HC Deb 14 March 1876 vol 227 cc2014-5

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that Japan has declared war against the tributary kingdom of Corea; and, whether any telegrams have been received by the Foreign Office from which the attitude of China towards Japan may be judged?


I have observed in The Times one or two telegrams on this subject, and yesterday a telegram purporting to be dated from St. Petersburg on the 10th month. That telegram said— According to information derived from Government circles, war broke out the day before yesterday between Japan and Corea. Japan declared war, and the Corean ports are said to be blockaded by the Japanese fleet. Now, "the day before yesterday" was the 8th, and according to a telegram which has been received at the Foreign Office from Her Majesty's Legation in Japan, dated the 8th, we hear that negotiations between Japan and Corea were concluded, and a Treaty was signed on February 27 which had been ratified by the King of Corea—so that the information we possess is exactly the reverse of that contained in the telegram to The Times. These are the facts as we receive them, and of course I do not give an opinion as to which telegram is correct, although I hope that the official information we have is substantially true. With regard to the last Question, in respect of the attitude of China, I may say that we have a telegram from Pekin, and we hear that a Japanese mission had arrived at Pekin on the subject of Corea, and that the Chinese Government had informed the mission that they did not intend to take any part in the dispute between Corea and Japan.