HC Deb 24 February 1890 vol 341 c1025

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of Stats for Foreign Affairs whether the appointment of an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of high rank to the Pope, in connection with an ecclesiastical matter in the Island of Malta, is in any way connected with the desire of the Pope to be treated with diplomatically, as if he were a Temporal Sovereign; and if he will explain why the Secretary of State, in making this appointment, has taken a course which this country has so long refused to adopt?


The answer to the first question is in the negative. Her Majesty's Government in employing Sir Lintorn Simmons on a special Mission in regard to matters affecting the welfare of the people of Malta have not acted in-inconsistently with the abstinence hitherto to appoint a permanent representative of Her Majesty at the Vatican.


What I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman is why, in a very small affair of this kind, Her Majesty's Government has thought it necessary to appoint so high a personage as an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary?


The matters treated of will be laid before Parliament at the close of the negotiations, and I think they will not be found to be of very small importance having regard to the size of the Island of Malta.