HL Deb 13 June 1872 vol 211 cc1662-3

My Lords, I rise for the purpose of laying on the Table of your Lordships' House two sets of Papers. One consists of a Treaty between Her Majesty and the Emperor of Germany for the mutual surrender of fugitive Criminals. It was signed in London on the 14th of May. The other consists of Papers which are of a somewhat painful character. They are the Correspondence between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the French Republic, on the subject of the disembarkation in England of Communist prisoners. I promised my noble Friend the Marquess of Clanricarde, who is not now present, that in presenting the Papers on the subject I would make a statement in reference to the subject. That statement would have involved a recapitulation of facts which have excited an anxious feeling in this country—and this feeling was one of the reasons which induced Her Majesty's Government to make representations to that of France on the subject. A correspondence ensued which has closed with a despatch from M. de Rémusat, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, which will prevent the necessity of my going into any details. If my noble Friend Earl Stan- hope, who referred to the subject on a former evening, had been present, he would have been ready to vouch for the high character which M. de Rémusat had always held in this country both as a politician and literary man, and the assurance he now gave was only in conformity with his general language towards this country since he had held the seals of the Foreign Department. This is a précis of the communication from the French Minister— M. de Rémusat acknowledges the receipt of Lord Lyons' note, stating that Her Majesty's Government could not consent to the deportation to England of the class of persons in question, whether they are provided or not with the means of subsistence, and gives the assurance that the French Government would not deviate from the precautions which they had taken since their attention was first called to the subject. He adds that the persons thus restored to liberty on the sole condition that they shall not reside in France shall not be subject to any measure tending to inflict their presence on a friendly country—a measure susceptible of being assimilated to transportation; and M. de Rémusat expresses regret if any misunderstanding on the subject has arisen, as the French Government are determined to abstain from all such interference as might induce French exiles to elect Great Britain as their place of abode. My Lords, I think this is a happy termination of that difficulty, and that I need say no more on the subject in presenting this Paper

Correspondence respecting the embarkation of communist prisoners from French Ports to England: And

Treaty between Her Majesty and the Emperor of Germany for the mutual surrender of fugitive criminals; signed at London 14th May 1872:

Presented (by command), and ordered to lie on the Table.