HC Deb 10 July 1856 vol 143 cc555-6

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, whether by the Treaty of Paris, which provided for the opening of the navigation of the Danube, any persons other than Austrian subjects would be allowed to possess steamers and navigate that river above the frontiers of Austria on the same terms as subjects of that empire?


said, that by the Treaty of Paris the navigation of the Danube was to be rendered liable to the stipulations of the Treaty of 1815. By the provisions of that Treaty such rivers as divided or traversed different States were to be free to the navigation by vessels of all nations, subject only to such regulations of police and other matters as a Commission, composed of members from the riverain or border States, should establish. He should apprehend, therefore, that under the provisions of the two treaties it would be competent for the vessels of any country to enter the Danube from the Black Sea, and to ascend that river as far as it was navigable in its course, subject always to such regulations as were contemplated by the Treaty of 1815 to be established with regard to such vessels. He believed, however, that the question of the hon. and gallant Member applied to a certain monopoly given to an Austrian company by former arrangements with Austria. He apprehended the opinion of the Congress to be, that that arrangement could not stand against the stipulations of the treaty. The Austrian Government might give any immunities they pleased as affecting their own ships only, but they could not, by virtue of an order issued by their own authority, supersede the engagements of the treaty.