§ MR. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he will inform the House what was the evidence to which he referred, and by whom it was given, when he used these words in his reply on the 18th of August 1883—The evidence on which I spoke, when I said there was no reason to apprehend any intention of a particular kind on the part of any Foreign Country to annex New Guinea, is by no means confined to mere negative evidence?
In consequence of the Question of the hon. Member, I have referred to the documents which I had before me at the time I used the words quoted; and I am bound to say that the statement I made was entirely justified by the facts; but the documents have not been laid before Parliament, and I do not think it will be fit that I should enter into further details. Since that time one Foreign Power, if not more than one Foreign Power, has seen fit to adopt intentions which at the time I spoke it had not adopted; and that change of intention has led to correspondence with Her Majesty's Government which it would not be expedient to produce, as it is still proceeding.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
Are we to understand that some other Foreign Power besides Germany had an idea of annexation in New Guinea?