HC Deb 19 June 1896 vol 41 cc1432-4
MR. D. F. GODDARD (Ipswich)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs—(1) what is the present position of negotiations between Great Britain and Venezuela regarding the disputed boundary and area of occupied territory; (2) whether, as stated two months ago, our Minister at Washington (Sir Julian Pauncefote) has been entrusted with full powers to treat personally with Senor Andrade, or other representative of Venezuela, at that capital, and if definite progress is being made in the way of direct negotiations between the two Powers concerned; (3) what also is the present position of mutual proposals, understood to have passed between Her Majesty's Government and that of the United States, towards a definitive treaty of arbitration between the two countries, and also towards the formation of a permanent Court of Arbitration; (4) whether these proposals are being delayed or hindered in any way by the non-settlement of our difficulty with Venezuela; and, (5) whether Her Majesty's Government will, in conjunction with that of the United States, facilitate the carrying through of those proposals, irrespective of what is being done regarding the Venezuela difficulty?


asked whether the Prime Minister still adhered to his expressed determination not to submit the English claim to arbitration.


It is true that Her Majesty's Ambassador at Washington has been given authority to receive and report any proposals which may be made to him by the Venezuelan Representative at Washington for the settlement of the boundary question. The Venezuelan Representative has been informed of this, but has not hitherto made any proposals. Negotiations are in progress with the Government of the United States both for a definitive Treaty of Arbitration between the two countries, and for the reference to arbitration under proper conditions of the frontier question with Venezuela. So far as Her Majesty's Government are concerned the discussion of the latter question does not offer any obstacle to the conclusion of a general arrangement respecting arbitration, which they hope to see concluded. As I observed in reply to a question yesterday, I hope before long to be able to present papers relating to both branches of the question.

MR. C. J. DARLING (Deptford)

inquired whether the right hon. Gentleman could inform the House if there was any truth in the statement, telegraphed from Caracas, that a collision had occurred on the border of some portion of the disputed territory.


said that that question was answered yesterday by the Secretary of State for the Colonies.


begged that he might receive a reply to his question.


said that any question about the speeches of Lord Salisbury had better be addressed to Lord Salisbury in the House in which he sat. ["Oh, oh!" and cries," Bring him here!"]


remarked that his question was founded on a telegram which had arrived since the answer given 24 hours ago.


said that no information had come to their hands which tended to alter the answer given yesterday by the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Forward to