HC Deb 02 December 1867 vol 190 cc519-20

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Why there was no diplomatic or consular representative of Great Britain resident at Dresden, all other Powers having recognised agents there; whether Mr. Barnard, who was properly attached to the late British Legation at Dresden, and who now resided at Gotha, might not be with advantage transferred to Dresden; and whether a British Vice Consul might not be appointed, the nearest consular authority being now stationed at Leipsic?


When last year I advised Her Majesty to withdraw the mission then existing at Dresden, I did so on two grounds—the first, that Saxony having joined the North German Confederation no diplomatic business of any importance remained to be transacted there, and it seemed to me that the maintenance of a mission at Dresden was an unnecessary expense. The second ground was that I wished, on the part of the British Govern- ment, to give an early and public mark of adhesion to the policy of North German Unity. Now, however, the Union of North Germany is an accomplished fact—a fact with which no person proposes to interfere. I certainly still think that to retain at Dresden a mission, costing some £4,000 a year, would be needless expenditure of public money. But it is a fact that there is a considerable resident English population in that capital, and many complaints have been made to me at various times of the absence of any British official to attend to their requirements. I find that all the other great Powers have retained Ministers there; and though not proposing to re-establish the mission, I do intend to compromise the matter by sending a Secretary of Legation to reside there as Chargé d'Affaires. This can be done at small cost, and it will, I believe, be satisfactory to the public and meet the wishes of the British population in Dresden. With regard to the question of removing Mr. Barnard, I think the arrangement I propose would be found more convenient. I am disposed to doubt whether the appointment of a Vice Consul would be necessary; but that is a point which may be reserved for future consideration.