HC Deb 13 June 1910 vol 17 cc1019-20

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received a copy of a resolution passed by the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, expressing their anxiety at the proposal of the Imperial Government of Russia to deprive Finland of her local autonomy as regards her Customs tariff and other commercial matters, which would prejudicially affect the growing trade between Great Britain and Finland; and whether he has made or proposes to make representations to the Imperial Government of Russia in favour of the autonomy of Finland being preserved?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I ask whether the Russian Imperial Government has made any representations to His Majesty's Government in favour of the present relations between the two Houses of Parliament being preserved?


No, Sir, the answer to that is in the negative. I have received the communication referred to by the hon. Member, but His Majesty's Government are not in a position to make representations which would involve interference in the internal affairs of a friendly Power not based on any treaty right. I am not aware that commercial changes are directly involved.