HC Deb 15 June 1863 vol 171 cc897-8

said, he rose to ask of the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, What is the precise nature of the demands made by Her Majesty's Government upon the Government of Japan, in the shape of reparation for outrages committed upon British subjects in that country; and whether there is any objection to state what Instructions have been sent to the British Admiral on the station as to the steps to be taken in the event of the Tycoon's refusal to comply with those demands; and also whether Her Majesty's Government have any ground for supposing that the Tycoon has the power, even if he has the will, to obtain from Prince Satsuma reparation for the murder of Mr. Richardson?


said, in reply, that, as the House was aware, some months ago a murderous attack was made upon four British subjects who were riding upon the high road near Jeddo which had been opened to foreigners under treaty. Mr. Richardson was killed, two of the gentlemen were wounded, and a lady, who was of the party, escaped almost by a miracle. This was not the only outrage which had recently been committed upon British subjects in Japan, and Her Majesty's Government had made demands upon the Japanese Government, the nature of which he had no objection to state. In the first place, they demanded an ample and formal apology for the murder of a British subject on a road which had been opened by treaty, and the payment of £100,000 by the Government of Japan as the penalty for that offence. His hon. Friend had asked whether the Tycoon had power to enforce reparation from a powerful Daimio like the prince whose followers, headed by his father, had committed the offence. Her Majesty's Government had demanded that punishment should be inflicted upon that chief, and that the persons implicated in the outrage should be taken, tried, and, if found guilty, executed in the presence of one or more British officers, and that a sum of £25,000 should be paid by Prince Satsuma as compensation to the family of the victim and those who suffered in the assault. Whether or not the Japanese Government had power to enforce this demand on Prince Satsuma he could not at present state. There was a further demand in consequence of the murder of two ma- rines who were on duty as sentinels when the British Legation was attacked on the 25th of June last. For this a sum of £10,000 had been demanded as compensation to the families of the victims. It would not be in accordance with precedent for him to state the instructions which had been given to the Admiral, but he believed that they were such as were likely to enforce the demands of Her Majesty's Government.