HC Deb 03 July 1879 vol 247 cc1285-6

asked the Under. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true (as stated to be probable in a circular lately issued by 8ir Harry Parkes to the Consular body in Japan) that the Japanese Government have advanced the claim that— They should now be free to frame their own tariff as they please, on a scale not exceeding the rates levied by other nations; whether the Government have reason to believe that the United States and Russia have declared that they consider this view of the Japanese Government to be equitable and satisfactory; whether the Government have instructed Her Majesty's representative in Japan to oppose or to agree to this proposal (if insisted on by that Country and agreed to by the other powers named); whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to lay upon the Table any correspondence which has taken place on this subject; and, whether they propose to communicate to the House particulars of any new proposed Treaty arrangements between this Country and Japan before they are finally accepted or declined?


The Japanese Government have advanced the claim as stated. No communication on the subject of the views of the Governments of the United States and Russia has, however, reached Her Majesty's Government. They have instructed Her Majesty's Representative in Japan to receive the proposals made to him. Her Majesty's Government are not prepared at present to lay Papers on the Table. They will follow the course usually adopted in similar cases, having due regard to precedent and the interests of British commerce.