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Russia And Manchuria

Volume 91: debated on Monday 25 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether the Russian Government have presented to the Government of China a somewhat modified form of the agreement signed between the Russian and Chinese local representatives at Port Arthur; whether this last agreement reserves for Russia exclusive privileges in regard to all mines, railways, and industrial developments in Manchuria, and binds China to construct a railway from the Trans-Siberian Railway to the Great Wall, such railway to be under Russian military guardianship; and whether Russia has withdrawn from the so-called Concert of Europe.

We understand that the terms of the proposed agreement are still under discussion, and I am unable to make any positive statement on the subject. The Russian Government have informed us that they have no intention of withdrawing from co-operation with the other Powers in the affairs of China.

Do the other Powers accept the principle that the agreement should be made behind their backs?

I am afraid that that is a question of which I must ask for notice.