HC Deb 26 May 1884 vol 288 c1294

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If his attention has been called to the article in The National with regard to the recent Treaty of Tien-Tsin, in which it is stated that the French Do not plume themselves on an exaggerated Liberalism in tariff matters; and, though they will not shut out Foreign trade from their new markets, yet they will make it pay its share of the expenses of the conquest and occupation; whether the freedom of commerce in the provinces of Southern China will, in future, be hampered by prohibitive duties, and henceforth dependent on the goodwill of France; whether China has infringed the letter of her engagements with other Powers by her concession of exclusive rights to France; and, whether he will take any steps, and, if so, what, to prevent the destruction of British interests?


The questions alluded to by the hon. Member are engaging the serious attention of Her Majesty's Government; but it would be premature for them to express any opinion at present, inasmuch as the Treaty of Commerce between France and China contemplated in Article 3 of the recent Treaty of Tien-Tsin has not yet been, concluded.