HL Deb 25 May 1848 vol 98 c1330

Lord Brougham wished to put a question to the noble Marquess opposite respecting a speech, or pretended speech, of M. Lamartine. He wished to know whether the British Ambassador at Paris had forwarded to Her Majesty's Government any account of a speech said to have been delivered by M. Lamartine, the head of the Executive Government of France, to the effect that France was prepared to act upon the principle that any people desiring to obtain their rights, but who were weak enough not to be able to obtain them without assistance—that France was bound to help a nation so circumstanced, and to co-operate with her for the purpose of obtaining her rights—that at the present moment there were 30,000 men, and that that number could speedily be increased to 60,000—that those men were ready to appear on the frontier of Italy, or of any neighbouring Power —and that they were now ready to cross the Alps? This was the language held on the 19th of November, 1792—if not exactly in the same words, the intent and purport were the same. He wished to know if the Government had received any account of that speech, and, if so, were they prepared to lay such account on the table of the House? If no such account appeared—if Lord Normanby forwarded no communication on the subject—he must conclude that the report of such a speech was altogether false and unfounded.

The Marquess of LANSDOWNE had no other knowledge of any such speech, true or false, than that which he had derived from the newspapers. He had seen no report on the subject from the British Minister; he had seen that morning a despatch from Paris, in which no reference was made to the subject.