SIR ELLIS ASHMEAD BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government will communicate to the House the text of the written pledge given by the Czar's Government as to free, or open, ports in Northern China?
The pledge given by the Russian Government was shown in writing to the Permanent Under Secretary 1527 of State, who took note of it. It was to the following effect. Count Mouravieff expressed great surprise at the agitation which appeared to prevail in England, both in the Press and in official circles, on the subject of recent events in China, where English and Russian interests cannot be seriously antagonistic. Count Mouravieff observed that various English statesmen of position had recognised, as perfectly natural, that Russia should wish to have an outlet for her commerce on the coasts of the North Pacific. Any such port would be open to the ships of all the Great Powers, like other ports on the Chinese mainland. It would be open to the commerce of all the world, and England, whose trade interests were so important in those regions would share in the advantage.
SIR E. ASHMEAD BARTLETT
I wish to ask my right hon. Friend whether there was any pledge that, in the event of the territory behind that port being occupied by the Russian Power, British and other goods would be allowed free access to it?