HC Deb 04 February 1915 vol 69 cc120-1
12. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a statement concerning Sir Henry Howard's Mission to the Vatican; whether Sir Henry Howard will represent the interests of the Allies or only this country; and whether the Mission is to be regarded as permanent or only to continue for the period of the War?


As regards the first part of the question, I would invite the hon. Member's attention to the White Paper (Cd. 7736) wherein the scope and purpose of Sir H. Howard's Mission are set forth. The present Mission is of a temporary character.


Have any representations been made either to this Government by the Italian Government or by this Government to the Italian Government, or have any representations between the two Governments taken place with regard to this point?


I would ask for notice of that question.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has advised His Majesty to appoint a Special Envoy to the Pope to congratulate him on his election to the Papacy, and to explain to him the policy of Great Britain in relation to European affairs; whether it is in accordance with recent precedent for an accredited repre-representative of the British Crown to be sent to the Vatican; whether it is customary for a Special Envoy from His Majesty to be sent to congratulate the head of any other Christian denomination on his appointment as such or to give him special information touching British Foreign policy; and on what ground is an exception made in the case of the Roman Catholic Church?


Before the right hon. Gentleman replies I desire to ask whether the hon. and learned Member who puts this question, before putting it on the Paper, consulted the Noble Lord the Opposition Chief Whip and obtained his sanction for so doing?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The last occasion on which a Representative of the Crown proceeded to the Vatican was in 1902, when Lord Denbigh was so appointed. With regard to the last two parts of the question, the hon. Member will see by reference to the White Paper (Cd. 7736) what were the motives, which induced His Majesty's Government to advise His Majesty to appoint the special Mission to the Vatican.