HC Deb 11 July 1890 vol 346 cc1475-6

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he will explain under what authority "Great Britain" only is no constantly employed in official documents, as in Articles I., II., and XI. of the Agreement with Germany regarding Africa and Heligoland, and in Consular Reports, although it was agreed under the Act of Union that the Power theretofore known as "Great Britain" should in future be known as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland"; whether he is aware that the use of "Great Britain" in the double sense of "Great Britain" and of the "United Kingdom" is often misleading in matters of trade and statistics; and whether there would be any objection to issuing orders to persons negotiating on behalf of Her Majesty, and to persons representing Her Majesty abroad, properly to designate in their official communications the Kingdom over every portion of which Her Majesty's reigns?


Before my right hon. Friend answers this question I should like to ask him whether, having regard to the fact that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland represents only one seventy-fourth part of the area of the Queen's Dominions, and contains less than one-eighth of Her Majesty's subjects, the style of the British Empire would not be more correct in Treaties and communications with Foreign Powers, than either Great Britain or the United Kingdom?


I have always been of opinion that the United Kingdom implies the dependencies of the United Kingdom not properly dependencies, but subject to the Queen, wherever they may be found. If by any chance in any public document the United Kingdom is not specified, the phrase Great Britain used as a short title is by no means held to imply that Her Majesty's Government, or those who are acting on their behalf, are unconscious of the claim of Ireland to be included in her proper place in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.


Is it not a fact that the practice tends to lower the prestige of Ireland abroad?

[No answer was given.]