§ LORD LYNDHURST
I wish to ask the noble Earl opposite what course he means to pursue with respect to the Motion which stands in his name for Friday next—whether he means to alter the course he intended to have pursued in consequence of the scene last night, of which, I believe, the noble Earl was a spectator?
§ EARL GREY
I can only say, in answer to the noble and learned Lord, that I undoubtedly was a spectator to the scene to which he has adverted, though I cannot say that I was an edified spectator. I can only state, further, that I am not at present aware of any sufficient reason why I should postpone my Motion; but, if any reason can be shown why I should adopt that course, I shall be prepared to consider it.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
It is not for me to suggest what course the noble Earl should pursue. I understood that the noble Earl had postponed his Motion, which he had originally fixed for Monday, until Friday, in order that it might not interfere with the very important discussion that was expected to take place upon the subject in the other House, and in order that when it was brought under the consideration of your Lordships the noble Earl might have the advantage of the prestige of the eloquence displayed in the other House, as well as the powerful division by which the views of the noble Earl might be there supported. I can only suggest to the noble Earl that the motives which stood in his way in bringing forward the Motion on Monday will equally attend the bringing forward the Motion on Friday. It is certainly a matter of indifference to me whether the noble Earl brings forward his Motion on Friday or not, and I merely wish to remind him that by bringing it forward on Friday, he will deprive himself of all the advantages which it has been thought would arise from a delay.
§ EARL GREY
I did not postpone my motion either for my own convenience or for the sake of deriving any advantage from the debate in another place; but because it was strongly represented to me, by those who took the same view of the question as I did, that it would be disadvantageous to bring forward the Motion on the same night that a similar Motion was discussed in the other House. I must say that it was with great reluctance, and against my own wishes, that I consented to postpone the Motion.
§ LORD LYNDHURST
I understand that some negotiations at Vienna are still pending, and that it would inflict an injury upon the public interests to bring forward the Motion of the noble Earl until those negotiations are brought to a close. Under such circumstances, I think it desirable that your Lordships should know the state of those negotiations, and whether they are still pending or not.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
With regard to the question which has been put by the noble and learned Lord, my noble Friend (Earl Grey), as a spectator of the scene which has been described as having taken place in the other House, would be able to give almost as ample an answer as I can give myself. With regard to the state of negotiations at Vienna, it is not true, as has been supposed, that they have been finally closed. The Government are ready to receive any propositions that may lead to a safe and honourable peace, and they also leave themselves open to decline any terms which may lead to a contrary result. Certainly the conferences are not closed; and, under the circumstances of the case, it is for the noble Earl himself to consider what course he ought to adopt. I should be the last person to point out to the noble Earl what his duty is. It is solely for the noble Earl to consider what course to pursure, and I make no appeal to him on the part of the Government. We shall be prepared to meet the question whenever it may be brought forward, and it is for the noble Earl to consider what his public duty impels him to do on this occasion.
§ LORD LYNDHURST
The noble Earl says the negotiations are not closed; but are they going on? They may remain open for a twelvemonth. Have any propositions been made which are still under consideration, or have they been rejected? Is there any probability of any further propositions being made, and if so, within what time; or have the Government made up their 867 minds as to the period at which there is any probability of the Conferences being concluded? I never heard anything more vague.