HC Deb 05 July 1881 vol 263 c25

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he has reason to believe that the French Government have any intention to proceed to a bombardment of Sfax, or to take any hostile measures towards the town and people of Sfax; and, whether they will intimate to the French Government that any damage to British property arising out of such hostile measures will entitle the owners thereof to full compensation to be demanded by the Government?


Sir, as a French Consul and several French naval officers appear to have been attacked and wounded at Sfax, it is possible that such measures as the noble Lord contemplates may be taken by France. It is not usual to make beforehand any such intimation as the noble Lord suggests; and if the occasion arises, Her Majesty's Government will, of course, strictly follow the precedents in similar cases of destruction of neutral property.