HC Deb 31 March 1873 vol 215 cc344-5

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If his attention has been called to the fact that the "Liberté" of March 27th, publishes a letter written by M. Barthelemy St. Hilaire to M. de Lesseps, warmly congratulating him in the name of M. Thiers on the verdict by the Suez Canal Company against the Messageries Maritimes, M. Thiers warmly agrees with the views of the Company on the tonnage question, and promised to speak to Lord Lyons in this sense, and will otherwise support the Company as far as possible; and what instructions have been sent to Lord Lyons on this important subject?


The letter, Sir, in question is dated the 14th instant. On the 17th, Her Majesty's Government learnt from Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople that M. de Lesseps had announced that he had received such a communication. Instructions were sent the same evening to Lord Lyons, directing him to ascertain without loss of time whether M. de Lesseps was justified in using M. Thiers's name in insisting at Constantinople upon the pretensions of the Canal Company. Lord Lyons saw M. de Rémusat on the following day, who, in reply to his inquiry, said that certainly M. de Losseps had not any official authority to use M. Thiers's name in the matter. In forwarding an extract from the Liberté on the 28th instant containing this letter, Lord Lyons, referring to the mention of his name in it, says—"Nothing of the kind has ever been said to me by the President of the Republic."