HC Deb 11 July 1883 vol 281 cc1088-9

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If he has received a communication from a number of shipowners connected with the London Chamber of Shipping embodying their views relative to the future government, tonnage charges, and pilotage arrangements of the Suez Canal; and, whether he will be good enough to inform the House, how the bases of arrangements proposed by M. De Lesseps for the future management of the existing or any new Canal which may be constructed by his Company, include the objects desired by the shipowners?


Sir, I have received such a communication as is described in the first paragraph of this Question, and I believe it has also been made public, so that the world is cognizant of its contents. With respect to the relation between the bases of arrangements in connection with the proposals made by M. de Lesseps for the future management of the new Canal, and with respect to the Correspondence between such bases and the Memorial on that subject, I think I had better leave it to my hon. Friend and the House themselves to make a comparison than attempt to do it in an imperfect manner, because my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is prepared at once to make a statement of the substance of the views we entertain, and will also be able to lay it on the Table of the House.


Sir, in accordance with the Notice I gave yesterday afternoon, I will now communicate to the House the heads of the provisional Agreement made with M. de Lesseps for the construction, by the Suez Canal Company, of a second Canal. I should not have made this communication under ordinary circumstances on a Wednesday; but for more reasons than one I think it most important that no delay should take place in making known arrangements of a financial character, such as those I am about to state. The negotiations have been for some time in progress at Paris, and have reached their present stage after personal interviews between Members of Her Majesty's Government and M. de Lesseps and M. Charles de Lesseps in London. I will now state to the House the provisional arrangement which was settled yesterday evening—