HC Deb 01 May 1884 vol 287 cc1029-30

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether there is any further news of the crew of the Nisero, of Sunderland; and, whether, in view of the fact that those British subjects have been prisoners now for some months, any and what effectual steps are to be taken to secure their release?


Her Majesty's Government have re- ceived Mr. Maxwell's Report of his mission to Tenom, which I regret to say has been unsuccessful. It contains a copy of a letter, dated the 10th of March, from the chief officer of the Nisero, acknowledging the receipt of clothing and provisions, and stating that, although suffering himself in health, the rest of the crew were well. A telegram has since been received from Singapore, to the effect that the latest news of the crew was of the 31st of March, when it was reported that one of the crew—an Italian—had died, that three were ill, and that the party were in great straits for want of food. Telegraphic instructions were immediately despatched to the Governor of Singapore and the senior naval officer to make every effort to convey provisions to them. A telegram has been received in answer from Singapore, announcing that H.M.S. Peqasus leaves for Tenom to-day with supplies for three months. In consequence of Mr. Maxwell's report as to the origin of these hostilities, Her Majesty's Government have placed themselves in communication with the Netherlands Government with a view to offering their mediation, and thereby obtaining the release of the prisoners and a cessation of hostilities.