HC Deb 16 June 1890 vol 345 cc1042-3

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the modus vivendi agreed upon by the French and British Governments will he enforced by the latter in the face of the refusal of the Newfoundland Legislature and people to sanction the arrangement?


The objections of the Newfoundland Legislature seem to be mainly founded on a mistaken notion that the modus vivendi tends to impair their rights, or to admit claims on the part of France hitherto not acknowledged. This is not the case, as all rights on both sides are expressly reserved. Some understanding as to the mode of procedure for this reason is absolutely necessary, and Her Majesty's Government must act upon that which has been arranged with the French Government. But Her Majesty's naval officers will endeavour to carry it into effect with all possible regard for the interests of the colony and of the individuals who may be affected. I may add that from recent telegraphic correspondence it would seem that the Joint Committee of both Houses of the Colonial Legislature, while protesting against the French claim to erect any lobster factory, were prepared to admit in practice the main provisions of the modus vivendi in deference to the wishes of Her Majesty's Government.