HL Deb 24 June 1847 vol 93 cc836-7

called the attention of the Government to the case of Das Antas and others of the prisoners in the Fort St. Julian, and was understood to say that he believed the Count to be utterly incapable of dishonourable conduct, and of the use of his influence in the manner imputed to him in some quarters. He (Lord Brougham) did not ask that the whole body of the prisoners should be set at liberty, to recover arms and to take up the cause of the Junta; but he hoped and trusted that Das Antas, and other officers in whom confidence could be reposed, might be selected as worthy to be released upon their parole. Nothing could be harder or more unjust upon those individuals who had no bad intentions than to keep them in custody until every other person who might have evil designs should have given up those designs and come in to the terms proposed; it was making these individuals answerable, not for their own conduct, but for that of others. The facts strongly inclined one to believe that Das Antas differed from the Junta; and, without meaning to say that he surrendered himself to escape from the pressure of popular influences at Oporto, he (Lord Brougham) was disposed to think that the Count so far differed from the Junta, that he was willing to offer very little resistance on that occasion. The Portuguese were an exceedingly well-disposed people, though obstinate; and the release of Das Antas and others, upon their parole, would tend greatly to put an end to the present resistance to the Queen's authority. It would also he as popular an act as could be done, if the King would resign the command of the army.


was understood to say, that he perfectly agreed with the noble and learned Lord in the character he had given of the Count das Antas, whom he believed to be a distinguished and gallant officer, and a most honourable man: and there existed on the part of the British admiral and the British officers at Portugal the greatest desire to show that attention and respect personally to a brave officer which his character and station entitled him to. He (the Marquess of Lansdowne) was sure that there could be felt no intention so improper or unfair, either in Portugal or anywhere else, as that of prolonging the term of captivity— if captivity it were to be called—longer than was absolutely necessary; and, least of all, to make its cessation dependent on the total pacification of Portugal—if by that term was to be understood the surrender of every individual insurgent.


expressed his satisfaction at the answer given by the noble Marquess, particularly in respect to the latter part of it.

Back to