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Question

Volume 218: debated on Friday 24 April 1874

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asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If the Government have received the Notices referred to in a Letter in the "Times" and other journals of yesterday, and signed Daniel Lange, and addressed by him on behalf of Monsieur Lesseps to the President of the Board of Trade and also to the Lords of the Admiralty, in which he informs them that Her Majesty's Ships and all other vessels will be stopped and not allowed to enter the Suez Canal unless they first pay the extra charge demanded by Monsieur Lesseps; and, further, whether he can, without inconvenience to the public service, state what course Her Majesty's Government propose to take under these circumstances for the protection of British interests?

Sir, it is quite true that Her Majesty's Government have received the notice respecting the Suez Canal to which the hon. Baronet refers. With regard to the second part of my hon. Friend's inquiry—namely, whether I can without inconvenience to the public service state what course Her Majesty's Government propose to take under these circumstances for the protection of British interests—I will say that Her Majesty's Government are at this moment in communication with other Powers as to the course to be adopted, and when they have decided upon that course it will be made known to all parties concerned.