HC Deb 14 March 1895 vol 31 cc1044-5
MR. W. P. BYLES (York, W.R., Shipley)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government has at any time received proposals to settle the question of the disputed frontier between Venezuela and the British Colony of British Guiana by arbitration; whether, since gold was discovered in the debatable territory, the dispute has grown more acute, and the position of affairs become such that serious difficulties are threatened; whether proposals of arbitration have been declined, and, if so, on what grounds; and, whether Her Majesty's Government would now entertain or initiate fresh proposals of arbitration?


Her Majesty's Government have received suggestions from various quarters with a view of settling the question of the disputed frontier. We have no information tending to confirm the suggestion of the second part of the question. Her Majesty's Government cannot agree to submit to arbitration the question of their right to territory long settled and governed as part of a British Colony, and must continue to decline any proposal based upon such a ground. They are, however, willing to submit to arbitration the question of certain territory beyond the Schomburgh line, and the Venezuelan Government have more than once been so informed.


Will any correspondence be laid on the Table?


I do not think so at the present moment; but I will consider the point.