HC Deb 31 August 1886 vol 308 cc890-1
MR. KING (Hull, Central)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the Convention lately signed at Pekin, virtually nullifying the Clause in the Chefoo Convention under which costly preparations had been made to send a mission to Thibet, and further agreeing to send decennial missions from Burma to Pekin, has yet been ratified; what practical advantages have been gained to compensate for these concessions; whether the consequence of the agreement to send a decennial mission from Burma to Pekin is a recognition of the suzerainty of China over the whole of Burma, or to what extent, and what will be its effect upon the status of Chinese subjects visiting Burma or domiciled there; what expense has been incurred in the preparations for the Thibet mission, and whether the cost will be charged on the Indian revenues; whether the Indian Government was consulted before these two concessions were made to China; and, if so, whether that Government approved or objected to them; and, when Papers on the subject will be presented to Parliament?


The Convention has not actually been ratified, because it has not yet reached this country in its formal shape; but it is virtually concluded. As practical advantages, we have obtained the fullest recognition by the Chinese Government of the establishment of British rule in Upper Burmah; we have retained freedom of action with reference to our boundaries; we have secured the frontier trade between China and Burmah, and opened up South-West China to our commerce; China has undertaken to promote and stimulate trade between India and Thibet, which was the sole object of our intended Mission to the latter. The agreement does not recognize the suzerainty of China over any part of Burmah, and in no way affects the status of Chinese subjects in Burmah. The cost of the preparations for the Thibet Mission is not yet known; it will be borne by Indian Revenues. The negotiations were conducted throughout in communication with the Government of India, and the terms of the Convention had their entire approval before they were approved by Her Majesty's Government. A copy of the agreement will be presented to Parliament as soon as it has been received from Pekin.