§ Mr. Henry Baring
rose to ask a question of the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He was anxious to learn what progress had been made in the negotiations carrying on between Spain and the late Spanish Colonies in South America, respecting the declaration of the independence of the latter. This was a matter of very great interest to many persons in this country who had embarked their fortunes in property in the South American States. Without offering any opinion on the subject, he would only further observe, that he was sure that his Majesty's Government must take as great interest in the subject as their predecessors in office.
§ Viscount Palmerston
assured the hon. Gentleman, that not only his Majesty's present Government, but also the Government that was in office previous to the late Administration, which came into power in December last, felt a deep interest in the subject. The British Government had long been most anxious that the Government of Spain should acknowledge the provinces of South America as independent States, and had been long anxious, through its mediation, to assist in any manner to promote an amicable arrangement between the mother country and those States. The hon. Gentleman was mistaken in supposing that the negotiations now going on in Madrid had been carried on in any manner through the mediation of the British Government; at the same time it would not have hesitated, if requested by the two parties, to have endeavoured to promote an amicable arrangement between them. The Spanish Government had chosen to treat directly with the several governments of South America, and had therefore invited a person from South America, and the negotiations had been carried on between General Soublette and the Spanish Government. The hon. Member must therefore see that it was impossible for him to give any information respecting negotiations in which the British Government took no part; but from all that had come to his knowledge, he had no doubt the two parties would come to an amicable arrangement.
§ Lord Mahon
was happy to hear that the Spanish government were pursuing the course stated by the noble Lord, and was glad that the negotiations were being carried on in a manner likely to lead to a satisfactory result. It was the duty of his Majesty's Government to give every facility to promote the negotiations. He trusted 735 that the time had come when the Spanish Government would enter into their negotiations in a different spirit from that which it had hitherto manifested, and when the prejudices of the mother country would yield to the force of truth and reason.