HC Deb 09 March 1893 vol 9 c1423
MR. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has observed in The Melbourne Age of 31st January a telegram from Sir George Dibbs, Premier of New South Wales, declaring that there were at that time in New South Wales 700 ex-convicts from New Caledonia not liable to extradition, and that 11 convicts had escaped from New Caledonia to some part of the Australian coast during the past three months; whether he is aware that in the adjoining colonies of Victoria and Queensland there is also a considerable number of escaped convicts from New Caledonia, that serious offences have been committed by such persons in Australia, and that they have had to be re-imprisoned at the expense of British colonists; whether he will remonstrate with a view to prompt correction of this evil; and whether, in view of the fact that New Caledonia is situated in Australian waters, and only came into the possession of France under accidental circumstances, he is prepared to suggest transference of the island to British control under terms and conditions to be mutually agreed upon?


No official information of the statement attributed to Sir George Dibbs has been received by Her Majesty's Government, but there are grounds for believing that the facts are, generally speaking, as described by the hon. Member. Various representations have been made to the French Government from time to time, and the subject will not be lost sight of, but Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to make such a proposal as is suggested at the end of the question.