HC Deb 13 June 1854 vol 134 cc45-6

said, he wished to ask whether it was intended to establish an effective blockade of the Russian ports in the Baltic, the Black, and the White Seas, or whether there was to be a distinction in favour of foreign flags?


Sir, I have repeatedly answered questions on this point, and I have endeavoured to make my answers as clear as a sense of duty would allow me. Orders were given some time ago to the Admirals both in the Black Sea and in the Baltic, to institute a strict blockade of the Russian ports, and I have every reason to believe that these blockades have been instituted. With respect to the Danube, the Government received yesterday information by telegraph from Admiral Dundas that the Danube was blockaded, and notification of the circumstance will appear in the Gazette this evening. We have not yet received from Admiral Napier any notification of the blockade being instituted in the Baltic, which would justify a notification in the Gazette similar to that which will take place with regard to the Danube; but, as I have before stated to the House, though no such official notification can take place without detailed information from the Admirals on the respective stations, yet I have no doubt that, de facto, these blockades exist; and, of course, where they exist and the force is effective, warning from the scat of government is not necessary, but warning is sufficient when given by the Admirals of the blockading force. I need hardly state, that when a blockade is instituted, there is no respect whatever paid to foreign vessels. With regard to the White Sea, I have already stated that, in consequence of communications pending between the French and English Governments, no orders have yet been sent to blockade the White Sea, but I have reason to believe that a reinforcement of the squadron will be sent by the French Government, and then orders will be given to blockade the White Sea also.

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