HL Deb 02 March 1855 vol 137 cc1-2

My Lords, I feel it to be my duty to communicate to your Lordships the contents of a telegraphic despatch which I received about half an hour ago from Her Majesty's Minister at the Hague. They are as follow—"The Emperor Nicholas died this morning at one A.M., of pulmonic apoplexy, after an attack of influenza." I have also received a despatch from Her Majesty's Minister at Berlin, stating that "the Emperor of Russia died between twelve and one o'clock this morning." This afternoon, about an hour before the receipt of the despatches which I have just read to your Lordships, I received an account from Berlin, from my noble Friend Lord John Russell, stating that the Emperor of Russia was on the point of death, and had already taken leave of his family. I apprehend, therefore, my Lords, that although this event occurred so short a time ago as between twelve and one o'clock this morning, there can be no doubt of the authenticity of the fact. Under these circumstances, as this unexpected event must exercise so important and immediate an influence upon the war, upon the negotiations for peace that are now going on, and possibly, also, upon the policy of Russia, I think my noble and learned Friend opposite will agree with me that it might be attended with much inconvenience if he were this evening to bring forward the Motion of which he has given notice with respect to the position of Prussia; and I trust, therefore, that on public grounds, he will not object to postpone his Motion, at least for a time.


After the statement made by my noble Friend, I shall not of course proceed with my Motion this evening; but I beg to state that I shall not withdraw it—I shall merely postpone it: and unless I find, as the result of the negotiations that are said now to be going on at Berlin, that Prussia accedes to the treaty of the 2nd of December, or enters into some equivalent treaty with France and England, I shall bring forward my Motion upon some future day.

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