§ MR. AUBERON HERBERT
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether an application has been made during the last few days by France to the English Government to lend their good offices with a view to secure moderate terms of Peace?
Since I answered my hon. Friend's Question on a former day, a communication has been made to Her Majesty's Government by the French Government of Defence, which, as my hon. Friend knows, is at the present moment in the same position as a Ministry in this country which has resigned but holds the Seals of Office until their successors are ready to assume them. I am not in possession of a copy of that communication; but I think I can describe its purport, which I do not think entirely to correspond with the Question of my hon. Friend. The purport of it I understand to be, as it was conveyed by M. Tissot to Lord Granville, that the French Government of Defence expressed a hope, in a form more or less general, that Her Majesty's Government would exercise its influence in a way beneficial to France in reference to the negotiations for peace. In fact, what was intended to be conveyed was a hope on the the part of the Government of National Defence that Her Majesty's Government would, in order to facilitate the progress of the negotiations, recognize, with as little delay as possible, the new Government about to be appointed under the authority of the National Assembly. The communication was, as I understand it, the general expression of a wish for the friendly aid of England, and that, generally, the expression pointed specifically to an early recognition of the new Government. In reply to this Lord Granville stated to M. Tissot the satisfaction with which Her Majesty's Government had perceived the orderly manner in which the elections had been conducted in France under circumstances 327 of extreme difficulty, adding that though Her Majesty's Government felt it to be a duty to reserve expressions of opinion for the present, they had made preparation to recognize the French Government without the slightest possible delay on its assuming Office.