HC Deb 19 April 1898 vol 56 cc418-9
MR. J. H. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he can state the nature of the instructions, if any, which have been given to our Ambassador at Washington in reference to the present dispute between the United States and Spain; whether any, and what, representations have been made to the Government of the United States by Her Majesty's Government in concert with any other European Powers; and whether Her Majesty's Government have made any representations, either by themselves or in concert with other Powers, to the Government of Spain with a view of securing such concessions as would lead to the establishment of peace and order in Cuba?


Her Majesty's Ambassador at Washington was authorised at the end of March to join with the representatives of the other Great Powers in a friendly representation to the Government of the United States in favour of peace, provided he were first of all assured that such a representation would be well received and was likely to be of use. Sir J. Pauncefote did, in consequence, join in a representation made to the President on 7th April. On 9th April Her Majesty's chargé d'affaires at Madrid joined with the representatives of the other Great Powers in a verbal and identical communication to the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, expressing the opinion that the Spanish Government would do well to consent to a suspension of hostilities, which might lead to an honourable peace in Cuba.


Are we to understand that no further representations are to be made?


No further representations have been made.

MR. M. DAVITT (Mayo, S.)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the representations which were made to President MCKinley, in which Her Majesty's Government took part, have been resented by public opinion in America as an unwarrantable interference with the responsibilities of the Republic?


I doubt the fact, Sir, and I am sure that so far as it is the fact, if that feeling is held by any section of American opinion, that opinion must have been formed under a misconception. I have given to the House an account of the instructions we furnished to our Ambassador, which I think will convince both the House and the public that we certainly have not intruded ourselves unnecessarily.