HC Deb 26 October 1899 vol 77 cc732-3
MR. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state what is the present position of the negotiations for the settlement by arbitration of the claims made by Her Majesty's Government on the Chinese Government, more than five years ago, for compensation to the owners of the British steamer "Kowshing," and to the families of British subjects who lost their lives by the sinking of that vessel.


Was not the "Kowshing" sunk by the Japanese, and not the Chinese?


On 22nd August the Chinese Government, while denying their liability for the loss of the "Kowshing," asked for further time to decide as to whether they would agree to arbitration; and they intimated to Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Peking that they were awaiting a further communication from the Chinese Minister in London. Mr. Bax Ironside was informed in reply that Her Majesty's Government could not allow the responsibility, so far as they were concerned, to be shifted on to the Minister here. Sir Claude MacDonald, who is on his way back to China, has been instructed to press for an answer.