§ COLONEL SYKES
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any account has been received at the Foreign Office in confirmation of statements published in the journals of Northern China, quoting letters from Pekin, that the French Chargé d'Affaires, M. Rochfort, had been grossly insulted in Pekin by a high functionary, and had demanded an apology, under the threat of hauling down the French flag, and that the other Foreign Ministers had concurred in the proceedings of M. Rochfort. Also, whether Prince Kung had resigned his seat as Chief of the Foreign Office, and that the Viceroy had been appointed to a seat in the Cabinet at Pekin?
said, that no official information had been received at the Foreign Office of the circumstances alluded to; but he had seen them related in the China Mail of the 13th May, and at the risk of disappointing his hon. and gallant Friend, he must express an opinion that they were greatly exaggerated. In a St. Petersburgh letter in a Belgian newspaper of the 18th June there was an account of the transaction, and which stated that the matter had been completely and satisfactorily settled. The latest accounts received at the Foreign Office were dated to 16th April, and what his hon. and gallant Friend had been pleased to call a fracas occurred on the 18th, consequently after the last advices left China.