§ MR. BUTLER - JOHNSTONE
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he can hold out any confident hope to the House and to the country that the treaties of commerce between this country and France, Italy, and Austria, two of which are shortly shortly about to lapse, will be renewed, and on terms equally favourable to this country as the expiring treaties?
§ MR. BOURKE
Sir, the French treaty expires in June, 1877, if denounced. The Austrian expires in December, 1876, if denounced. The Italian will expire June, 1876, and has been denounced. As to France and Austria, no denunciation has been made. The time, therefore, has not arrived when it is expedient to make any public announcement upon the subject. As to Italy, negotiations are going on with respect to the Treaty, and no efforts shall be wanting on our part to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion. Many influential Members on both sides of the House are aware that Her Majesty's Government are giving the subject serious and anxious consideration, and they are also aware that the views of many commercial bodies in this country have been communicated to my noble Friend at the head of the Foreign Office. I need not say that Her Majesty's Government will continue to use every effort to base our commercial relations with all foreign countries on sound principles.