§ COMMANDER BETHELL (York, E.R., Holderness)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if Her Majestys Government recognise the right of pre-emption over the Belgian Free State claimed by France; if the text of the last Franco-Belgian Treaty published in the Times of Saturday is correct; if the claims of France over the Free State have not been extended and amplified under that Treaty; and whether Belgium has any rights over the Free State other than those granted to the International Association of the Congo by the Powers concerned?
§ *SIR. E. GREY
No official communication has yet been made to Her Majestys Government of the arrangements between Belgium and France, and between Belgium and the Free State. The right of pre-emption has not been recognised.