§ MR. LAYARD
said he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he has received the Opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown with regard 2073 to the proceedings of the Arkadi, a Greek blockade runner which fired into a Turkish cruizer, and which carries on its operations as an armed vessel of war; and whether he has any objection to state that opinion; and, whether it be true that two other blockade runners, similarly armed and constructed in this country, are now employed in conveying men, arms, munitions of war, and provisions, between the ports of Greece and Crete under the protection of the Greek Government?
said, that as it generally happened in cases of this kind, and as was especially the case in the contest now going on between Turkey and Crete, there were two versions of what occurred in regard to the Arkadi which did not at all agree; but, putting those two versions together, and taking the report of one of our Consuls, who was in a position to obtain information, he (Lord Stanley) believed that what had happened, though he could not absolutely vouch for it, was something of this kind. The blockade runner, the Arkadi, on returning from one of her trips, was chased by a Turkish cruizer. She fired upon that Turkish cruizer, and in so doing she undoubtedly committed a violation of International Law. Then the story went on to say—and it seemed not unlikely—that in the ardour of the pursuit the Turkish cruizer, not perhaps knowingly, followed the Arkadi into Greek waters, where, of course, she had no right to continue the pursuit. He would not undertake to vouch for the absolute accuracy of this statement; but if it were correct a violation of International Law had been committed on both sides. With regard to the Opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown, he did not think he ought to produce it; but he might inform the hon. Gentleman that it was not the intention of Her Majesty's Government to take any action upon the matter. With regard to the latter part of the Question, as to there being two other blockade runners similarly armed and employed, he was not able to say whether that was the case. He had heard of the arrival at the Piræus of two other vessels, one called the Owl and the other the Hornet, and he believed those vessels were intended for similar service, but he was not aware of any acts having been done by them which would have justified their detention while in this country, or any interference with them as matters at present stood.
§ MR. LAYARD
would like to know 2074 whether blockade runners so armed and firing would not be committing an act of piracy, and whether the blockading vessels were not entitled to follow a piratical ship into any waters?
said he was not prepared to answer that question off-hand; he was inclined to think a ship's captain was not justified in acting as the hon. Member had described.