HC Deb 13 June 1892 vol 5 cc996-1001

17. "That a sum, not exceeding £219,747, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1893, for the expenses of Her Majesty's Embassies and Missions abroad, and of the Consular Establishments abroad and other expenditure chargeable on the Consular Vote."

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

(12.49.) MR. LEGH (Lancashire, S.W., Newton)

Upon this Vote I should like to obtain some information in regard to our Legation at Bucharest. Last year, when Sir Henry Drummond Wolff was appointed to this post, the salary was increased from £2,500 to £3,500, and we were told the Mission was created one of the first class. The explanation of the circumstances given by the then Under Secretary was that Sir Henry Drummond Wolff's salary was raised on account of his distinguished services; though, for my part, I am unable to recollect any specially distinguished services rendered by that gentleman. The salary was raised on account of the increased importance of the Legation. But now I observe the salary of our Minister there has been reduced by £1,000, and that, I think, the House will agree with me requires some explanation. Does the post continue a first-class Mission? Are the services of Sir Henry Drummond Wolff really worth more by £1,000 than those of any other Minister succeeding him at Bucharest, or are our relations with Roumania of less importance now that Sir Henry Drummond Wolff has left that post? Of course, if that is the case, I have nothing more to say; but it does appear to me that an undeserved slight has been passed upon our Minister, Sir John Walsham, who succeeded Sir Henry Drummond Wolff at Bucharest, and who was lately our Ambassador to China.


I wish I could satisfy the hon. Member, but, unfortunately, this is the first notice I have had of his intention to raise this question at this stage of our proceedings, and, therefore, he must not think it extraordinary if I am unable to reply in detail upon the point he has raised. The hon. Member is in error, I think, in assuming that the salary of the Minister in Roumania is reduced. If he will look at the Vote, Class V., page 397, he will observe that the salary attached to the post is exactly the same this year as last year—namely, £2,400. There is, therefore, no slight east upon Sir John Walsham or any other gentleman appointed to the post of Minister to Roumania. The hon. Member has stated that when Sir Henry Drummond Wolff was appointed he received an extra £1,000 a year. I had not at the time the honour of holding the position I now do, and, therefore, I am not able to state when the question is sprung upon me the reasons which induced the Secretary of State to increase the salary attaching at that time to the post at Bucharest; but if I may venture to conjecture, it was probably due to the fact that Sir Henry Drummond Wolff had suffered considerably in health during his residence in Persia, and the extra salary was a purely personal one, attaching to him during his residence in Bucharest. That may be the possible explanation on the point upon which the hon. Member desires information. But if my hon. Friend will put a question on the Paper for to-morrow, or a later date, I shall be glad to inquire whether the reason I have given is correct, or whether there are any other reasons in reference to the matter upon which he inquires.

(12.52.) MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

I take the opportunity to ask the hon. Gentleman for information upon two points—first, whether it is intended to lay before the House any Papers in reference to Madagascar, and the various negotiations which have been going on with the Governments of Madagascar and France; and, secondly, when it is proposed to give us further information in reference to the Persian Tobacco Monopoly and the dealings of Her Majesty's Government therewith.

*(12.53.) MR. LOWTHER

I can only reply with the permission of the House. I do not think there is any intention to lay Papers with regard to Madagascar. The communications which have passed between Her Majesty's Government and the French Government have been few in reference to this matter. With regard to Papers on the Persian tobacco question, I can only repeat what I have already said, that as soon as an arrangement has been arrived at between the Persian Government and the Corporation, Papers will be at once presented; but so long as negotiations are pending it is impossible to produce Papers. They are in a forward state of preparation, and as soon as a definite arrangement is come to they will be presented.

(12.54.) COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)

May I ask the hon. Gentleman does he still adhere to the statement he made the other night that a message may shortly be expected from Captain Lugard at Uganda? This he said six or eight days ago; has he still reason to hope that a message will shortly be received? I have to-day seen in the Press a statement that there is reason to suppose despatches have been lost or intercepted; but can the hon. Gentleman say now if we may expect to get despatches from Uganda giving us some explanation as to the reported extermination of the Catholic Mission there?

(12.55.) DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

I shall be glad if the hon. Gentleman can give us any information as to the truth of reports published tonight of fresh outrages upon missionaries in China. The reports come by way of Shanghai and San Francisco— Of renewed outrages upon European missionaries in the Fo-kien province, in Eastern China, and in Se-chuen, 1,500 miles up the Yangtse-Kiang. The telegram says: On April 27, the house occupied by missionaries of the Church of England at Chin-ho was attacked by a mob, which had been assembled by the leading military men of the place. After being exposed to insults for three hours, Messrs. Johnson and Newcombe were rescued by a mandarin and taken to the Yamen. Evidence is not wanting pointing to the complicity of the mandarin in the riot. On May 11 the little mission hospital and dispensary at Kienning were attacked and wrecked by a mob of hired ruffians in the pay of a leading literary man of the city. Dr. Rigg narrowly escaped death. Last year and this year we had discussions in relation to the outbreak last year, in which a great number of unfortunate people lost their lives. Can the hon. Gentleman give up any information? The movement against the missionaries in Se-chuen is said to be inspired by the Viceroy, and supported by the leading inhabitants of the district.

(12.56.) MR. MORTON (Peterborough)

I should like to know if we are likely to have Papers upon the Persian Tobacco Monopoly before the Dissolution? I have to thank the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Legh) for men- tioning the Roumanian Legation. I took occasion when the Government were proposing to pay an extra £1,000 to Sir Henry Drummond Wolff without the consent of Parliament to characterise it as a job, and now the time gives it proof. The £1,000 was given not to the office, but to a political friend. This mode of spending the taxpayers' money cannot be too strongly condemned. This affords proof of the truth of what I have said on other occasions, that the Government do spend public money upon purposes of which we have no knowledge, and to which Parliament has not given assent. No explanation was given last year, and we find no explanation in the Votes, why this extra money was given. Of course it is of no use attempting to argue the matter now, but I do utter my strong protest against this manner of dealing with public money—bestowing it as a reward for political services rendered by a friend in former years. I hope the country will endorse the protest against giving public money for merely Party services.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution agreed to. 18. "That a sum, not exceeding £1,313, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1893, for Expenses in connection with the suppression of the Slave Trade, and the Expenses of the Maintenance of certain liberated Africans.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."


On this Vote, I should like to ask if the Government have advanced any money to the East Africa Company for the survey of any territory over which the Company has any control? Of course, questions in relation to Uganda are so mixed that it is difficult to say under what head they come; but I ask the question on this Vote. Has any money been advanced for land survey in East Africa?

*(1.0.) MR. J. W. LOWTHER

I did not reply to the previous question, because I should have been out of Order in doing so. I should be equally out of Order in replying to questions in reference to Uganda upon this Vote, because it only asks for money for the maintenance of Africans in the West Indies and at Zanzibar.


East Africa?


At places not within the jurisdiction of the East Africa Company.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution agreed to.

Resolutions 19 and 20 agreed to.

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