HC Deb 24 February 1898 vol 53 cc1532-3

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the telegram, from the British Ambassador at Paris, detailing the conversation between M. Hanotaux and himself with reference to the relations of France and Great Britain in Western Africa, which was read by the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary without any previous interrogation in the other House of Parliament was not communicated to the House of Commons, although a question was asked there on the subject; and whether he will take the necessary steps to secure that the House of Commons when in Session may at the earliest moment be placed in possession of intelligence with reference to Foreign Affairs which the Government may think it expedient to make public?


The omission of a statement to the House was due to the fact that on Tuesday afternoon Lord Salisbury's train did not arrive in time for me to obtain his sanction to my making a statement. Hearing of the anxiety expressed on the subject, Lord Salisbury shortly afterwards made a statement in another place, which it was my intention to repeat here on the motion for adjournment, but the House, in its eagerness for a holiday, unfortunately deprived me of the opportunity.


On the whole, I accept that.