HC Deb 03 September 1895 vol 36 cc1552-3

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether Sir F. Fryer, Chief Commissioner of Burmah, formally promised the Shan chiefs assembled at Mong Sing in May last, that the district of Khiang Kheng was British territory, and would always remain so; and, whether Her Majesty's Government intend to adhere to that pledge?


At a Durbar held by the Chief Commissioner of Burmah at Taunggyi (not Mong Sing, as stated by the hon. Member), the head-quarters of the Southern Shan States, on the 7th May, 1895, Sir F. Fryer said:— It had been our intention to give Keng Cheng to Siam, but the arrangement was never completed, and Keng Cheng, like Keng Tung, remains an integral part of the British Empire. With regard to the hon. Member's further inquiry, I would invite attention to the announcement made by the Prime Minister in the House of Lords on the 30th of August.


I would ask the hon. Gentleman, the Under Secretary, whether the Papers he has quoted from will be presented to the House; and, if not, whether he will lay them on the Table?


I have quoted from no Papers. I have quoted from a speech made by the Commissioner of Burmah. The question whether that speech will be laid on the Table or not is a matter for the consideration of the Department of the Secretary of State for India.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to state whether the place where the meeting was held is in the State of Keng Cheng? I do not understand the speech of the Prime Minister, so far as I remember it, to directly endorse the view put forward by the Chief Commissioner of Burmah, and I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the speech did contain an assurance equivalent to that given to these chiefs by the Chief Commissioner of Burmah?


As regards Taunggyi, it is not in Keng Cheng, either on this or the other side of the Mekong. With regard to the speech of Lord Salisbury, I am afraid I can add nothing to its interpretation, which, I think, will be sufficiently clear to everybody.