HC Deb 25 February 1896 vol 37 cc1079-80
MR. R. A. YERBURGH (Chester)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, what action has been taken by the Government towards an agreement with China in order that Article IV. of the Anglo-French Agreement of 15th January last relating to China, Siam, and the Mekong shall not be ineffective; whether Article III. of the said Anglo-French Agreement is held by Her Majesty's Government to imply that, notwithstanding China's breach of Article V. of the Burmo-Chinese Boundary Convention in ceding portions of the Shan State of Kian Hung to France without our permission, the remaining portions of that State are not to be reclaimed by us from China; what action has been taken by the Government for preserving our right of railway approach from our Burmese seaboard to Ssumao and for acquiring the right from China of prolonging our present projected railway across the Chinese border into China, on the same terms as have been granted by China to France in the case of present projected French railways under Article V. of the Franco-Chinese Commercial Convention of 20th June 1895; and whether, Ssumao having been declared open as a treaty port by the aforesaid Franco-Chinese Convention, and a French Consul having been appointed to it, the Government will, in the exercise of their rights under the Most Favoured Nation Clauses of our Treaties with China, appoint a British Consul to this important emporium of trade?


The matters alluded to by the hon. Member are at the present moment the subject of negotiations with the Chinese Government, and I am not in a position therefore to make any statement about them. As regards paragraph 2 of the Question, no such inference is necessarily to be drawn.