HC Deb 08 March 1878 vol 238 cc977-8

When I gave private Notice to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that I should ask a Question about the Congress, I did not observe that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Christchurch (Sir H. Drummond Wolff) had on the Paper a Question on the same subject to be put on going into Committee of Supply. As it may be doubtful at what hour the hon. Gentleman may be able to put his Question, it may be for the convenience of the House that I should take this opportunity to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he is able to give any information as to the meeting of the Conference or Congress?


I am afraid I cannot give any information as to the time of the meeting of the Conference or Congress. But I may state this—that originally the invitation to Her Majesty's Government, which came from the Government of Austria, was to attend a Conference to be held at Vienna, and that place was afterwards changed to Baden-Baden. Her Majesty's Government accepted that invitation, and designated Lord Lyons, Her Majesty's Ambassador at Paris, to be our Plenipotentiary. Quite recently, yesterday—I think yesterday afternoon —another communication was made by the Austro-Hungarian Government, proposing that the Conference should be held at Berlin. Her Majesty's Government had no objection to the change of place, and I believe that the answer has been by this time given accepting that change. Lord Lyons has been for some little time designated as Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, and has been for some days in England in conference with Her Majesty's Government on the subject, and he will remain, no doubt, the Plenipotentiary who will represent this Government at the Conference. I mention that because that is a Question of which my hon. Friend (Sir H. Drummond Wolff) has given Notice.


said, the reason he had put his Question on the Paper was because he wanted a discussion as to the propriety of going into the Congress at all.