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Thursday, 30 November 1905

Mr JOHNSON (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to direct the attention of the Prime Minister to a cablegram which appears in this, morning's newspapers, which reads as follows: -

A strong assertion of the claims of the French to the New Hebrides is made by M. Gervais, who is the reporter to the Chamber of Deputies on the Committee of Foreign Affairs.

Referring to the New Hebrides, M. Cervais, in his report, remarks that " considering the excellent relations between London and Paris, it was to be hoped that ourneighbours would be able to bring the Australian States to an equitable appreciation of our rights, in order to secure us a confirmation in the New Caledoninn archipelago of the situation due to us owing to our pecuniary sacrifices, and the moral and material efforts of our subjects, and because it is incontestable that the geographical facts of the New Hebrides constitute them a dependencyofa French colony."

I wish to know whether,in view of the significance of the cable, the Prime Minister will impress upon the British authorities the importance of the New Hebrides

Islands to British and Australian trading interests, and the necessity that exists for preventing the control of those islands from passing into the hands of any foreign Power.

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