§ MR. YERBURGH (Chester)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs the following Question, of which I have given him private notice: —Whether it is true, as stated in the "Daily Graphic" of the 4th inst, that the British Minister at Pekin has been instructed to inform the Tsung-li-Yamên that Great Britain is prepared to support China in resisting any pressure that may be brought to bear upon her to force her to repudiate her obligations to this country under the Northern Railway Extension contract; and, if so, whether that promise of support applies to all the terms and stipulations of the said contract?
§ MR. BRODRICK
From telegrams recently received at Pekin it appears that the Russian Minister is objecting to the employment of an English engineer and a European railway accountant, and to the charge given on the freights and earnings of the lines outside the Great Wall, as being contrary to the agreement between Russia and China. Her Majesty's Government have instructed Sir Claude Macdonald to point out that none of these points constitute foreign control of the railways or involve possession or control of such lines in the event of default on the loan. I have already stated that Her Majesty's Government regard the contract as a binding engagement on the Chinese Government.