§ MR. NORMAN (Wolverhampton S.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, what was the nature of the assurances made by His Majesty's Government to the German Government, alluded to by Count von 170 Bülow in the Reichstag on the 8th inst.; and will he lay the Papers upon the Table.
§ The following Questions on the same subject also appeared on the Paper:—
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
To ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has His Majesty's Government made to or received from the German Ambassador any communication in reference to the statements made by the Colonial Secretary as to severities practised by German troops in the Franco-German war of 1870–71, or in reference to the remarks made upon those statements in the Reichstag by Count von Bülow; and, if so, can he state the general effect of any such communication.
§ MR. M'LAREN (Leicestershire, Bosworth)
To ask the under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, what was the nature of the assurances which, according to the statement of the German Chancellor in the Reichstag, were given by His Majesty's Government on the subject of a speech of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
§ MR. SETON-KARR (Lancashire, St. Helens)
To ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he can inform the House if any assurances have been given to the German Government such as the German Imperial Chancellor in the Reichstag stated were given by His Majesty's Government in reference to the recent public utterances of the Colonial Secretary; and what is the nature of such assurances, if any.
§ * MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury, if the Government will take steps to contradict the statement that the Foreign Office has been placed under the necessity of making official apology to the German Government on account of speeches recently made by a Minister of the Crown; and, if not, whether he can inform the House, without prejudice to public interest, if any explanation was made or assurance given to the German Government in reference to such speeches, and if any Papers containing or referring to this subject can be laid before the House.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether he will lay upon the Table Copies of the assurances given by the British Government to Count von Bülow, the German Chancellor, and referred to by him in the Reichstag on 8th January, that the speech delivered by the Colonial Secretary in Edinburgh on 25th October last, and the charges therein made against the barbarity of the German Army, were not intended to hurt the feelings of the German people: Whether these assurances were given by the British Government on its own initiative, or as the result of representations from the German Government: And, will he state through what medium these assurances were conveyed.
§ MR. JAMES O'KELLY (Roscommon, S.)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether his attention has been called to a statement by Count von Bülow that certain assurances had been given to him in explanation of a speech made by the Colonial Secretary at Edinburgh. Will he state whether such assurances have been given; and, if so, whether he will furnish the House of Commons with the full text of such assurances alleged to have been received by Count von Bülow.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester E.
I can answer all the questions very briefly. No assurances have been officially asked for on the subject. There were no charges of barbarities made by my right hon. friend against the German or any other army, as is suggested in some of the questions. In an unofficial conversation this fact was pointed out by Lord Lansdowne to the German Ambassador. Nothing, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, requires to be said in the direction of either qualifying or withdrawing the speech of my right hon. friend.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
Who began this strictly unofficial conversation—Lord Landsdowne or the German Ambassador? Did Lord Landsdowne first make an apology, or did the German Ambassador demand it?