HC Deb 26 April 1898 vol 56 cc1208-9
MR. G. DRAGE (Derby)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether he can lay upon the Table any information with regard to the sums spent by the Russian Government in recent years on harbour accommodation; (2) whether he can state what sums have been spent by the Russian Government on harbour accommodation in the White Sea for the development of the White Sea and North Siberian trade; (3) whether any official information has been received by the Foreign Office of a desire attributed to the Russian Government to acquire a port on the Varanger Fiord or elsewhere on the northern coast of the Kingdom of Sweden and Norway; and (4) whether such an acquisition, by lease or otherwise, would be a contravention of any Treaty between Great Britain and Russia?


With regard to the first two paragraphs, all the information which has been received by Her Majesty's Government has been published in the Board of Trade Journal, and in Reports of Her Majesty's Consular offices. It is in a fragmentary shape, and does not admit of any complete statement being made. With regard to the third paragraph, according to the latest Information in our possesion, there is no foundation for the report that Russia is endeavouring to acquire a port on the Varanger Fiord, nor have we heard of any other port in Sweden or Norway in the same context. On the contrary, the Russians have for some time been engaged in constructing a port on the Murman coast of Russia at a spot named Ekaterina. The answer to the last paragraph is in the negative.