HC Deb 13 June 1876 vol 229 cc1762-3

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the statement in the "Times" of the 20th May is correct, that "In the matter of the loss of the" Agrigento," the proceedings are most unsatisfactory; indeed the Court of First Instance, before which the inquiries both as to the loss of life and as to the question of damages are being made, has violated the existing Treaty between this country and England; for England being on the footing of the most favoured nation under a recent Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Greece and Spain, it was necessary that a citation should have been served upon the English Consul, in order that he might attend the examinations; So far, however, was this from being done, that both the Consul and his agent were refused admission when they applied personally at the court, Although the tribunal, after an investigation of four weeks duration, has not yet been able to determine whether there exists a case for the higher Court; and although the responsibility of the affair is thus still undecided, the Italian captain has been allowed to leave the country, while the captain of the "Hylton Castle" is detained;" and what steps the Government have taken in the matter?


in reply, said, the question had received, and was still receiving, the earnest attention of the Go- vernment. That ship was still under arrest, but the captain had never been in confinement. It was the opinion of the Government that the Consul or his agent ought to attend the examination. It was not desirable to state more than this now, because the matter involved a delicate question of International Law and also an important question of policy; but he had no doubt the course which the Government would adopt would be one that would recommend itself to the hon. Member and the House.