THE DUKE OF RICHMOND AND GORDON
In the absence of my noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury) I wish to ask the noble Earl opposite, Whether he is able to give the House any information in respect of the unexpected 1840 proceedings of the French Government in the New Hebrides; and whether any communication has been made to the French Government on the subject?
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
In the absence of my noble Friend the Foreign Secretary, I beg to inform the noble Duke that a communication was made, on the receipt of the last intelligence in regard to what is alleged to have taken place, to the French Government, and I think I cannot do better than read to the House a telegram which hap been received by Lord Rosebery from Lord Lyons to-day. It is to this effect—I have seen M. de Freycinet this morning. He informed me that no intelligence had been received by the French Government of the hoisting of the French flag in the New Hebrides, but that nevertheless instructions were sent yesterday by telegraph to the Governor of New Caledonia that if the hoisting of the flag had taken place it should at once be discontinued. He had not received any intelligence of the other circumstances mentioned in the newspaper reports, and he promised to send me details about the murders which had occasioned the expedition.
THE EARL OF BELMORE
said, he was glad to hear the statement of the noble Earl. He was present the other night at a meeting, at which the Agent General for Victoria said that this question was exciting the keenest interest in the Australian Colonies, and he went so far as to say that this was a more important question of foreign policy than, the affairs of Bulgaria.
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Six o'clock, till To-morrow, Twelve o'clock.