§ MR. ARTHUR MILLS
said, he wished to asked the Under Secretary of State for 159 the Colonies, Whether the consent of the Legislature of Newfoundland has been or would be asked before concluding the Convention now in course of negotiation between the Governments of England and France on the subject of the Newfoundland Fisheries
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
said, the hon. Gentleman, no doubt, alluded to the assurance given to the people of Newfoundland in 1857 by Lord Taunton, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, to the effect that no modification of their territorial or maritime rights should take place without their consent being first asked and obtained. The Convention in course of execution with the French Government was for the preservation of the national maritime rights of France, and did not interfere with the territorial or maritime rights of Newfoundland. The object was to define and secure to each country its just rights. Lord Taunton's promise was not in the least interfered with by the negotiations, nor was there anything in them, in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, at variance with its spirit. The Convention, therefore, would not be submitted to the Legislature of Newfoundland.