§ MR. ROWNTREE (Scarborough) (for Mr. W. A. M'ARTHUR) (Cornwall, Mid, St. Austell)
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether his attention has been called to a speech delivered by the Premier of New South Wales, in the Legislative Assembly at Sydney, on May 16, 1888, on the Chinese question, in which he states that a telegram sent to the British Government on March 31 was not answered till May 12; if he is aware of the strong feeling of indignation which this apparent neglect has excited in New South Wales; and, what is the reason for the extraordinary delay in the reply to the telegram of March 31?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir JOHN GORST)(who replied) said (Chatham)
The Secretary of State is aware of the speech delivered by Sir Harry Parkes on May 16. It is incorrect to state that the telegram sent by the New South Wales Government on March 31 was not answered till May 12, as on April 13 a telegram was sent acknowledging its receipt, and stating that the subject was under consideration. Her Majesty's Government are not aware that there is any feeling of indignation in New South Wales on this subject. On the contrary, Lord Carrington telegraphed on April 16 that Lord Knutsford's telegram of April 13 "had been received with much satisfaction." Her Majesty's Government have further received the assurance that the Conference which met in Sydney in the beginning of June was sensible of the wish of the Imperial Government to meet the views of the Colonies. As has been shown, there 1244 was no extraordinary delay in replying to the telegram of March 31; and there has been the greatest promptitude in dealing with this complicated subject.