I beg to ask the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, (1) whether he is aware that the United States Government has now appointed a Commission to examine into the question of the construction of a canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, through the State of Nicaragua, and to cause the surveys and locations of the proposed route of the canal to be revised; (2) whether Her Majesty's Government will appoint a Commission to co-operate with the United States Commission, so that the investigations might be conducted conjointly; and (3) whether Her Majesty's Government will take all steps in their power to safeguard the interests of this country, in the matter of the construction of the canal in question?
The answer to the first paragraph is in the affirmative. The Board of Inquiry will consist of three engineers, who are to make their report on or before the 4th of November next. Her Majesty's Government could not consider the question of sending anyone to take part in any inquiry by an American Commission unless their co-operation were desired by the United States Government. They are, however, fully sensible of the great importance of this question to the shipping interest generally, and, in the event of the construction of the canal being proceeded with, will take steps to secure for British vessels and commerce as favourable treatment as is given to those of any other nation.
asked, whether the hon. Baronet was aware that the President of the United States was so impressed by the importance of this undertaking that he was despatching the Commission in a special warship?
I must ask notice of that question.