HC Deb 14 March 1899 vol 68 cc772-3
MR. ASCROFT (Oldham)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government is aware that the Chinese Government has placed the following restrictions on the freedom of navigation by foreign craft over the inland waters of the Chinese Empire: that a steamer plying between two Treaty ports may not trade at places on the way; and that a steamer engaged in the inland waters trade may not ply other than within a certain radius, nor may such steamer go beyond the next Treaty port; and whether Her Majesty's Government will take such steps, either independently or in conjunction with other Powers interested, as may be necessary to get such restrictions removed?


No such restrictions as those referred to are contained in the Regulations for the navigation of the inland waters of China as received from Her Majesty's Minister at Pekin, published in the Blue Book to be issued today. In accordance with the Treaties, trade can only be carried on by Europeans at the open ports. The whole Question is receiving careful consideration.