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t ■—————— . IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT.l

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t ■— ————— IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. l HOUSE OF LORDS.—MARCH 20. MAJOR MACDONALD'S EXl'EDITION. The Earl of Camperdown asked, with reference ta recent events in Uganda, whether Major Macdonald'i expedition had finally terminated, and whether hia report would be presented to Parliament when received. So far as the official papers relating tc the expedition were concerned they terminated tha history with the revolt of the Soudanese, and he desired to know if the Government had furthei information an to the progress that was subsequently made with the object of the expedition. The Marquis of Salisbury replied that the main object of the expedition was to ascertain the frontiei thaI, had been agreed upon some time ago as to the Italian sphere of influence and our own. They thought it important that they should know how far the British sphere of influence extended. That wai not the only object. There were rumours at the time of designs upon the Upper Nile which appear- ances did not altogether falsify, and which made the Govprnment. anxious to establish our military power upon Home of the stations of the Upper Nile. Unfor- tunately that branch of the expedition came to an untimely eirti by the mutiny of the Soudanese. It had been thought that the mutiny involved special blame to Major Macdonald, but if the noble lord had studied what had gone on in the neighbour- ing Congo Free State, he would see how difficult it was to avoid mutiny among coloured troops. Th6 knowledge uf successful mutiny there incited our Soudanese to rise in their turn. The mutiny so diminished Major Macdonald's force that it was thought wise not to prosecute the original enterpClse to its fn 11 xtent. A con- siderable portion of Major Macdonald's troops with other troops under Major Martyr, made an expedition from the highest quarters of the Nile down the river bank. but the expedition was not wholly successful. He pushed forward, and as his discretion was of course very wide the Government did not know exactly whether he would return at once or not. The information they had was of a very imperfect character, owing to the want of direct communication, hut when they received the papers they would have great pleasure in laying them upon the table of the House. The Partridge Shooting (Ireland) Bill was read a third time, and the House adjourned. HOUSE OF COMMONS. NEW WRIT FOR HARROW. On the motion of Sir W. Walrond, a new writ was ordered to be issued for the election of a member to serve for the Harrow Division of the county of Mid- dlesex, in the room of Mr William Ambrose, who has accepted a Mastership in Lunacy. SOUTHERN RAILWAYS AMALGAMATION. On tho motion of Sir W. Walrond, Mr. Banbury, Mr. Griffith Boscawen. Mr. Channing, Lord E. Fitzmaurice, and Lord Stanley were nominated members of the Hybrid Committee on the South- Eastern and London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Companies Bill, with four to be added by the Com- mittee of Selection. ROBBERIES IN LONDON. Mr. Jesse Collings, replying to Sir H. Vincent, ttated that tho value of the property stolen in the tity of London in the year 1897 was £186,270 12s. lOd., of which £3.3,155 6s. 3d. was recovered. ]n 1898 the figures were £15,020 and £259. Sir H. Vincent gave notice that he would at the (rtrliest. opportunity call attention to the small pro- V>rti<»n of property recovered to that stolen. TUB PEACE CONFERENCE. Mr. P. Stanhope asked the Under Foreign Secre- Ary whether he could make any announcement as to the names of the British representatives at the approaehing Peace Conference at the Hague, and whether her Majesty's Government would take the intiative of laying before the Peace Conference a scheme for establishing a permanent system of inter- national arbitration. Mr. Brodrick said that no announcement could be made as to the choice of British Pleni- potentiaries until the formal meeting of the con- ference and the date had been settled. It would be inconvenient to give any undertaking as to the proposals to be brought forward at the Conference on behalf of the British Government but the Government would be ready to use their best efforts to promote the principle of recourse to arbitration and mediation for the prevention of war. ITALIAN DEMANDS ON CHINA. Mr. Broderick, in reply to Mr. Yerburgh, said the Goyernment: had not yet received the text of the Italian demands on China, but they understood that they did not include the islands of Chusan. which were subject to treaty engagements between England and China. They were limited to the eastern slope of [the province towards the sea, which in no way came within the Yang-tse Valley. Mr. Dillon asked the Under Foreign Secretary whether, before making a demand for a coaling station and sphere of influence in China, the Italian Government consulted the British Government; and if they did, what advice they received from the British Government. Mr. Brodrick said that the Italian Government intimated to her Majesty's Government a desire to obtain a coaling station and sphere of influence in China previous to making their demands on the Chinese Government. The advice tendered by her Majesty's Government was that the matter should be treated diplomatically, and there should be no em- ployment of force. Mr. Dillon asked the Under Foreign Secretary whether the British Minister at Pekin was pressing the claims of Italy on the Chinese Government. Mr. Brodrick said that her Majesty's Minister at Pekin was instructed on the 25th of February to support the demands of Italy. The Italian Govern- ment had within the last few days withdrawn their Minister and requested the British Minister to represent them. There bad been no action taken since that time. Sir E. Ashmead-Bartlett asked the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether he could give the House any information as to the agreement between the Powers regarding China. Mr. Brodrick said he was not in a position to make any statement on the subject. No general agreement between the Powers interested in China was in contemplation. LONDON GOVERNMENT BILL. Mr. A. Balfour, in moving that on Wednesday Government business have precedence, said if the second reading of the London Government Bill was not to be thrust too near to the Easter holidays, it was necessary that they should begin the discussion on the second reading on Wednesday. Mr. Buchanan, in opposing the motion, declared there was no reason for taking another private members' night. Mr. Lough urged that more time should be given for the consideration of the London Government Bill. The House divided, and the motion was carried by 196 against 96. The House then went into Committee of Supply with Mr. J. W. Lowtber in the chair. On the vote of Sir E. A. Barttett initiated a discussion on the grievances of Non-Boer or Uitlander population of the Transvaal. Mr. Chamberlain, in replying, said, granting that every word Sir Â. Bart.lett said was true, did he want the Government, to present an ultimatum and to go to war with the Transvaal? If so, whom did he represent ? He regretted that, the grievances of the l'it.landers had been increased rather than diminished, and the last promises of President Kruger appeared to him entirely illusory. He saw no advance towards a remedv. He believed that a Municipality given to the people of Johannesburg would be a real reform. and would remove nine out of ten of the grievances of the Uitlander population. He doubted whether this was the proper time to make a friendly sugges- tion to the Transvaal Government, although the con- ditiun of things there constituted a- reul danger, The Government were watching things keenly. THE OPEN DOOR IN CHINA. Yr. Joseph Walton drew attention to the recent Bin* Book on affairs in China. He contended that Jill" open door in China was closed. He believed that Ijehind the Belgian Syndicate, which got the Pekin and Hankow railway concession, were the <iovernm«*iit» of Russia and France, and that con- stituted a IJIOt serious danger to our interest in the great Yangtze Valley in the future. He reminded 1 he House that England was the pioneer in opening up China to trade, and now other Powers got prefe- rential rights, and even the Yangtse Valley. was being invaded to our disadvantage. He asked her Majesty's Government to make up their minds to a consistent policy to be pursued. He moved to reduce the Foreign Office vote by £100.. Sir Charles Dilke desired to ask a question about the spheres of influence mentioned in the Blue Book. What he wanted to know was whether there had been any negotiations with France with regard to the division of the province of Yunan. or whether that province waa included in our Yangtse Valley sphere. MINISTERIAL STATEMENT. Mr. Brodrick. ien reply, sard he was struck with the unanimity of the house in favour of an ultra- forward POh1:Y in China. Every extreme of progress had been suggested. As to the Pekin Hankow Railway concession which Mr. Walton said ought to be cancelled, he said it waa impossible in. China to carry on affairs in the way Mr. Waltoa suggested. We must not show too much jealousy of foreign Powers. Why was it assumed that pledges given to foreign Powers respecting spheres of influence were valid, while tlw » nveo to England about the Yusdlt I Valley were not valid? The Chinese Government pledged themselves not to alienate Yunan. What we ought to know was that what was given to one Power could not be given to the exclusion of privi- leges at any future time. With whom where we to deal so long as there was an established Government in China? The policy of at- tacking every Government and refusing everything to every other Government was absolutely un- tenable. Her Majesty's Government had not faltered in a single instance in any proposal they had made. There was considerable reason to believe that the railways conceded would be made if British investors were willing to advance the money. In our negotiations with Russia her Majesty's Government were not without hope that an understanding might be come to. In the mean- time her Majesty's Government stood by their declared policy maintaining our sphere and opening up China to general trade. Our policy would be advantageous to China, would respect the rights of othpr onions, and would entitle the Government to gratitud Mr. J. Walton withdraw his reduction. Mr. A. Balfour appealed to the House to bring the debate to a close soon. Mr. H. Lewis rose to complain of a child's treat- ment at the Flint school, when Mr. A. Balfour moved the closure. The House divided For the closure 136; against 33. The Committee next divided with the following re- sult For the vote 136; against 32. Progress was then reported.

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