HC Deb 08 May 1916 vol 82 cc299-300W
Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Lord Newton, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was authorised by the Government in every respect in regard to his interview with the Dutch newspaper "Handelsblad"; and whether his reference to Holland's rights with respect to the Scheldt was of such a character as not to compromise the rights of Belgium and the principles of Articles 108 to 117 of the Congress of Vienna as affirmed by the Treaty of 15th November, 1831?


With regard to the first part of the question, Lord Newton spoke with the same authority as that which attaches to the utterance of any other Minister of the Crown under similar circumstances. As regards the second part of the question, Lord Newton very rightly said, in reply to a question put to him by the correspondent of the "Handelsblad," that, of course, Great Britain adhered to any promise which she had given to Holland early in the War touching Dutch rights of the Scheldt. There is nothing in this to affect the provisions of the 15th of November, 1831, and the Congress at Vienna does not, therefore, arise.