to make a statement which, from the importance of its character, I shall read, with the permission of the House. It has reference to negotiations which have for some time been going on between the British and the Canadian Governments in Tespect of Canadian representation at Washington. The negotiations have been concluded, and to-day a statement will have been made in the House of Commons in London, and I desire that the House of Commons here shall have cognizance of the matter at the same time.
As a result of recent discussions an arrangement has been concluded between the British and Canadian Governments to provide more complete representation at Washington of Canadian interests than has hitherto existed. Accordingly, it has been agreed that His Majesty, on advice of his Canadian ministers, shall appoint a Minister Plenipotentiary who will fiave charge of Canadian affairs and will at all times be the ordinary channel of communication with the United States Government in matters of purely Canadian concern, acting upon instructions from and reporting direct to the Canadian Government. In the absence of the Ambassador the Canadian minister will take charge of the whole Embassy and of the representation of Imperial as well as Canadian interests. He will be accredited by His Majesty to the President with the necessary powers for the purpose.
This new arrangement will not denote any departure either on the part of the British Government or of the Canadian Government from the principle of the diplomatic unity of the British Empire.
The need for this important step has been fully realized by both Governments for some time. For a good many years there has been direct communication between Washington and Ottawa, but the constantly increasing importance of Canadian interests in the United States has made it apparent that Canada should be represented there in some distinctive manner, for this would doubtless tend to expedite negotiations, and naturally first-hand acquaintance with Canadian conditions would promote good understanding. In view of the peculiarly close relations that have always existed between the people of Canada and those of the United States, it is confidently expected as well that this new step will have the very desirable result of maintaining and strengthening the friendly relations and cooperation between the British Empire and the United States.