HC Deb 09 February 1899 vol 66 cc327-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether his attenion has been directed to the publication, in September last, in the "Port of Spain Gazette," of a copy of a dispatch alleged to be from the British Minister at Caracas to the Marquis of Salisbury, in which the inhabitants of Venezuela were referred to as idle and worthless natives, and the Government of that Republic spoken of as a Government capable of great ingenuity in avoiding their obligations; whether the published document was a correct copy of Mr. Haggard's despatch; and, if so, whether the use of language of this kind, privately or publicly, by a Minister resident in the country of a friendly Bower, is in accordance with the Foreign Office Regulations; whether any inquiry has been made into this matter; and, if any explanation or apology has been tendered by Her Majesty's Government to the President of the Venezuelan Republic on account of Mr. Haggard's remarks.


The matter was fully reported on by Her Majesty's Minister at Caracas, who informed the Venezuelan Minister for Foreign Affairs that the copy of his dispatch which had been surreptitiously obtained and had appeared in the newspapers was not exact. His Excellency expressed, on behalf of the Venezuelan Government his satisfaction at Mr. Haggard's explanation, and no further communication in regard to the matter has been necessary.