§ MR. HANBURY-TRACY (Montgomery, &c.)
asked, Whether it was true that orders had been given to the Naval Commander in Chief to take hostile stops against the Government of Venezuela? Had not the latter Government made repeated offers to submit the various disputed questions to arbitration, especially that of territorial boundary, and on what grounds had this offer been refused?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N. E.)
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer together Questions of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) and the hon. Member for Montgomery Boroughs. There is no truth whatever in the report that any naval or military action against Venezuela on the part of Her Majesty's Government is being taken, or is in contemplation. Negotiations have been for some time going on respecting the doubtful territory between British Guiana and Venezuela, and proposals for arbitration have been made by Venezuela. Her Majesty's Government were not averse to the principle of arbitration, but were not able to accept the bases proposed by Venezuela. But all negotiations were necessarily stopped in consequence of the suspension of diplo- 882 matic relations by the late President Guzman Blanco.