HC Deb 31 May 1881 vol 261 cc1779-80

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If Her Majesty's Government is aware that thirteen telegrams sent from Tunis by the correspondent of a London newspaper have been suppressed, by order, in Paris; if such action is not an infringement of the International Convention regarding telegraphic communications; and, if Her Majesty's Government is prepared to make any representations in the matter?


Sir, no information has reached Her Majesty's Government beyond the report contained in the newspapers, and they are, consequently, unable to express any opinion on the subject. If the action mentioned in the newspaper paragraph had been taken, it is rather doubtful whether it would have been a violation of the International Telegraphic Convention. Article 7 of that Convention, which was concluded in 1875, and laid before this House in 1876, gives all Powers ability to stop the transmission of any private telegram which may appear dangerous to the security of the State. By Article 8 power is reserved to each Government to interrupt the whole system of telegraphs for an indefinite period—on condition, however, that the other Governments should be informed.