MR. J. WALTON
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can inform the House of the circumstances which have driven the Anglo-Italian-Chinese Syndicate to seek the intervention of the Russo-Chinese Bank in order to secure the necessary railway facilities for the development of their mineral properties in Shansi by the construction of the Ching-Ting-Tai-yuen-Fu Railway; and whether he will present to this House the correspondence between Her Majesty's Government and the Syndicate, and also with the Chinese Government, in relation to this matter?
The honourable Member is, I think, under a misapprehension as to the circumstances. It does not appear that the Anglo-Italian syndicate were driven to seek the intervention of the Russo-Chinese Bank. Two sets of negotiations were proceeding at the same time—the syndicate for mining concessions, the bank for a railway. A private and voluntary arrangement was concluded between the representatives of the two, under which the minerals of the one will be conveyed by the lines, of the other. A copy of this agreement was forwarded to the Secretary of State by the syndicate, but there has been no correspondence either with them or with the Chinese Government on the subject.