HC Deb 08 June 1899 vol 72 cc630-1

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if any consent has been given by China, Russia, or any country to the geographical definition of the Yang-tsze Valley as being the provinces bordering the Yang-tsze River and the provinces of Honan and Chekiang; and whether the Government has got inserted in any railway concessions obtained by foreign Powers in China a proviso guarding British goods from differential treatment or preferential rates, as suggested by Lord Salisbury's despatches of the 24th September last.


The valley or basin of the Yang-tsze has been defined as stated in the question, and this definition was communicated to the Russian Government, but there has been no occasion to invite the assent of the Powers to it. As will be seen from the papers just presented, the Russian Government considered the question of railway rates as too technical for insertion in a preliminary agreement, and that it should be settled between the two Governments when the time came for its necessary consideration. Her Majesty's Government will, of course, use their best efforts to prevent British goods being subjected to differential treatment on Chinese railways.