§ SIR ELLIS ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, whether he can inform the House, as to the chief points of the Treaty recently concluded between France and China regarding Southern China and the territories adjoining the Northern Mekong; and what action Her Majesty's Government propose to take with regard to this treaty?
Before I answer the question, may I ask my hon. Friend and other Members in the same position, as an act of courtesy, to give rather longer notice of questions. [Cheers.] It is very difficult, almost impossible, to acquire the necessary information, to construct a reply, and to submit it to the Secretary of State in a few hours. ["Hear, hear!"] I am not at present in a position to give the House any information in regard to the Franco-Chinese Convention, the terms of which have not yet been communicated to Her Majesty's Government and which has not yet been ratified. But Her Majesty's Government have taken, and will take, such steps as may be necessary to prevent any disregard of the engagements which the Chinese Government have contracted with Great Britain in reference to the territories affected by the convention.