§ MR. BOUVERIE
I wish, Sir, to ask the right hon. Gentleman, Whether it would be convenient for him to state what is the present condition of the negotiations respecting the Treaty of Washington? There is great anxiety on the part of the House to have such a statement, and the right hon. Gentleman may, perhaps, feel that it would be even expedient for him to make it.
I certainly wish, Sir, I had received some prior intimation of a Question of such great importance. At the same time, I am very sensible of the truth of what my right hon. Friend says—namely, that this is not only a matter of very great importance, but that it would be very desirable to make a statement to the House respecting it if I could do so with propriety. The moment has not arrived for making such a statement, though I am in hopes it will shortly arrive; and my right hon. Friend may rely that it will not be postponed for one moment longer than in our opinion is deemed necessary.
§ MR. OSBORNE
I do not wish to repeat the Question put to the First Minister by my right hon. Friend, but I think the House would like to know, whether there is any truth in the Despatch which has been printed in The Times this morning from New York relating to the Treaty?
If my right, hon. Friend refers to a telegraph despatch which is stated to have come not in the regular course, and which is printed to-day in The Times and Daily Telegraph— I do not remember the precise terms of the despatch, but the general effect of it is that negotiations between the two Governments are actually or virtually at an end—that telegram is incorrect.