§ MR. J. CATHCAET WASON (Orkney and Shetland)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that the General Act of the Conference of Berlin provides that all nations shall enjoy a complete liberty of commerce in the territories situate in the Congo Basin, the limits of the territories being accurately set out in the said Act, and that the Treaty or Act has been broken by the ruler of the Congo Free State, His Majesty's Government will either take the necessary steps to bring the whole transaction under the review of the Hague Tribunal or take into consideration the advisability of denouncing the Treaty under which the Free State came into existence.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir EDWARD GREY,) Northumberland, Berwick
Before deciding upon any action in the direction indicated by the hon. Member, His Majesty's Government must wait and see in what manner the question of freedom of trade will be dealt with in the instructions shortly to be issued by the Congo Government on the recommendation of the reforms committee which has recently concluded its labours at Brussels. One of the signatory powers is, however, not competent to denounce an international agreement.