HC Deb 28 July 1898 vol 63 cc309-10

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, having regard to the suggestion of Lord Salisbury, in reply to the deputation of the Associated Chambers of Commerce, that the question of Parliament itself incurring pecuniary liability in upholding British commercial interests in China was a matter to be considered by the House of Commons, the Government will afford the House an opportunity of discussing the matter before the end of the Session, seeing that it is not relevant to the Report stage of the Foreign Office Vote?


I have not been able to verify the reference of the honourable Member to the speech of the Prime Minister, but according to my recollection he has quite misinterpreted the purport, of that speech, What the Prime Minister, if I remember rightly, stated was this—that the incurring of pecuniary liabilities in favour of British commercial enterprises in a foreign State was am entirely new departure, and could not be done without the sanction of Parliament. In any case, that does not carry with it the suggestion on the part of the Prima Minister that time should be given in the course of the present Session to discuss it.