§ MR. NORRIS (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been recently called by the Board of Trade to two cases of alleged outrage at Astoria, in the Pacific, upon seamen under the British flag; and, if so, what measures he proposes to take in the circumstances; whether he has information to the effect that in many ports on the Pacific ships are boarded by runners armed with revolvers, and means are used, by drugged liquors and otherwise, to induce the men to desert; and if he will state whether other cases of violence in various ports have been recently reported to him with reference to British seamen?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
Two shipping cases have been reported from Astoria. Four men are said to have been taken from the Kitty in the absence of the master, who succeeded in recovering them. Five men, belonging to the Ardvar, left the ship, apparently voluntarily, in the absence of the master. Both captains declined to make written complaints to the Vice Consul, though invited by him to do so. There was nothing in these cases answering the description of outrages. The hon. member was informed on the 18th that no recent Reports of outrages have been received from the Pacific. Further Reports will, however, be called for, and instructions will be sent that all cases shall be strictly investigated.