§ MR. BIRKBECK
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been called to the following paragraph in the Protocol dated 29th October 1881, and signed at the International Conference held at the Hague, relative to the police of the fisheries in the North Sea, viz.:—The Conference is unanimous in declaring that it is exceedingly desirable to put an end to the abuses occasioned by the traffic in spirituous liquors carried on by the floating drink shops in the North Sea, but, having regard to the divergence of fiscal laws and regulations in the different Countries, it thinks that it ought to confine itself to expressing the hope that the Governments will endeavour to establish an International understanding for preventing these abuses, as well as the barter of fish, nets, &c. which results therefrom;and, whether any steps have been, or are being, taken in the matter; and, if not, whether, taking into consideration the loss of life at sea resulting from the injurious effects of the abuses referred to, and the serious losses incurred by owners on account of the bartering of nets, gear, and fish, for spirits, &c., Her Majesty's Government will, without further delay, communicate with the Governments of the other Countries who were parties to the North Sea Fisheries Convention?
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
This matter has received the attention of Her Majesty's Government. When the Convention relative to the North Sea Fisheries was ratified last month, Her Majesty's Minister at the Hague was instructed to communicate with the Netherlands Government as being the Power which convoked the Conference referred to by the hon. Member on this subject. Her Majesty's Government await the answer of that Government to the representations made to them before taking any further steps.