25 JANUARY 1896, Page 19

The Government published on Tuesday a letter from Lord Salisbury

to the British Ambassador in Paris, describing the bases of an agreement which has been made between the two Governments as to Siamese affairs. Siam, defined as the drainage basin of the Meinam, passes under a condominium, the two Powers agreeing to maintain her independence together, and to permit no third party to interfere. The French sphere of influence is to the east of the Mekong, and the British sphere to the west of that river, and of the Ping. There is to be no buffer-State, and a little State—Mon gain, which had been occupied by the British—is surrendered to France. There is an obvious intention on the British part to be conciliatory, but, as we have observed elsewhere, we have surrendered nothing of. value, and have acquired a new treaty- right to protect or govern the whole of the Malay Peninsula, which is valuable to us. If anybody should grumble, it is Siam ; but that State is unable to maintain its own independence, and may find a strong defence in the jealousies of the two pro- tecting Powers. Any trading advantages which either Power may obtain from China are to be equally enjoyed by both France and England. It is also provided in the agree- ment that the rights of France and Great Britain on the Niger shall be delimited by Commissioners, and that there shall be a new Convention to arrange the legal position of the Regency of Tunis.