HC Deb 02 September 1886 vol 308 cc1088-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he is aware of the breach of the Convention with France, of 1878, regarding the New Hebrides, by the establishment, at Havannah Harbour, Sandwich Islands, on the 1st of June last, by Lieutenant Legrand, of the French man-of-war Dives, of a military post, and of the hoisting of the French flag, the issuing of a proclamation, and the landing of troops on that Island; whether, in view of the feeling in Australia concerning the possible extension of the French convict system in the Western Pacific, the Government are prepared to make such representations to the French Government as will ensure that the terms of the Convention of 1878 may be carried out in future; and, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the Correspondence between the two Governments on this question, and other Papers relating thereto?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E.STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

The action of the French officials in the New Hebrides has for some time been under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, and representations have been made to the French Government which, as we trust, will speedily place matters upon a satisfactory footing. The negotiations, however, not being yet completed, it would not be possible to lay on the Table at the present moment any of the Correspondence relating to this subject.