HL Deb 15 March 1858 vol 149 cc163-4

begged to ask his noble Friend at the head of the Foreign Office when the papers in relation to slavery, which had been ordered some time ago, would be laid upon the table?


I am sorry to inform my noble and learned Friend I am afraid that the papers alluded to will not be ready before May, or even June. The delay arises from certain formalities which have to be gone through; and all the Returns have not yet been received. They will run to a much greater length than was at first supposed. I am sure that my noble and learned Friend will not be disappointed by this delay, for when they are produced they will be found to be very satisfactory. Instead of 1,000 or 1,200 pages, as was expected, they would extend to 2,000. By the end of May or the beginning of June they will be ready for presentation to the House.


said, that the reason assigned for the delay was most satisfactory; but from what had passed outside of the House he expected that such arrangements would be made for the future as would ensure those Returns being made at an early period of the year.