HC Deb 03 July 1844 vol 76 cc285-6
Dr. Bowring

, according to notice, begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, whether the Government had given its sanction to the introduction of oaths in Custom-house matters in China, as directed by the British Consul at Ningpo. He understood that this practice was carried on to a very great extent, captains being called upon to make oath of the number of passengers, and to swear to the manifests of cargo.

Sir R. Peel

said, that the administration of oaths in the way described by the hon. Member, had been done without direct authority from Her Majesty's Government. Her Majesty's Government, however, would take care to communicate with the Consul at Ningpo, directing him to adopt, as far as possible, the practice of the English Custom-house in these matters. The Consul had, probably, acted hitherto in the way described, under the apprehension that the practice in England was such as he had adopted.