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Korea—Proposed Treaty

Volume 229: debated on Monday 22 May 1876

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he will lay upon the Table Copies of the Correspondence received from Sir Harry Parkes, Her Majesty's Minister at Yeddo, on the subject of the Treaty lately concluded between the Japanese and Korean Governments; and, if instructions have been given to negotiate a Treaty on behalf of Great Britain with Korea?

No instructions have as yet been given to negotiate a Treaty with Korea, but Her Majesty's Governmentare in communication with other Governments as to the course which it may be advisable to pursue. There will be no objection to lay on the Table Papers on the subject of the Treaty between Japan and Korea. I need hardly say that Her Majesty's Government would be glad to avail themselves of an opportunity for extending British trade in the East, but we know very little about the Koreans, and from the little we do know, it would appear that there is a strong aversion on their part to hold any communication with foreigners. The case is, therefore, one in which it is desirable to act cautiously, and, if possible, to act in concert with other Powers.