HC Deb 08 July 1867 vol 188 cc1188-9

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it be true that a Greek blockade runner called the Arkadi, fired into a Turkish cruizer, killing and wounding several of her crew, and seriously damaging the vessel; whether, if such be the case, the right of blockade runners to be armed as vessels of war and to commit acts of war is recognized by International Law; and, if not, whether the act committed by the Arkadi was not an act of piracy; and, whether the Powers under whose protection Greece has been placed by Treaty are prepared to support the Turkish Government in demanding reparation from Greece, from whose ports the Arkadi sailed, and into which she returned after committing this act of piracy?


I believe the statement which the hon. Gentleman has embodied in his Question to be substantially accurate, but all the Papers relating to the transaction have been referred to the Law Officers of the Crown, and since the hon. Member's Notice has been given I have not been able to examine them. I cannot therefore speak with certainty as to the facts. Until I receive from the Law officers a Report on the subject I should not like to commit myself to an opinion as to the extent to which (if at all) International Law has been violated. As to the last part of the Question I cannot undertake to say what will be done by the other protecting Powers of Greece; but, looking to all the circumstances, I think it very doubtful whether an unanimous expression of opinion could be obtained from them on the subject.