§ SIR E. GOURLEY
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is aware that the main portion of the anchorage at Wei-hai-Wei is dangerous, and exposed to the northerly winds, which blow almost continuously with considerable fury during winter, whilst Port Arthur is almost landlocked; whether large sums of money will have to be expended over a breakwater, and the deepening of the channels and harbours, as well as in the construction of docks and fortifications, before Wei-hai-Wei can be utilised efficiently as a naval base; whether that, in the opinion of experts, it will need a garrison of about 20,000 men to hold it against a land attack; and is it the intention of the Government to ask Parliament for the money needed, or negotiate with China for an exchange from Wei-hai-Wei to some place (say, Chusan or the Woosung Forts) in the neighbourhood of the Yang-tsze Valley?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
The latest information that we have from the officers of Her Majesty's Government at Wei-hai-Wei does not confirm in any particular the impression suggested by the honourable Member's Question. Until a completed survey has been made by the officers sent out for the purpose no definite statement can be made to Parliament on the subject. No exchange of Wei-hai-Wei for any other place is contemplated, that position being exceedingly well suited for the purpose for which it was acquired.