HC Deb 26 February 1885 vol 294 cc1418-9

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that the French Government have intimated to the German Government its intention during the pending hostilities with China to treat rice as contraband of war, and vessels carrying rice as a carrying of contraband; whether any similar intimation has been addressed to Her Majesty's Government; and, if so, whether they will lay it on the Table of the House; whether Her Majesty's Government are of opinion that this intimation is in accordance with International Law; and, whether they intend to recognize its being enforced on British vessels laden, or partly laden, with rice?


Her Majesty's Government do not know whether such a notification has been made to Germany. The French Government have officially notified to Her Majesty's Government their intention of treating rice as contraband of war during the existing hostilities between France and China. Her Majesty's Government, after consultation with the Law Advisers of the Crown, consider that they cannot assent to the right claimed by the French Government to declare rice generally contraband of war, and they will inform the French Government accordingly.