HC Deb 13 March 1885 vol 295 cc1083-4

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he will consider if the time has not come when the Military interests of this Country require that the Declaration of Paris should, like the provisions of the Treaty of 1856, which neutralized the Black Sea, be abrogated, and our full liberty of action as a Maritime Power be resumed?


In answer to this Question, I have to state that Her Majesty's Government have not formed any intention of raising any question with respect to the Declaration of Paris. I think the Question of the hon. Member appears to proceed upon a certain growing misapprehension with regard to two subjects which cannot be said to be strictly akin. The provision for the neutralization of the Black Sea, as it is termed in the Question, had relation to a given state of things which prevailed at the moment; and it was well known amongst those who were immediately connected with the negotiation of the Treaty that it was not expected to be a permanent provision. [Mr. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT: Oh, oh!] That is an interruption of a very extraordinary and unusual character. That, at least, is my opinion. At any rate, the principles involved in the Declaration of Paris, of course, were laid down with respect to the establishment of a permanent rule with regard to the commerce of the world.


asked whether it was not a fact that the abrogation of the Treaty of Paris was extorted from England by a Foreign Power? [Cries of "Oh!"]

[No reply.]