HC Deb 20 March 1883 vol 277 c936

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any further communications have passed between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Prance with respect to Madagascar since the 9th of February; and, if so, whether he can state the nature of those communications, or lay them upon the Table of the House; whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to recognise, or have recognised, the French claims set forth in the following extract (Africa, No. 1, 1883), p. 42, Mons. Dúclere to Mons. Tissot:— It is necessary to recall now that the rights claimed by France on the N.W. coast of Madagascar are certain, and are confirmed by regular treaties. If the conferences were not broken off on this point it was only because the Hova envoys engaged to concede to us the demands which we have the right and determination to enforce; whether the Hova envoys acknowledged having made any such concessions as alluded to above; and, whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to allow, without interference, the Madagascar Government to make concessions to the French Government of the nature alluded to above?


No, Sir; no further communication has taken place. Her Majesty's Government have not been called upon to express any official opinion on the claims of the French Government referred to by my noble Friend, which, however, are new to them. The Hova Envoys are understood to deny having made the concessions referred to. Her Majesty's Government have, throughout the negotiations, shown their desire to promote a peaceful solution of the existing difficulties, and will continue to do so according as opportunity may arise. Beyond this, they are not prepared to go.