§ SIR RICHARD TEMPLE (Worcester, Evesham)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can confirm the correctness of a telegram that appeared in the Times of 5th April relative to the opening of 1640 the Port of Chunking, in Western China, to British trade, and whether from this-date British goods will be admitted into Chunking free of all further taxation after payment of the one Import Duty in Shanghai; whether the sale of Mr. Little's steamer to the Chinese Government had been effected with the knowledge of Her Majesty's Minister in China; and, if so, whether the right, held under the Chefoo Convention, of British steamers to run to the Port of Chungking, has been waived until such time as the Chinese themselves shall run steamers to that port; whether, in opening the port, arrangements have been made for the setting aside of a piece of ground for the occupation by British residents, as has been done in Hankow and other places; whether the Government has retained the right to send men-of-war to visit the port from time to-time, as is the custom in the other Treaty Ports of China and Japan; and whether he can give the House any information as to the probability of British merchants-eventually being permitted to run steamers to this new Treaty Port?
§ *THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir J. FERGUSSON,) Manchester, N.E.
Generally the purport of the telegram in the Times of April 5th is correct, but the Article will not come into force until the ratifications have been exchanged at Peking. The text of the Article is on its way to this country, and will be published after ratification. The answer to the second paragraph of the question is in the affirmative. It is not possible to reply to the remaining paragraphs of the question until the text of the Article has been examined in this country.