HC Deb 29 April 1898 vol 56 cc1553-4

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any communication (and, if any, on what date) respecting the terms of the occupation of Kiao-chau, in the province, of Shang-tung, were made to Her Majesty's Government by the German Government in reply to Lord Salisbury's inquiry of the German Ambassador on the 12th January whether it was the intention of the German Government to make any communication on this subject to the other Powers interested in China, as the relation of the occupation to our Treaty rights in China would require careful consideration; and whether the new Treaty between Germany and China contains a provision granting to Germany special mining and railway privileges in Shang-tung, which Sir Claud Macdonald in his telegram of the 22nd November last advised to be at variance with the Most Favoured Nation Clause; and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Government had these facts in mind when it spontaneously intimated to the German Government that it had no intention of calling in question German rights or interests in the province of Shang-tung, and no intention of laying down railway communication with the interior from Wei-hai-Wei, or from the territory which appertains to that port?


No communication of the character mentioned in the first paragraph has been received from the German Government. We have not seen the text of the agreement concluded between Germany and China, and cannot therefore speak with certainty as to its contents. As I stated yesterday the declaration made by Her Majesty's Government in regard to Wei-hai-Wei neither recognises rights which do not exist nor adds anything to the value of those which do.