HC Deb 13 November 1906 vol 164 cc1287-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why representatives of Australia and New Zealand were not invited to take part in the conference regarding the position of the New Hebrides; and whether he can state that in any future conferences dealing with matters vitally affecting Australia and New Zealand the representatives of those countries will be called into consultation.


We have sent a reasoned despatch of considerable length to the Government of Australia dealing with the whole course of these negotiations and dealing with the Convention on its merits. That despatch will take some time to reach Australia, and it would not be considered proper for us to make it public in England until we have a communication from them that they have received it. As soon as we know they have received the despatch we shall lay Papers on the Table dealing with the whole of the negotiations connected with the New Hebrides Convention, which will give a full explanation of the position taken up by the Government and their justification for it. With regard to the second part of the Question, so far as the future is concerned we shall always desire to consult with the Colonies in the fullest manner on any subject which affects their interests, both before and during the negotiations. In the coming Colonial Conference further opportunity will arise for considering the machinery to be employed.

MR. R. DUNCAN (Lanarkshire, Govan)

Will the question of the coaling stations on the Pacific be considered at the same time?


I must ask for notice of that.


When the Papers are laid will they include the original agreement made in 1887?


I should like notice of that also.