HC Deb 04 July 1881 vol 262 cc1951-2

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the statement is correct which recently appeared in the newspapers, that the French Consul at Quebec has received and communicated to the Governor General in Council, official information that the French Minister for Foreign Affairs desires to conclude a Commercial Treaty direct with Canada?


The newspaper report to which the hon. Member refers is not accurate. The following is an exact statement of the facts:—On the 25th ultimo the French Consul General at Quebec informed the Minister of Public Works of Canada that— He had been instructed by his Government to acquaint the Federal Cabinet of Ottawa that negotiations having been opened between England and France for the renewal of the Treaty of Commerce, any steps which Canada might wish to take with a view to join in them would be received with the greatest sympathy. This communication was made known to the Canadian Prime Minister, now in this country, who instructed Sir Hector Langevin, on the 29th ultimo, to inform the French Consul General— That the Dominion Government would submit their views, as in duty bound, through Her Majesty's Government. Her Majesty's Government consider that the proceeding of the French Consul General was irregular, and a representation on the subject will be addressed to the French Government.