HC Deb 01 March 1897 vol 46 cc1326-7
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) what is the present position of affairs in Korea; (2) whether the King is still under Russian protection; (3) whether Russian officers are engaged in drilling local troops; and (1) whether the position is consistent with the Russian pledge communicated by China to Her Majesty's Government at the time of the abandonment of Port Hamilton, and afterwards laid before Parliament.


In answer to the first question, Her Majesty's Consul General has reported that the King left the Russian Legation and removed to his own Palace on February 20th. In answer to the third question, some of the Korean troops are, it is believed, undergoing a course of instruction by Russian officers. And in answer to the fourth question, such a proceeding does not appear to be inconsistent with the assurance given by-Russia in 1886, which was a guarantee that in the future she will not take Korean territory.

MR. R. MCKENNA (Monmouth, N)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information which would confirm or contradict the published reports of a Treaty between Russia and Japan relative to Korea, and particularly as to that alleged term of the Treaty, or Memorandum accompanying the Treaty, whereby Russia and Japan agree to exclude from the territory of Korea all foreign troops other than their own.


Her Majesty's Government have been for some time past aware of the existence of an arrangement between Russia and Japan in regard to Korea. They have not had the text of the agreement, but the version published by the Russian Official Messenger, and reproduced by The Times, does not appear to bear the construction placed upon it in the Question. It declares the object of the contracting parties to be the removal of foreign troops from Korea; the reference, as the context indicates, being to the guards which Russia and Japan have up to the present date maintained at their respective legations.