HC Deb 01 May 1884 vol 287 c1026

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Anglo-French Commission, which has recently been sitting in Paris, on the subject of the Newfoundland Fishing Treaties, has made its Report; if so, whether such Report will be laid upon the Table of the House before it comes into operation; if not, whether such Report contains provision to render the assent of the Newfoundland Legislature a condition precedent to such Report having any operation; and, whether the Report denies, and sets at rest, the pretensions of France to any territorial rights beyond those expressly conceded on the seashore to the subjects of that nation by treaty, for mere fishery purposes?


The Joint Commission will not make any Report. It was appointed for the purpose of considering whether any arrangement could be made for the continued exercise of the French fishery rights in such a manner as to give increased facilities for British subjects and the development of Colonial industries. The British Commissioners have signed a project of arrangement, subject to the confirmation of the two Governments, and the Newfoundland Government will be consulted before the arrangement is confirmed. The two British Commissioners will go to Newfoundland to explain what is proposed. Papers will be presented to Parliament containing the Reports made to Her Majesty's Government by the British Commissioners and other correspondents. The French Government put forward no pretension to any territorial rights beyond those expressly conceded by Treaty for fishing purposes on the seashore, and Her Majesty's Government believe that the new arrangement, which keeps within the lines of the Treaties, will prove very advantageous to British interests.

In reply to a further Question from Mr. JOSEPH COWEN,


There are provisions in the projected arrangement which will undoubtedly require the consent of the Colonial Legislature to give them validity.