HC Deb 27 March 1906 vol 154 cc1063-4

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the friendly I relations now existing between the English and French Governments and the people of both countries, and the fact that over two years ago the French Government agreed to submit the claims of British merchants, who had been ruined by French and Belgium concessionnaires, to arbitration, he will state what has been done to terminate the state of affairs now existing; and whether he concurs in the doctrine laid down by French and Belgium concessionnaires, that the products of the forest did not constitute trade, and that British merchants could only trade in what the native produced in art or industrial work not based on natural forest production.


The question of these claims continues to receive the earnest attention of His Majesty's Government, but no definite statement can be made at the present stage of the negotiations. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.