HC Deb 01 May 1903 vol 121 cc1135-6
MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)

asked the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether he had any communication to make to the House with reference to Manchuria.


The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has received from the Russian Ambassador, to whom he had addressed an inquiry upon the subject, a verbal statement to the following effect: The information which has reached the British Government as to the conditions required for the evacuation of Manchuria is not at all correct. The discussions which are proceeding at Peking concern Manchuria alone, and have reference to certain guarantees which are indispensable for securing the most important Russian interests in the province after the withdrawal of the Russian troops. As for measures which might tend to exclude foreign Consuls, or obstruct foreign commerce and the use of ports, such measures are far from entering into the intentions of the Imperial Government. They consider, on the contrary, that the development of foreign commerce is one of the main objects for which the Russian Government have undertaken the construction of the lines of railway in that part of the world.