HC Deb 10 March 1898 vol 54 c1226
MR. R. A. YERBURGH (Chester)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether the Russian Chargé d'Affaires has lodged a formal protest against the Anglo-German Loan, and demanded compensation for his Government; and, if so, what the compensation demanded is; what the conditions are under which the Trans-Manchurian Railway is to be constructed; whether any boundaries have been assigned to the area described in the arrangements made between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of China as the Yangtsze Valley; and, if not, in what manner it is to be distinguished from the other portion of the Chinese Empire; and, whether Her Majesty's Government has undertaken, or proposes undertaking, any obligation on the part of this country in connection with the said arrangements?


We have received no information of any formal protest against the Loan to China arranged by the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank acting for itself and a syndicate of German Bankers. The conditions of the Agreement between the Chinese Government and the Russo-Chinese Bank relative to the construction and maintenance of the Manchurian Railway were published in the Russian Official Gazette of December 11th and 23rd, 1896. I am afraid they are too long, occupying as they do some pages of print, to be stated in reply to a question, but I shall be very glad to show a copy to any hon. Member who desires to see them. The undertaking of the Chinese Government applies to the Yangtsze region—i.e., to the territory of the provinces adjoining the Yangtsze river. The Chinese Government having given the assurance in question, Her Majesty's Government will naturally hold them responsible for its observance.


Will the right hon. Gentleman have any objection to laying the conditions of Agreement on the Table of the House?


I do not know that there would be any advantage in doing so, but I am quite prepared to consider the matter.