HC Deb 28 July 1898 vol 63 cc280-1

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government adhere to the statement made by Sir N. O'Conor, Her Majesty's Ambassador at St. Petersburg, to Count Mouravieff, as set forth in Sir N. O'Conor's dispatch of 16th March, 1898, that the closing of Port Arthur to foreign trade in the event, which has occurred, of its lease to Russia would as he considered be a direct infringement of Articles XXIV., LII, and LIV. of the Treaty of Tientsin?


I do not think that the honourable Member has quite correctly interpreted the paragraph in the dispatch in question. The closing of both Port Arthur and Talienwan would certainly have been a direct infringement of the Articles named. But the closing of Port Arthur alone, not to British trade, but to British ships of war, would have been an infringement of Article LII. in particular.


May I ask the right honourable Gentleman whether he himself has read the dispatch on page 51, because if he has——


Order, order! The honourable Member must not fall into the practice of making a speech in putting a Question.