HC Deb 01 July 1880 vol 253 cc1245-6

asked the Secretary of State for India, What is the present state of diplomatic relations between the Government of India and the King of Burmah; and, whether, having regard to the conciliatory disposition evinced for some months past by the King of Burmah, Her Majesty's Government will consider the propriety of directing the British Envoy to return to Mandalay?


in reply, said, in consequence of the attitude of the Government of Burmah towards the British Resident at Mandalay and other causes, the relations of the Indian Government to the Government of Burmah last year were extremely strained. On the death of Mr. Shaw in June 1879, Colonel Harold Browne was immediately despatched to succeed him; but, in consequence of the difficulties of his position, that gentleman was recalled, and an Assistant Resident left at the capital to transact current business. The latter found his position at Mandalay so precarious, that it was impossible for him to remain any longer without danger to his own life and that of his assistants; and, consequently, in October 1879, the British Mission was withdrawn. In consequence of certain riotous assaults since that period in Upper Burmah on British flotilla steamers, demands for redress had been addressed to the Government of Burmah; but the result was not yet known. The Indian Government would consider the propriety of appointing a British Resident as soon as certain stipulations which it was considered right and necessary to insist upon with regard to the treatment of the Mission should be accepted. A special Mission had been sent by the King of Burmah to the Frontier; but, although it was said to have full powers, it appeared that the Envoy had not been definitely instructed by the King to assent to the preliminary conditions which the Indian Government considered indispensable to the re-establishment of a British Mission at Mandalay. The whole question of our relations with Burmah was now under the consideration of the Government of India; and, no doubt, the Viceroy would be greatly assisted by the advice of the Chief Commissioner of British Burmah, who had lately been appointed a provisional member of the Council of the Governor General.