HC Deb 11 August 1898 vol 64 cc929-30
MR. J. WALTON (York, W.R., Barnsley)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he can state to the House the conditions of the concession of the Pekin-Hankau Railway, and also on what terms and conditions the Russo-Chinese Bank is providing the money for that undertaking; and whether equal rights are expressly reserved for British commerce and trade as guaranteed by the Treaty of Tien-tsin?

MR. YERBURGH (Chester)

Before the right honourable Gentleman answers that Question I should like to ask him another, of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether he can inform the House if it is the fact that the Tsung-li-Yamen have given a formal assent to the conditions imposed by M. Pavloff with regard to the contract for the Niu-chwang Railway extension loan; the said conditions being that the line should not be mortgaged as security, and that no foreign control or interference of any description should be permitted, even in case of default; and whether these conditions directly conflict with the terms of the signed contract?


In answer to the Question of the honourable Member for Barnsley with reference to the Pekin-Hankau Railway, I have already, in answer to a previous Question, stated that the information in our possession does not enable me to answer it. In regard to the Question put by my honourable Friend with reference to the Niu-chwang Railway, the facts are substantially as he states. The matter is engaging the serious attention of Her Majesty's Government.


May I ask the right honourable Gentleman whether he will telegraph to Sir Claude MacDonald for further information in regard to this matter and communicate his reply to the House before it rises to-morrow?


Sir Claude MacDonald is perfectly aware of the interest and anxiety felt in regard to this concession, and I do not think that there is any necessity to telegraph to him.