the peasants, whose war cry was "Viva Don Miguel!" raised that shout; but not one of the leaders, not one of the men in authority, even for one moment, desired to support the pretensions of Don Miguel; on the contrary, they were as opposed to his principles and opinions as light is to darkness. True, I believe a gentleman of the name of Macdonald, at the head of some of the Miguelite guerillas, made a movement of this character; but they were attacked and routed by the constitutional forces, and Macdonald himself was, I believe, slain; and from that time there is no trace whatever of the insurrection having been a Miguelite revolt. No, as was stated by the Count das Antas to Colonel Wylde, the truth was, that the revolution was commenced by the Court, the Camarilla, and the military faction; and that to oppose it the whole nation was ready to fly to arms. The truth was, that Das Antas had to put himself at the head of the insurrectionary movement to save the country from anarchy; but, as he himself declared, he and his comrades in arms would live and die the Queen's most devoted subjects. I may refer to many despatches similar in spirit to this declaration of Das Antas, as to the object and intentions of the Junta. Need I refer to better authority than the despatch dated the 5th of April, and signed by Viscount Palmerton, in which occurs this passage:— But Don Miguel is not in Portugal; nor has there been any insurrection worthy of account in his name and in support of his pretensions to the Crown. The civil war which has now unhappily for nearly six months afflicted Portugal has not sprung from the pretensions of Don Miguel, nor did it originate with his partisans; it arose from very different causes, and among a very different political party. The contest does not turn upon the question who shall be Sovereign of Portugal, but upon the question who shall he the responsible Ministers of the Crown in Portugal, and by what principles of administration the country shall be governed. These questions are widely different from questions of dynasty and succession. These questions are purely domestic in their hearing, and with them foreign Powers, except in very extreme cases, cannot be entitled to interfere. So much for the character and object of the revolt, which, it must he clear to all, was directed immediately against the Government in order to obtain constitutional rights, and to put down a coup d'etat which in my opinion was of such a character as to forfeit the right of the Queen to the Throne: the leaders of the revolution, however, even under these circumstances, and notwithstanding the injuries which they arose to avenge, preserving an undiminished and unflinching loyalty to their Sovereign. Well, up to the 5th of April, I can find no fault with the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government in reference to these transactions. Up to that period the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office most properly and ably laid down that it was the duty of agents of the British Government to maintain a strict impartiality between the contending parties. But at an early period the noble Lord sent out Colonel Wylde to watch the course of events. Whether the selection was a judicious one, I do not stop now to inquire; but he was sent out for the purpose of observing the course of events, and reporting on the progress of affairs—with instructions to act as a mediator, and to explain to both parties that beyond the office of mediator the Government could not go. So far the instructions were admirable; but I do entertain very great doubts whether they were as satisfactorily carried out by the person entrusted with putting them into effect. Colonel Wylde arrived in Portugal on the 9th of November, and on the 13th of that month Saldanha addressed a despatch to the King, and thus states Colonel Wylde's impression of the nature of the revolt:— Colonel Wylde, of Her Britannic Majesty's service, who since the 10th accompanies my headquarters, has been a witness to all I have just stated to your Majesty, and is convinced, as well as myself, that far from its being a spontaneous popular movement, as the ex-Count das Antas wished to inculcate, this rebellion—the most unheard-of and unfounded that ever existed — is merely the result of the intrigues of its leaders. Now, my Lords, I conceive that such a statement is quite destructive of the use- fulness of Colonel Wylde in his character of a mediator. Saldanho's letter, however, was not allowed to pass unnoticed. Colonel Wylde certainly did address a note to Saldanha—a note, as he himself states, couched in the most mild and courteous terms—a note, not of the character which might have been expected—a note expressing no indignation that the writer's name should have been used in a manner dishonourable to himself and his country. He did address Saldanha, however, and hero is a passage which occurs in his note:— I am sure your Excellency is aware how sincerely anxious I am to be of service to the Queen's cause, and to be guided as much as possible by your opinion as to the best mode of accomplishing this object; and, therefore, that the feelings I have expressed in this letter arise from the belief that the paragraph in question tends materially to lessen my power to be useful to you hereafter, and will also, I am convinced, be highly displeasing to my own Government; and as a proof of the effect it is likely to have in England, I have already had the reporters of the English newspapers with me to know if I had expressed or sanctioned the publication of the opinion attributed to me in the Diario, and if not, if I would allow it to be contradicted officially, which, however, I thought it right to refuse. Now, what said Saldanha in reply to this? The opening words are significant, as well as the rest of the epistle:— My dear Wylde—I have just received your letter of the 19th. You are perfectly right, and I was wrong, because I considered you only as a military commissioner—overlooking your diplomatic character. I am really sorry for it. You were delicate enough even to tell me, that if I thought your visit to the ex-Count das Antas might he injurious to us, you would not go. I give you my word of honour nothing could be more painful to me than having given cause and right to complain of me. When I was writing, reports from Santarem assured me that the chief of the rebels had formed the whole of his troops, and in a very inflammatory speech had said all sorts of nonsense to make his followers believe you had gone there not only to offer the mediation of England, but to intercede for us. I hope this untoward event will not diminish the good feeling, sincerity, and friendship, that has always subsisted between us; and assuring you that I will never more think of Colonel Wylde without remembering his diplomatic capacity," &c. And well (continued the noble Lord), well he might remember his diplomatic character. Why, if ever there was a letter which was more calculated to confirm the statement originally made, and utterly to deprive Colonel Wylde of his character as a mediator likely to be useful between the contending parties, it is the second despatch of Saldanha. Why, it proved—the whole circumstances proved—that Colonel Wylde was a mere tool, ever ready to comply with the wishes of Marshal Saldanha. And now, my Lords, I have attempted in the first instance to lay down what I believe to he the wholesome principle of non-interference, and then tried to show that this was a purely internal quarrel, arising from domestic causes, and calculated to excite no alarm which could justify the armed interference of foreign Powers; and having done so, I must confess that I cannot see the necessity which existed for a change of policy which now took place. I cannot see that what was right in principle on the 5th of April, was wrong in principle on the 6th; or how the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office succeeded in convincing himself that the arguments which up to a certain date he had been enforcing were wrong, and that the views of the very opposite nature were in future to be urged. I know that the theory is, that from the 5th of April this became an international question. Up to that period there was no ground for complaining of the want of impartiality of the British Government. But after that date matters took a different turn. Ours was no longer a mere offer of mediation, but of mediation accompanied by arbitration. Certain terms were offered to one of the contending parties, and it was intimated that upon their acceptance of these terms Her Majesty's Government were ready to proceed against the insurgents; but on the rejection of the terms in question by the Queen, nothing further was resolved upon or done in the matter. But what, on the other hand, was the offer made to the Junta? We prescribed terms for them to accept—to accept without hesitation, without alteration, without condition. We told them that if they refused to accept these terms, that we—their old protector, England—would come down upon them with the forces of France and Spain—that we would join with the Queen, although we condemned her acts, and that we would compel them to accept the terms which they had dared to refuse. Was that, my Lords, an impartial mediation between two parties struggling about the domestic policy of a nation? And what was the state of things when that intervention was tendered? The forces of the insurgents were in possession of the whole country. Despatches written by our diplomatic agents enlarged upon the insecurity of the Queen's person, called for a ship of war to provide for the safety of the Crown, and I believe that these persons were of opinion that the presence of that very ship of war had a material influence in preventing the complete success of the insurgents. Both Sir H. Seymour and Colonel Wylde agreed that without help from abroad the Queen's cause was desperate, and that the state of the country was most alarming. The insurgent troops were well fed, provisioned, and clothed; but wherever the Queen's troops presented themselves, they found burnt villages, crops carried off, and provisions taken away—every symptom, in fact, of the discontent and disgust with which the population viewed the cause which these troops were employed to defend. It is under these circumstances that we interfered—that in connexion with Spain and France you sanctioned an invasion of Portugal. You have coerced the struggles of a people for the maintenance of constitutional rights; and tell me, now, on what plea was it that you founded this oppressive, this unjustifiable interference of this country, hitherto the protectress of liberty, with the rights of a people—rights you were especially bound to maintain? Reasons, causes, I have heard, but of such a nature, so utterly unworthy, that I do believe that no British Minister would avow them as the grounds of his policy. I know that it has been said that if we did not interfere, other nations would. What nations? France or Spain? My Lords, the question is not whether they would interfere, but whether they were entitled to interfere. Were you, as Ministers of the Crown and conservators of the public faith of treaties —were you bound to permit, or rather were you not bound to prohibit and resist, any such interference? For my own part, I do not think that there was any intention on the part of France to interfere. At the end of February we have M. Guizot writing to Count St. Aulaire as follows:— It appears to us right that Spain, after haying obtained the adhesion of the other Courts which took part in the conventions of 1834, should give that assistance to Portugal, with the limits and on the conditions which shall be determined between the two Governments. In making known to Lord Palmerston that such is the opinion of the Government of the King, you will be pleased, Monsieur le Comte, to toll him that we are ready to come to an arrangement with the Cabinets of London, of Madrid, and of Lisbon as to the demand of the Portuguese Government. On the 18th of March we find M. Guizot again expressing his conviction that the Treaty of Quadruple Alliance had not expired; and in subsequent despatches M. Guizot stated the readiness of France to interfere, but only in the case of the breaking out of a Miguelite insurrection in Portugal. And here let me remark upon a passage in one of Sir H. Seymour's despatches, in which I find him reporting that it was stated to him by the French Minister at Lisbon that he had tendered to the Queen of Portugal the intervention of France, and that that offer had been respectfully declined. The noble Viscount at the head of the Foreign Office, on the receipt of this intelligence, at once called on the French Ambassador here for an explanation; and he was assured by the Count de Jarnac that the statement was entirely a mistake that any such interference had been proffered. So much, then, for the interference of France. And now as to the interference of Spain. To imagine that in her present condition Spain could for a moment think of interfering in the affairs of Portugal, I hold to be perfectly impossible. The Government of Her Majesty would only have to hold out—so to speak —its little finger, and to say, "The first armed man who crosses the frontier provokes a war with England;" and do you think that the Spanish Government would dare to risk it? Do you think Spain so utterly insane, so utterly reckless of consequences, so unmindful of the respective powers of the country itself and the nation with which it would be brought into collision, as to disregard the injunction of England, and to dare to send a single soldier across the frontier? Take the despatch of the 31st of December, written by Lord Palmerston. How was it couched? Thus:— With reference to your despatch of the 13th instant, I have to acquaint you that the accounts referred to therein of the Miguelite insurrection in Portugal are very much exaggerated, as you will by this time have learnt; and I have to instruct you to state to the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, if any question about military interference by Spain in Portugal should arise, that the British Government expect and require that the Government of Spain should take no step of that kind without the previous concurrence of the British Government. The same language was held on other occasions; and M. Pacheco distinctly stated that Spain never contemplated taking any isolated steps of interference. But even were the powers of Portugal to be left unaided by England, my firm conviction is that were a Spanish army to enter Portugal with the intention of interposing in a Portuguese question, the inhabitants of that country would arise as one man against the invaders, and that a war of the most exterminating character would be the inevitable result. But now let me ask what you have succeeded in effecting? You have succeeded by your intervention in preventing any effusion of blood. I grant it. But at what risk? Have you advanced nearer to any final settlement of this question? What have you gained for Portugal—for yourselves? Have you gained the personal gratitude of the Sovereign of Portugal? Perhaps, you may. You have saved her Throne, which never was in danger except by her own misgovernment. You have saved the Throne which she might have saved for herself by timely and peaceful concession. But while you have saved the Throne, you have humiliated the Sovereign. You have enforced stipulations which, however just in themselves, are acknowledgments of unconstitutional proceedings. You had the Throne of Portugal tottering to its base. You offered conditions. These conditions, which the Portuguese Ministers and their Spanish advisers would not tolerate, were those which stipulated for an amnesty for the Members of that Junta, who, but for your interference, would have been in a condition to dictate terms, not to accept them. Do you think, then, you have established and confirmed those old friendly feelings so long subsisting between England and Portugal? Will not the people of Portugal say, and can they not say it without exaggeration—"Henceforth tyranny may work its way in Portugal, secure that at the last moment it will be prohibited from the just consequences of the indignation of the people by foreign help, led on by England." Henceforth Portuguese liberty and freedom are but the shadow of a name; for, however great the grievance—however universal the offence given—however unanimous the feeling of the nation—however determined the struggle—and however successful the result—at the last moment the constitutional fruits of victory will be snatched from the partisans of liberty: they will be foully deprived of what they had bravely won—deprived of it by foreign invaders—by the interference of France and Spain, aided by the counsels and assisted by the arms of England? From that time England will no longer be regarded as the protesters and the faithful ally of the Portuguese people, under whose friendship they safely rested, and from whom they feared no invasion of independence, and no violation of right; they will look on England as leagued with their enemies, with the supporters of arbitrary power—as a partisan to the Crown, but not a protector of the people. This will be the immediate consequence of the feeling raised in the Portuguese mind by those recent transactions. And now as to the terms offered by this country. I am not prepared to say that they may not be fair or reasonable, neither do I pretend to say whether the Junta would not have acted more wisely in having at once accepted them; but I do say that it was no unreasonable apprehension, after what they had witnessed of the faith of the Queen of Portugal, which led the Junta to desire some guarantee beyond that of the assurance of the governing powers of the country. Are you quite sure that when you think of withdrawing your forces, there will be a similar feeling manifested on the part of Prance and Spain? And are you quite sure that you will not be compelled by the obligations of the convention into which you have entered, to extend your interference far beyond the limits you at first contemplated? I ask not, my Lords, what is the interpretation put by the Government on the terms of this convention; but I use my own eyes and understanding as to its meaning. You are bound to give assistance to the Queen of Portugal until the pacification of her dominions is established. When is that to be effected? Does Government mean we are to assist until open rebellion is put down; or are we to attempt the higher object of removing the causes of discontent, not by physical force, but by a conciliation of the affections of the people of Portugal? You stipulate, too, that the Cortes shall be speedily assembled; but if you do not take effectual steps to prevent bribery and corruption, you give the Portuguese no guarantee for their liberties. Now, suppose again the Cortes assembled, and that extreme party had the majority which the Duke de Palmella might have controlled in October, 1846, but are too violent spirits to put up any longer with the course of irritation practised on them. Suppose this majority should proceed to impeach Costa Cabral, what course is the Government prepared to pursue? Are you prepared to see another revolution commence, or to exercise your authority by intercepting the course of public justice, and making yourselves the rulers and dictators of those in power, as you have al- ready made yourselves the selectors of the Members of the Government? I hope, my Lords, the faith of the Crown will now be maintained, I hope that just and fair laws will be framed. I hope the Cortes will fairly represent the feelings of the people. I hope the feelings of parties will not be so irritated as to carry them beyond the bounds of prudence and temperance. I hope that all these things will come to pass; but I must say that my hopes are equally balanced by my apprehensions. Though I repeat what has been done is irrevocable and irreversible—though I trust our agreement will be executed in good faith—and earnestly and anxiously do I hope that it may be so executed, and that the contrary of my apprehension and expectation may turn out to be the fact, and that our proceedings will lead to the restoration of tranquillity and the establishment of constitutional liberty; yet, with the apprehension I entertain— with the full conviction on my own mind of the injustice and impolicy of the course which Government has taken, I could not have felt it consistent with my own duty, and trust your Lordships will not consider it consistent with yours, to abstain from vindicating yourselves in the eyes of the world, and of posterity, against a participation in the course which the Government has pursued; that you will express your sense of the reckless injustice of their proceedings, and enter your protest against what I must call a gross and glaring infraction of the great and fundamental principles of the independence of nations. I beg to move the following resolution, viz.: That the Papers presented to both Houses of Parliament, by Her Majesty's command, afford, in the opinion of this House, no justification for the. recent interference of this country, by force of arms, in the internal affairs of Portugal. The question having been put,


said, he felt the great disadvantage under which he laboured in rising to address the House after the lengthened and eloquent discourse which they had just heard from the noble Lord opposite. The noble Lord had cast on the Government the imputation that they erred not by direct intervention; but, by a series of acts which could not fail to and did lead to direct interference, they mixed themselves up unjustly in the affairs of another country. Our interference, he (the Marquess of Lansdowne), on the other hand, maintained, was dictated, not only by humanity, but by the friendly feelings which had ever subsisted between this country and Portugal. When the noble Lord had adverted to the cruelties that had been practised by the Portuguese Government on certain prisoners of war, he had omitted to state that the conduct of Mr. Southern had received the direct and immediate approbation of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and that in every mode in which language could be employed, that system of cruelty had been reprobated by Her Majesty's advisers. That reprobation, he believed, had had the greatest effect on the conduct and proceedings of the Portuguese Government. But he would now proceed to the general principle involved in the discussion of this question; and here he felt himself greatly relieved by knowing that, in entering upon this subject, he was not called upon by any observations of the noble Lord, nor did he think he should be by any observations of any other noble Lord, to vindicate the expediency, under certain circumstances, of interfering in the concerns and interests of other countries. There had been at all times persons in this country, who, adopting the dictum of the Roman as the principle of our foreign policy, looked upon us toto penitus divisos orbe Britannos; and relying upon that separation from the Continent which a small arm of the sea produced, had said that it was our policy and our duty to abstain from everything like interference in the affairs of other countries; but though such opinions had always been held by a small minority, all persons who had deserved the name of statesmen, and had taken a share in the government of this country, had admitted the necessity of that intervention on various occasions involving the interests of this country as connected with the policy and proceedings of foreign States. This question, therefore, was narrowed to the nature of the interference that had been exorcised. But before he proceeded to advert to the observations of, the noble Lord, he would advert for one moment to that which it was indispensably necessary to bear in mind—the peculiar relation in which this country stood with regard to Portugal. Nothing was more remarkable in history than the uniformity of policy which had connected England with Portugal as an ally. That policy was originated under the Plantagenets, was continued under the Tudors, was adopted by the Stuarts, was maintained even under the Protectorate—which was not the least acute and wise in its foreign relations of the Governments under which this country had lived — and, finally, by the House of Hanover, particularly in the course of the last century. It was founded chiefly upon commercial considerations, and upon that which cemented nations beyond all other things—a reciprocity of good objects, continuing century after century, and tending to the interests of both countries. In such distant places as Japan or Thibet, no consequences that might follow war or insurrection could affect the Government or interests of England; but in Portugal we knew from experience that the contrary was the case — that Portugal never was touched, without an immediate and sensitive sympathy being extended to this country, engaging her interests, affecting her prosperity, and even threatening her with danger. From the speech of the noble Lord it might be supposed that his complaint against the Government was, that they had approved of the misconduct which he had described, and had viewed, not only without reprobation, but with something like the concurrence that was implied by silence, all those acts to which he had alluded which led to the catastrophe that had occurred in Portugal; but let him observe, with respect to that misconduct of the Portuguese Government, which was influenced by the advisers that prevailed for a time in that country, that it formed the main part of the case of the Government of this country, and upon which they claimed the approbation of the House, that they had taken the most effectual means to prevent its recurrence. If their conduct were not good for that, it was good for nothing. It was founded upon the admission that there had been misconduct on the part of the Government of Portugal, which had led to a resistance that was natural, although it might be carried too far. But such a conflict might reach to a height that might be attended with all the horrors of cruelty and devastation, and with a hopelessness of a peaceful issue without other interference. These circumstances had arisen, and made it, as he thought, a case in which, for the purpose of securing the future peace of Portugal, the Government of this country were bound to offer that mediation which it did offer. If they had not taken that course, what would have been the consequence? There were three stages in the proceeding. The first was, that we might have been spectators only of the fearful contest that was going on, and which had originated not only in the transactions which the noble Lord had touched upon with so much elaboration of detail, but with a series of transactions equally violent that had occurred before, and in which those very patriots of whom the noble Lord had spoken had taken a most violent and unconstitutional course in having recourse to arms. He alluded to that for the purpose of showing their Lordships that no one of those persons came clear before the tribunal of the public by which they were to be tried, but that they were amongst the most violent of those by whom the constitution was set at nought. As the contest had advanced, the violence of the parties engaged in it had risen to such a height, that he was perfectly ready to admit that it was as great on the part of the Queen as on the part of the insurrectionists; and the state the country was then in was well described by Sir Hamilton Seymour, who said— I entreat of your Lordship to believe that I fully appreciate the wishes of Her Majesty's Government, that the present wretched struggle should be settled by pacific and conciliatory means. Every day tends to convince me the more of the urgency of these wishes being acted upon. Every day serves to aggravate the miseries of the country; to present want and distress future famine will be added, if those who ought to be employed in cultivating are to be employed in laying waste the land; and no impossible result of the struggle, if allowed to continue, would be that either party alike unable to get the better of the other, both should fall into a state of common and incurable exhaustion. Was that a state of things in which the Government of this country ought not to have interfered? That interference was not for the purpose of changing a particular Government or a particular dynasty, but to bring back the people to their own constitution, and to restore peace. The noble Lord had shown much research and ingenuity, and had been most eloquent in alluding to various cases of improper interference, and had referred to many instances in which that interference had been resorted to for the purpose of changing a dynasty or overturning a sovereign, and forcing a constitution upon a people who were ill-prepared or indisposed to receive it; but he (the Marquess of Lansdowne) had stated this interference had not been for any one of those objects; it had been only to bring the Sovereign into communication with her subjects, and to found that communication upon the existing constitution of the country. If the Government of this country had not interfered, one of three results might have taken place. First, the Queen of Portugal might, if she had succeeded, have established a despotism. Was that a consummation to be desired? She might have been unsuccessful, and the insurgents, having got the upper hand, might have established a republic; and which no one could doubt they would have done if they had succeeded. And then there was a third contingency. Part of the forces possessed by the insurgents, and by far the most military part, although the leaders carefully disowned anything like an adherence to Don Miguel and the principles of his insurrection, were favourable to Don Miguel; and they might, if they had succeeded, have established the despotism of Don Miguel. There were, therefore, three chances which this country had to contemplate if they did not interfere: the first was the despotism of Donna Maria de Gloria; a republic, with the Junta of Oporto at its head; and the despotism of Don Miguel. Each of those chances involved war, and would have forced upon the Government of this country, even upon the noble Lord himself, the necessity of taking arms for the purpose of counteracting the evils that would have resulted from it. But there was another element besides all those to which he had already referred. There was that which the noble Lord had treated with a sort of contempt that he should have hardly expected from him—namely, the avowed declaration on the part of Spain that she desired to consult with us, and communicate with us as to the best means of interfering. Now, in one of his despatches, Mr. Bulwer said— I have the honour to inform your Lordship that Senor Pacheco, as president of the new Cabinet, delivered yesterday in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies, a short speech, containing the programme of the policy which his Administration propose to pursue. As to foreign relations, Senor Pacheco declared that the new Ministry would he entirely Spanish, living on good terms with all other nations, but not consenting to be humiliated by any; adding, with respect to Portugal, that his Cabinet would by no means tolerate the overthrow of the throne of Queen Donna Maria de Gloria. And Senor Pacheco, in writing to Mr. Bulwer, said— Nevertheless, as it would not be surprising that this mediation may not produce the desired result, the Minister Plenipotentiary will also be duly authorized to negotiate in Lisbon respecting the possible intervention of our arms; neither ought I to conceal from you, that although the Spanish Government will be delighted that in this negotiation the representatives of the Allied Courts accredited at that of Her Most Faithful Majesty, and who signed the Treaty of the Quad- ruple Alliance, should take part, yet this will not hinder, should it by any event not be possible for the Four Powers to agree and act upon a common and thorough understanding, should a case of urgent necessity occur, that the indispensable remedy would be applied, particularly endeavouring to do so in accordance with Great Britain, and to carry out the intervention in the manner and on the basis which might be determined on between the two Governments. I must, however, state to you, that in the event of a sudden crisis, during which the throne of Donna Maria de Gloria might be overthrown, the Spanish Government could not possibly consent to such a catastrophe, and would act alone, and of its own accord. Could there be a more distinct statement on the part of the Spanish Government? And it was the more to be attended to, because it was intimated in a friendly spirit, and said with the utmost anxiety to bind us to a full alliance. The noble Lord indeed said, that Spain could only act at the command of the English Minister; but was that the tone in which an English statesman ought to speak of an independent Government? Surely it was somewhat to our own interests to conciliate the feelings of Spain, and to show respect for the independence and authority of parties in that country; and surely this was not the time to tell her statesman that they should not lift their little fingers till the English Minister permitted them, and should not take the position which they felt incumbent upon them for the sake of their country. He did not think that Spain was quite wrong in the determination she had taken; he did not think that Spain, any more than ourselves, could see with indifference what was passing in Portugal. When they saw the union that had been cemented between certain parties in Spain and in Portugal, whose object it was to overturn the Throne and change the dynasty, the Spanish Government could not afford to view with indifference the great changes which were taking place in Portugal. The noble Lord said, that we ought to have held out a threat to Spain: that is what his pacific policy would be! He would get himself involved by a sidewind—not by uniting peaceably, but by making war with Spain; and to allow Spain alone to interfere, would not merely embroil Portugal and Spain, but the ultimate result would he to embroil France and this country. Although the noble Lord had taken advantage of a speech of M. Guizot, in which he denied that there had been any offer of interference on the part of France by herself, it must not be supposed if, in the course of events, Spain had interfered, and the noble Lord had come down with a war upon Spain for such interference, that France would have stood by and remained perfectly neutral. If the noble Lord founded his policy on a calculation of probabilities for the future, he must not make quite so sure of the perfect acquiescence of France while we were attacking Spain. He therefore thought that we had pursued a wise policy upon this occasion; and that we had, as Mr. Canning said in some part of that speech to which the noble Lord referred with so much admiration, not waited for war; we had gone before it, and had prevented it. That was the policy of Mr. Canning; and had not the present Government gone before and prevented war with something like success? One would really suppose, from the noble Lord's speech, that we had played into the hands of the Queen of Portugal and Costa Cabral. But so far from that having been the case, we had endeavoured to reconcile the Queen with the feelings of her subjects, and to give them hopes that we should induce the Queen to recall those arbitrary measures to which the noble Lord had alluded: and when we applied ourselves to this object, he contended that we chose the most proper means that could be adopted. But then the noble Lord said that the gentleman employed to communicate with parties in Portugal was a most unfortunate selection. Why an unfortunate selection? He would tell the noble Lord why he thought that it was, on the contrary, a very fortunate selection; and he would leave the noble Lord to contradict him if he could. He would state that the eminent, distinguished, able, and discreet officer, Colonel Wylde, had been engaged for years in the Peninsular war; he knew well the people of Spain and of Portugal; he had a leaning towards liberalism, and he had been in personal communication with the Liberals of both countries; he had been much in Spain and Portugal, and with his knowledge of the language and the people of both, no more proper party could be appointed. Sir Hamilton Seymour also, from his long acquaintance with negotiations, was peculiarly fitted for the part which had been assigned to him; and he asserted that the noble Lord would fail in showing that any undue feeling had existed on the part of either of these gentlemen, as certainly as he had failed in making out that in the correspondence which had taken place between Marshal Saldanha and Colonel Wylde there had been, be- cause the correspondence was a civil one, any sort of leaning on the part of Colonel Wylde to the cause to which Marshal Saldanha had attached himself. And here he would observe that the noble Lord, in reading Marshal Saldanha's letter, had omitted one of the most important sentences in it. He had not the letter at hand at that moment, but he could quote the words from recollection. Marshal Saldanha said, though the noble Lord thought that the excuse was not sufficient, that Colonel Wylde had a right to find fault. He had now found the passage in question, which ran thus:—"I give you my word of honour, nothing could be more painful to me than having given you cause and right to complain of me." No gentleman surely could have done more; and yet because Colonel Wylde did not at once require the publication of this regret of Marshal Saldanha, who was one of the parties he was to conciliate, and with whom he was to negotiate, in the public streets of Lisbon—because, after procuring this explanation from Marshal Saldanha, he did not insist upon its immediate communication to the Portuguese public—Colonel Wylde was charged with favouritism. Both Colonel Wylde and Sir H. Seymour would naturally, in the first instance, address themselves to the leaders of the Queen's party; it was necessary to reconcile them to the principles of amnesty and conciliation, and it was necessary to obtain their assent before they went to Oporto to announce it. But the noble Lord said, that they went to Oporto with the idea of favouring the views of the Queen and her advisers. Now, what were those views? They were said to be the establishment of despotic government in Portugal; to grind down the resistance of those who opposed them, partly from patriotic and partly from personal motives; and to establish a system totally different from that of the constitution in letter and in spirit. But were these the views and principles which Lord Palmerston wished to see established there? Directly the reverse. Those gentlemen did not go to Portugal to support these views; they went to Portugal expressly charged not to attempt anything like action on the part of this Government, and least of all to apply force, without distinctly stating that those views must be abandoned—that the Legislature should be established fully and effectually—that the Cortes should be convened immediately—and that the Queen's advisers should be dismissed; and it was not the usual course to conciliate the favours of the Court by insisting that the advisers of the Crown should be dismissed. They required, also, that all persons should be included in a general amnesty. In requiring these things, the English Government required all that the country could expect. He should suppose, from parts of the noble Lord's speech, that he contemplated, not without satisfaction, the dethronement of the Sovereign of that country. But, short of dethroning the Sovereign, our Government made it one of their conditions that there should be an assembly of the Cortes elected by the general votes of the inhabitants, and a free amnesty given to all, so that any one who possessed the confidence of the people would be able to obtain power. The noble Lord said that the insurgents had gained nothing: it was true that they had not gained the power of dethroning the Queen, but they had obtained the guarantee of three countries most interested and most able to support them—countries which had not been united for a long time previous, but which were now united in this purpose, and which were well able to guarantee the constitution of Portugal. If the insurgents were honest—if they were not deceiving the country by their proclamations—if their avowals were true that it was not the dethronement of the Queen but the liberties of their country that they desired, those liberties would be now placed on a firmer foundation than if they had rested on a victory gained at Torres Vedras, but which might be lost somewhere else: they were secured not by blood, but by a pacific settlement by the Three Powers whose influence might be supposed to be greatest with the Queen. He said, then, that the best course had been taken in Portugal, not only for her interests, but for the interests of this country. Abstinence from interference, when carried to a certain point, might be correct; but it might be carried too far, not only in private life, but in public affairs. It was right to abstain generally from interference with the conduct of others; but a state of things might arise in which interference would become a duty between man and man, and also between States; the same might be necessary in public or European affairs as it might in social life. He remembered a trial that once took place for a murder committed in the suburbs of London. It appeared that one of the witnesses who was called lodged in the house; he had heard the declarations that had passed—he had heard the knife sharpened with which the murder was committed, and he heard the cries of the victim, whilst he himself remained perfectly quiet. The Judge interrupted him by asking, "Do you mean to say that you did nothing all this time?" To which the man's reply was, "I never interfere in matrimonial disputes." The noble Lord would wait whilst he heard the knife sharpened, and till he heard the cries of the victim, before he would allow the feelings of this country to he excited; but he was sure the noble Lord would not, in the case to which he had alluded, have continued his abstinence from interference till the dispute had ended in blood. In conclusion, he thought the Government had done their duty, above all, by stopping bloodshed. He believed that they had produced the elements of returning tranquillity; he thought that they had given space for action to that portion of the Portuguese nation which had been oppressed by both parties; that in this suspense of arms and in the new Cortes these parties would come forward; and that, under the guarantee of the Three Powers, they would establish a Government in Portugal which would obtain respect in that as well as in other countries, and conduce to the interests of the world. Throughout the Peninsula, and especially in Portugal, Great Britain had possessed great influence, which bad conduced to the interests of this country. To exercise that influence now appeared to be wise; while if they allowed matters to go on and avoided all interference, they would not ultimately have avoided war—war which would have been most disgraceful, because it would do no good, and most mischievous, because it would have involved other countries in hostilities. For these reasons he asked their Lordships to give a direct negative to the proposed resolution.


, who was imperfectly heard, said that he had listened with great attention to the very excellent speeches which had been delivered on both sides of the House. Agreeing as be did in all those parts of the speech of his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) which related to the interference of this Government with the details of the Governments of other countries, he must nevertheless say, that this country had a most essential interest in preserving the peace—in maintaining the Government—and, if possible, in preserving the tranquillity of every country in the world; because, in fact, we had most important interests connected with every country on the face of the globe. It was a proud circumstance in the policy of this country that it did not interfere with the internal affairs of other countries; but throughout the world endeavoured to maintain its relations with foreign States by taking a special interest in the preservation of their internal tranquillity, and of maintaining the due powers of the Governments with which we were in friendly alliance. Agreeing as he did in the absolute necessity of the Government of this country refraining from all interference with the internal details of any other Government, he still must express a hope, and, as far as he possessed any knowledge on the subject, he was willing to believe, that it was impossible a British Ambassador or a British Minister could exist in any country in Europe in which he could not exert a most important and predominant influence in maintaining tranquillity in that country; and, moreover, he considered it was in the power of such Minister to exercise great influence over society in the country in which he resided. Possessing that power and that influence, it became his duty to exert it for the purpose of maintaining tranquillity in such country, and giving stability to the Government existing in it. Declaring as he did his conviction, and that for other reasons than those entertained by noble Lords on both sides of the House, that there should be strict abstinence observed in the exercise of any right of interference with the internal government of any country with which we were in a state of alliance, he still maintained that it was the duty of the Ministers of Great Britain, wherever residing, to watch the proceedings that were taking place in every country with which the Sovereign of England had intercourse, and to endeavour by all the means in their power to maintain its tranquillity and the authority of its Government. His noble Friend (Lord Stanley), in the course of his most eloquent speech, upon more than one occasion stated that he had no reason to complain of any particular act of interference on the part of Her Majesty's Government in the course of the transactions that had occurred in Portugal. In truth, every circumstance of which his noble Friend more particularly complained had either happened during the Cabral Administration or the subsequent Administrations which had acted under the influence of the Cabral party. Now, he (the Duke of Wellington) believed that the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Lansdowne) truly stated the case when he said, that those transactions occurred in consequence of the non-interference of the Government of this country; and that it was for want of sufficient interference by England during the administration of that person—Costa Cabral—that such occurrences took place. There was no doubt whatever that all the acts complained of since the dismissal of Cabral, and during the administration of the Marquess de Saldanha, took their rise from the system pursued by Cabral himself. He believed that every word the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Lansdowne) had said upon that subject was perfectly true. He believed that the measures of the Portuguese Government at that time were frequently remonstrated against by our Minister at Lisbon. The noble Lord who was British Minister there did on many occasions remonstrate and urge upon the Portuguese Government the necessity of conducting their proceedings upon proper principles; and, as far as it was in his power, he endeavoured to make them do so. This had been the common course of the British Minister ever since the re-establishment of the Cabral party in Portugal. But, notwithstanding our friendly interference, and the efforts made by the British Minister to do the utmost he could to put an end to these practices on the part of the Portuguese Government, from a desire to maintain the authority of the Queen—notwithstanding all this, there was no doubt Portugal was at that time in a state of considerable disturbance and misgovernment. There was likewise no doubt that, although it should prove we were under the obligation of avoiding all interference with the internal affairs of Portugal, yet it was true, as stated by the noble Marquess, that our old relations with Portugal, our commercial relations with Portugal, our political interest in the position which Portugal should maintain among the independent kingdoms of Europe, and consequently our interest in preserving tranquillity in Portugal; that all these considerations required that England should exercise its friendly influence in preserving quiet, order, and good government in that country. In saying this, he was not countenancing any interference with the internal details of the Portuguese Government. All that he contended for was, that this country had a right to exer- cise that legitimate influence which belonged to every friendly Government which was considered necessary for maintaining tranquillity among the people. It could not be denied that it was a duty of this Government to provide means of protection for the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty who were residing in Portugal. It was right that we should have a sufficient force near that country to protect their lives and property. It did so happen that we had such a force. Now, his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) had said, that, whether the Government of the Sovereign of Portugal was misconducted or not—whether the civil war was misconducted or not—still the person of the Sovereign ought not to be endangered; and that the officer commanding the naval force of this country which was on the spot ought to give protection to that Sovereign. In this opinion he (the Duke of Wellington) entirely concurred. Here was a country in a state of general insurrection, with its military force nearly equally divided. No great military event had occurred, but the country was governed by two parties; there was the Government of the insurgents at Oporto, and the Government of the Queen at the headquarters, Lisbon. The Queen's forces were at the latter place, the insurgent forces were at the former. The parties were nearly equally divided; so equally divided, that neither party appeared capable of putting a speedy termination to the contest; and in that case our Minister interfered with a view to causing a formal suspension of hostilities. In addition to this, it was found that there was nearly an equality of the two parties at Oporto, and nearly also an equality of the two parties at Lisbon. Such was the state of things, and such the balanced position of the adherents of the Queen of Portugal and of the insurgents, when presently it was ascertained that the general commanding the insurgent troops at Oporto, consisting of 3,000, 4,000, or 5,000 men (whatever the number might be), embarked them at that port with the intention of taking them down to Lisbon, to make sure of effecting the dethronement of the Queen—to make sure of the necessity of Her Majesty quitting her palace, and possibly being obliged to seek protection on board the British fleet. Was this an object which it was desirable for this country to see accomplished? On the contrary, was it not an object which it was desirable for this country, under any circumstances, to prevent? That object had been prevented. The attempt to send those troops to Lisbon had been put down. The officer commanding the British ships off Oporto was instructed to blockade the Douro; and when Colonel Wylde, who was employed in conducting a mediation between the contending parties, found that he could not prevent hostilities by an armistice, he then gave notice to the general and to the insurgents at Oporto that he would not permit them to go from Oporto for the purpose of putting an end to the Queen's Government at Lisbon. Was it possible that the mediating Power could have acted otherwise, or could have permitted these hostilities to go on? The effect of a mediation, in a public point of view, was that of a national mediation; and in this case the real mediator was Her Majesty the Queen of England. Now, their Lordships must know that a mediator, as such, must be possessed of some degree of military or naval power to sustain its guarantees. In the present instance, was it possible for Her Majesty to provide a force in any other manner than by the equipment of a fleet? Mediation alone, without being prepared with a proper description of force, if necessary, to carry it into effect, might be depended upon too much. But, not being able to mediate by ourselves in this affair, the Government of Portugal asked the mediation of two other countries—France and Spain; and he thought the British Government was quite right in joining those two countries in conducting the mediation, and, if necessary, in enforcing it, and in all probability thereby securing the Queen of Portugal on her throne. He hoped these three mediating Powers—England, France, and Spain—would take care to make proper arrangements for the tranquillity of Portugal, if possible, by means of mediation alone. He certainly should be happy to see that mediation, instead of being established and conducted by one country, conducted and established by two or three. The independence of the country which required the mediation to be exercised, would be better secured by there being a number of mediators than if there were only one. This his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) must readily acknowledge, the moment he reflected that no independent act could be done by France, or Spain, or England alone in the affairs of Portugal; but that there must be a joint action and a joint influence exercised in regard to that country, or none at all, excepting so far as any such might arise from the good understand- ing existing between Portugal and any of the mediating Powers. He thought the Government of this country was justified, when the Queen of Portugal asked it, in conjunction with two other Powers, to mediate between her and her revolted subjects, to accede to that request, and to enter upon that mediation with a perfect good understanding with France and Spain. And here he must observe, that by the course which Her Majesty's Government had taken, they had brought this question to a stage at which, for the moment at least, an end had been put to all danger, and that there was no longer any necessity for those preparations of force which, at the commencement, it was deemed prudent to demonstrate. Nay, he believed that since the intelligence of the seizure of the insurgent general and his troops, a suspension of hostilities had been agreed upon between the Government of the Queen of Portugal and the Junta Oporto. Under these circumstances, he would ask their Lordships whether it would be wise or prudent for them to come to a vote of censure against the Government for what they had done in this matter? If their Lordships were of opinion that Her Majesty's Government ought to settle this question as soon as possible, what, he would ask, would be the effect of an adverse vote by the House of Lords on their proceedings? If, indeed, their Lordships passed a vote approving of all that had been done, then it might aid their efforts in accomplishing the object they were seeking to attain; but his noble Friend (Lord Stanley) had called upon their Lordships to pronounce a vote of censure upon the course which Her Majesty's Government had pursued. Should their Lordships accede to this invitation of the noble Lord, the effect of it would be to prevent Her Majesty's Government from having the opportunity to bring to a successful issue the mediation which they had undertaken, and which they had hitherto conducted in so satisfactory a manner. He hoped, therefore, their Lordships would not vote for the Resolution moved by his noble Friend; and, for the reasons he had stated, he certainly himself could not support it.


was of opinion that the Government of the Queen of Portugal were the offending parties, and that they had provoked the people into a state of hostility, and justifiable hostility, against the Government, for the arbitrary acts which it had committed, in violation of the constitution. Was he to be told, that, however despotic and tyrannical the Queen's Government might be, England was justified in interfering to put down resistance to it? What would the people of Portugal think of such a doctrine as that their submission might be extorted by the arms of England, France, and Spain? Looking at all the transactions of that Government—looking at the acts of cruelty of which it had been guilty—it appeared to him that we were not entitled to interfere on its behalf. Men who had been ready to lay down their lives in the Queen's defence, had been put to a cruel death by banishment to a destructive climate. He had heard that the other House of Parliament had separated without coming to a vote upon this question—a question so important. He could only say that if their Lordships did not condemn the course of policy which the Government had pursued—if they thought it one which they would like to see acted upon on other occasions, and desired to support an interference with the affairs of other countries which might be exercised in our own—they would proclaim it by their vote. But if, as friends of constitutional liberty, they thought that no Government was justified in interfering in the internal affairs of any other country, then, unless they refused their sanction to the principle adopted by Her Majesty's Government, England would no longer hold the high station she now held. He was convinced that the Three Powers which had turned their backs upon Portugal, would rue the day they did so; and, in conclusion, he gave his most cordial support to the Motion of his noble Friend.


said, that, having listened attentively to the speech of his noble Friend (Lord Stanley), he would briefly state the opinion he had formed. He could assure their Lordships that he brought a very impartial mind to this question; and he had arrived at the conclusion that Her Majesty's Government, in choosing the course they had pursued, had selected that which presented the fewest difficulties, and incurred the smallest risk. Although he was no advocate of interference in the affairs of other nations, he agreed with the noble Marquess that there might be circumstances in which such interference would be not only necessary for the interests of this country, but for the good of another country with which we might be connected. He admitted that the enormities of the Queen's Government had been great; but it was to prevent the continuance of those enormities that England had interfered; and by no other means, he believed, could they have been stayed. If Spain had interfered alone, and England had remained passive, as had been suggested was the proper course, could any one suppose that Spain would have made those stipulations for the maintenance of constitutional privileges which England had made? He denied that that would have been the case. He believed that Spain would have marched an army into Lisbon; that they would have joined the Queen's forces, and have established an absolute monarchy in Portugal. He said, then, that it was for the advantage of the rights and liberties of the people of Portugal that England had interfered as she had done. Mr. Southern had stated that a Miguelite party existed in Portugal; and it was his (the Earl of St. Germans') firm belief that at this moment there was a very strong Miguelite party in that country. He believed, with Mr. Southern, that if they had sunk their differences, and joined the Junta, great disorder and misery would have ensued. For these reasons he looked upon the policy of the Government with regard to Portugal as deserving all praise. He thought that the agents of our Government in Portugal had combined firmness with conciliation, and that nothing could be more successful than their policy, and that it would eventually lead to the permanent settlement of affairs in Portugal. He believed that Colonel Wylde had well discharged the delicate mission with which he had been entrusted, his acts having been honest, straightforward, and conciliatory. The choice of the Government lay between courses of extreme difficulty; and although he did not conceal from himself that there might be some danger in the course they had pursued, on the other hand he considered that the evils and miseries which might have resulted from the adoption of a different course would have been much greater. He could not, therefore, support the Motion of his noble Friend.


said, he felt considerable embarrassment in addressing the House on the present occasion; for although he was not prepared to go the length implied by the Motion of the noble Lord opposite, and condemn entirely the policy of Her Majesty's Government, he must nevertheless allow that that policy was open to much criticism, and might well be considered as establishing a precedent which, if not well guarded, would inevitably lead to dangerous consequences. He could not consent to view this question in the only lights in which the noble Duke on the cross benches had placed it; nor could he consider it in the narrow limits in which the noble Duke had attempted to confine it. It could not be looked upon as merely a question of momentary expediency, one which must be weighed according to the mere exigencies of passing events, in which we must confine our observation to the present state of the belligerent parties in Portugal, without calculating future consequences, or preparing to meet subsequent difficulties; but, on the contrary, he contended that it must be looked upon as one in which they were professing a decided principle, and which would be quoted hereafter for or against them in proportion as it was founded in justice and wisdom. The great question of neutrality was involved in the present debate; and they were now called upon to state to what extent and under what circumstances a great principle which all parties seemed anxious to acknowledge was to be departed from. It was scarcely necessary for the noble Lord to quote the numerous authorities he had done on the subject; for no one he (Lord Beaumont) presumed was bold enough to deny that interference in the purely internal affairs of a foreign country was wrong in principle, and dangerous to the independence of nations. Such a line of policy generally recoils on the interfering party; and if we do not be careful that our present proceedings in Portugal are not drawn into a precedent, the time may come when some other Power shall interfere, to our cost, in the internal affairs of a neighbouring nation, and we be obliged to stand silent by, lest our protest be at variance with our example. He was not, however, desirous to carry the principle of neutrality to such an extent as to say that in no instance could that principle be modified or departed from. In the present case, two circumstances might have arisen, either of which would have authorized this country in breaking its hitherto observed neutrality. The one case was the existence of circumstances in the Peninsula, tending to endanger the fulfilment of the terms of a treaty to which we were a party. If the movement had partaken of a decided Miguelite character, it would have threatened to violate a treaty which this country is bound to maintain. If, as had been over and over again attempted to be proved by Saldanha and other partisans of the Queen, that in the forces of the Junta the Miguelite generals had such a preponderance as to add materially to the prospects of the Pretender's success, England would have been obliged to interfere and revive the Quadruple Alliance, inasmuch as a movement which tends to give a dangerous predominance to Don Miguel's adherents tends directly to the violation of the terms imposed on Portugal by that celebrated treaty. Had the noble Viscount at the head of the Foreign Office listened to the statements and representations made both at Lisbon and Madrid in respect to the coalition between the Junta and the Miguelites, and the great influence which the latter exercised in the councils of Oporto; or had he taken the view which France had taken of the struggle, he might have joined M. Guizot in an appeal to the Quadruple Treaty, and flown to the defence of the Throne of Donna Maria. But on more than one occasion, the noble Viscount denied the possibility of the Miguelite party ever gaining such an ascendancy or mustering in such force as to authorize us to make the provisions of the Quadruple Alliance the grounds of our interference; and he rejected all overtures which proposed that treaty as the basis of our negotiations. There was another case in which he should have been justified, under existing treaties, in interfering in the present struggle in Portugal. Such a state of things as would have made an invasion of Portugal by Spain inevitable, would have enabled us to have taken a part in restoring the tranquillity of the country; for, in case of a Spanish or French invasion, we are bound to assist Portugal in repelling the invading armies; and we are consequently entitled to take precautions against such contingency. But nothing had been said or was to be found in the papers which could justify the conclusion that either France or Spain intended a hostile invasion of Portugal; in fact, he (Lord Beaumont) was strongly of opinion that even a single-handed interference was never contemplated by either Power. The noble Marquess the President of the Council had indeed read extracts from the papers on the Table, in which allusion was made to a speech delivered in the Cortes at Madrid, by Senor Pacheco; but that speech in his (Lord -Beaumont's) opinion, referred only to the case of a Miguelite insurrection: for, though in the passage read by the noble Marquess, Mr. Bulwer states that Senor Pacheco declared that his Cabinet would not tolerate the overthrow of the Throne of Donna Maria do Gloria, he, in his next letter, adds— With respect to M. Pacheco's declaration in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies as to the Throne of Queen Donna Maria, I understand that the Government considers Her Majesty's Throne only threatened by Don Miguel, and not by either of the two more or less liberal parties who equally profess allegiance to Her Most Faithful Majesty. It is true that in an extract from another despatch, Mr. Bulwer is represented as assuring the British Government, that an armed intervention of Spain in Portugal may take place in spite of all his efforts; but there was nothing to show that this did not refer to the idea so earnestly impressed on Spain, and so generally entertained at Madrid, that the partisans of the Pretender to the Throne were the strongest part of the forces in revolt against the Queen. If he (Lord Beaumont) read the papers rightly, the meaning of all these passages alluded to an armed intervention under the provisions of the Quadruple Treaty. But even supposing that Spain was anxious to interfere even in a case where the Quadruple Treaty was not violated, he (Lord Beaumont) still maintained that Spain, in contemplating such interference, contemplated it only in conjunction with England. The whole tenor of the correspondence went to that conclusion; and as a proof of the intention of Spain not to interfere, except with the assistance or in conjunction with England, he (Lord Beaumont) put forth the fact, that up to the period of our change of policy the Spaniard had not crossed the frontier, or declared his intention so to do. In respect to France, there was no indication whatsoever that she intended to act alone; but she had betrayed a great anxiety to induce this country to come forward and act in unison with the parties who had signed the Quadruple Alliance, for the purpose of preserving the Throne to Donna Maria. She, like Spain, took a view of the subject different from that taken by Lord Palmerston. She thought that a case had arisen which was likely to cause the Throne of Portugal to be vacated, and that in expectation of such a probable event, the Four Powers should combine their efforts to prevent the continuation of the struggle. M. Guizot's view of the Portuguese question was one founded on the obligation of the Quad- ruple Treaty, and the possibility of a forcible abdication on the part of the Queen; so that in M. Guizot's view of the case, it was evident that France could not contemplate separate interference, but must have advised and acted with the other contracting Powers. The noble Viscount at the head of the Foreign Office, however, still refused to enter into the views of either France or Spain on the subject: he abandoned altogether the grounds on which either of those Powers were willing to co-operate with England in preventing the downfal of Donna Maria's Throne. The Quadruple Treaty, according to the noble Viscount, had accomplished its end, and answered the purpose for which it was signed: it had established the present dynasty, and no rival was in the field; in this instance, the question in dispute was not the pretensions of two claimants—not a question as between the Queen and a Pretender to the Throne—but a struggle between the Government or Queen's Ministers, and those whom that Government had compelled to take up arms to recover their constitutional rights. By abandoning the plea founded on the Quadruple Alliance, the noble Viscount abandoned the only position in which he could quote a treaty as a justification of his interference; for the Quadruple Treaty was the only one which authorized our taking a part in the internal affairs of Portugal. All our other treaties have reference to the supposition of a hostile invasion on the part of France or Spain. He (Lord Beaumont), however, acknowledged that there might be a case in which one Power might interfere in the internal affairs of another, without the authority or obligation of a treaty. If civil commotions of any of the Powers of Europe tended to disturb the peace of neighbouring countries, and the belligerent parties were so equally balanced as to hold out no probability of an early termination to their contests, it would be justifiable for the countries whose peace was endangered by such a prolonged state of things to interfere and put an end to the struggle. But that was not the case with Portugal; neither England nor Spain were exposed to any danger by the contest between the Court of Lisbon and the Junta of Oporto, nor was there any probability at the moment we interfered of that contest lasting much longer. If British interests had been seriously injured, or if the conduct of the Junta had threatened to destroy the privileges and advantages our commerce is en- titled to in Portugal, we might have justly taken steps to oppose such arbitrary proceedings, and interfered in our own behalf: but nothing of the sort had taken place; no excuse of that sort could be pleaded— nay, the very contrary was the case: instead of British interests being endangered, the Junta had from the first preserved and protected them; English merchants were in perfect safety at Oporto, and the suggestions of the British Consul had invariably been attended to. While the Queen's party and advisers were turning a deaf ear to our protests and remonstrances, the Junta were acting in such a manner as to entitle them to the praise and gratitude of the British residents; for the English merchants at Oporto had signed an address to the Junta, thanking them in the strongest terms for the able manner in which they had given security to British property, and expressing their confidence and reliance on the discretion and good will of the Junta. He (Lord Beaumont) must therefore confess that our interference could not be defended on any of the three grounds he had alluded to—the obligations of treaties, the danger to the peace of Europe, or the particular injury to British interests. From the manner in which we had taken part, he (Lord Beaumont) feared that the conclusion generally drawn would be, that we were the partisans of the Court party, and had been animated with hostility to the constitutional party; in which case we would be ostensibly abettors of the monstrous proceedings of the Camarilla at Lisbon, and enemies to the brave resistance made at Oporto to an attempt on the lawful liberties of the people. In our negotiations we had only offered to interfere to the Queen's party, but had insisted on interfering with the constitutional party. We left the Queen the choice of accepting our proposals or declining them; but we left no option to the Junta after once the Queen had agreed to the terms. Considering the reduced state of the Queen's forces and the increasing strength of the Junta, our terms were favourable to the one, and less than what the other could (if left alone) have enforced. We negotiated in a friendly way with the Queen, who had forfeited all claims to consideration, and bullied the Junta, who were the voice of the nation struggling for its rights. The inference is therefore reasonable, that of the two parties we approved of the Queen's rather than of the Junta's; and by doing so, we made ourselves the abettors of her recent pro- ceedings. He (Lord Beamont) was at a loss to understand why we had selected the precise moment of the Queen's incapacity to move her forces on Oporto for our interference, unless we felt a bias in her favour. If our interference at this juncture was justifiable, it would have been equally so at an earlier period; or if we were right in refusing to interfere in the previous stages of the struggle, we were wrong in coming forward now. Nothing had occurred to alter the character of the contest: the objects were the same, and the belligerent parties had done nothing to change our relations toward them. If it was to save the constitution, the constitution had been in much greater danger at the earlier stages of the civil war than at present: if it was to protect the Queen, the Queen's life and her Crown were in no danger from the triumph of the Junta, who fought in the name of the Queen and the constitution. He (Lord Beaumont), however, must confess that he agreed with the noble Marquess below him, that as to the question which party had violated the constitution, the only answer that could be given was, that it had been violated by both. As far back as February 1842, when the Charter of 1826 was substituted for the Code of 1838, great constitutional changes commenced in Portugal. During the whole of the Administration of which the Duke of Terceira was President, and into which Costa Cabral forced himself as Minister of the Interior, a constitutional revolution was going on. Many of those now in arms in the cause of the Junta, to say nothing of the Miguelite generals, had partaken in or connived at great changes in the constitution, and, to the very last, attempts to alter the law of elections were made by both parties now in arms against each other. If he was rightly informed, one of the additional conditions proposed by the Junta, as the terms of their accepting the proposals of England, was to change the system of elections, so as they could, in their opinion, secure a majority in the Cortes. Changes were proposed and effected during the short Administration of Palmella; but these changes, though affecting the constitution, were not to be compared with the violent measures and tyrannical proceedings of the Costa Cabral party; and, again, the violent measures of the Terceira Administration were as nothing compared with the conduct of the Court since the 6th of October. The outrages on the liberty of the subject which led to the revolution of the Minho, were had enough; but the Queen's party, since she assumed the absolute government, out-Herods Herod. Now if we were justified in interfering at all, ought we not to have interfered at an earlier period? Had nothing occurred on the 6th of October, and during the few days following, to endanger the constitution we are so anxious about, rouse the people to revolt, and create the very state of things which we now plead as the grounds of our armed interference? If we were to interfere at all, did not the Queen's conduct prove the necessity of our coming forward at once, and not waiting till now? Had she not broken every promise, abandoned all intention to call the Cortes together, declared her resolution to govern by decree, and driven the people to revolt by leaving them no choice but an absolute government, or resistance to her pretensions? Was not that period as critical a period as the present? Then, again, what could be said in respect of her conduct to the prisoners of Torres Vedras, when she refused to listen to our entreaties or respect our protest? Had not the conduct of the Queen's party, on all these occasions, placed the country in as alarming a state as it was in now; and was not every argument now used to defend our interference as applicable to the former periods as to the present? Since the 6th of October, has not every circumstance which we now urge as the motive of our conduct existed in its full force? Were not the causes of our alarm lest the constitution should be lost in an absolute monarchy, or the person of the Queen exposed to hatred, just as evident as it is at this moment? Yet, from the 6th of October up to the 3rd of April, had not the Government invariably declared its determination to maintain a strict neutrality, unless the rights of British subjects were violated, or British interests exposed to serious danger? When he (Lord Beaumont) had called the attention of the House to the treatment of the prisoners taken at Torres Vedras, the noble Marquess the President of the Council laid down the doctrine that we were not justified in interfering in the internal affairs of an independent country, unless in compliance with pre-existing treaties, or in cases where British interests were injured. To that principle he (Lord Beaumont) acceded as the one which ought to guide our general policy; but he, on the same occasion, admitted that there might be peculiar circumstances attending civil wars which would justify our departing from the strict rule of neutrality as laid down by the noble Marquess. Neither the noble Marquess nor the House allowed that such peculiar circumstances existed in the case of Portugal. An excuse, however—he could call it nothing more—had been put forth for the interference of this Government, which excuse, if adopted, was of a very dangerous character. It had not been relied on by the noble Marquess that evening; but if not disowned, might lead to the conviction that the policy of this country was at the mercy of a few foreign intrigants. It had been stated over and over again, that our change of policy on the present occasion had been forced upon us by what had taken place at the Courts of Madrid and Paris—that an intrigue had been set on foot by the Portuguese Minister at Madrid which would lead to Spanish interference in the struggle in Portugal — that the same intrigue had extended its influence to Paris—and that the object of the parties thus intriguing, both in Paris and Madrid, was under the alarm of a separate interference on the part of either France or Spain to compel this country to abandon its doctrine of neutrality. The intrigue must have been most successful; for it is said now, that we were reduced to such straits that the least of the evils left to our choice was to change suddenly our opinions, and do that of our own accord which, when proposed to us by France and Spain, we solemnly protested against. In other words, we acted, not on what we ourselves considered to be just or honourable towards an ally, but under compulsion, and at the dictate of a petty society of intriguing men at Madrid. If such motives as these were the grounds of our interference, what would be the inference drawn? Why, that hereafter England, after having adopted a certain policy in accordance with her sense of justice, might be obliged to abandon it in order to adopt one that suited the plans and gratified the ambition of a clique of intrigants in a foreign capital. The noble Lord has stated, and justly stated, that there was some degree of partiality in the manner in which the proposals of the British Government were made to the two contending parties. On the other hand, it is said, that the unconditional acceptance by the Queen contrasted with the alterations suggested by the Junta. It might be so; but he (Lord Beaumont) maintained, that the additional terms proposed by the Junta were, with one exception, not only reasonable, but necessary: they were only the necessary guarantees for the performance of the very stipulations contained in the proposal made by this country, and safeguards against the violation of the conditions imposed by the Three Powers on the Queen. Without the additional articles there was no reliance to be placed on the promise of the Court party. What means had the British Government of securing the future good conduct and faithful compliance with the laws of the constitution on the part of the Queen's followers, unless they were prepared to maintain a permanent force in the Tagus, and keep up a constant interference in the internal government of Portugal? Even as it is, with the force we have there at present, no reliance can be placed on the Government. If we intend to keep our engagements with the Junta, either we or one of our allies must undertake to watch every movement of the Court, and interfere in the domestic arrangements of the country. Portugal must submit to a Spanish occupation, or we must take her into our own hands and govern her like a province, or the terms we have now imposed on the belligerent parties will be broken or defeated. He (Lord Beaumont) had said enough to show that he considered the last steps taken by the British Cabinet, of doubtful policy; but he by no means doubted the sincerity of their intentions, or the just character of the object they had ultimately in view; for he believed their interference was dictated by the hope of securing to the greatest extent possible both the liberties of the people and the personal safety of the military leaders who had been in arms against the Queen's Government. He believed that while they intended to support the dynasty on the Throne, they wished to enforce on the Queen a compliance with the just demands of the constitutional party, and a faithful fulfilment of the terms proposed by this country and agreed to by the Court. He, therefore, although he might doubt whether they had taken the best means to attain their object, was not prepared to vote a total want of confidence in the Government, or condemn wholesale their policy. The noble Lord's Motion went to that extent, and he (Lord Beaumont) should, therefore, vote against it.


said, that as far as regarded the unconstitutional acts of the Portuguese Government, and the cruelty practised in Portugal, he believed their Lordships were unanimous in their condemnation of those proceedings; but that, he thought, was not the question before the House. He considered the Government were perfectly justified in adopting the course they had taken, seeing that it was the only one which, under the circumstances, was open to them. It should be recollected that they had secured to the Opposition party in Portugal all the objects which the Opposition professed to wish for, and even more than they originally demanded. The Conde das Antas stated in the first instance that he would be satisfied with the guarantee of the Queen; but the Junta had now the additional guarantee of the Three great Powers for their demands. Besides, the stipulations were to be carried out immediately—the unconstitutional acts committed since October were to be annulled—the Cortes to be instantly convoked, and a general amnesty secured. He trusted their Lordships would do nothing by their votes that evening to diminish such a happy termination to the revolution.

Their Lordships then divided:—Contents 47; Non-contents 66: Majority 19.

Resolved in the negative.

House adjourned.

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