§ SIR EDWARD REED (Cardiff)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that British ships trading to the Port of Batoum on the Black Sea, and engaged in the carriage of Russian petroleum to the markets of Europe, are subjected to considerable danger at that port owing to the very contracted limits of the deep water space within the port, and to the unequal depth of water alongside the 1496 loading quays; whether he is aware that the danger is increased by the publication of notices in the Russian Press which represent the depth of water in Batoum to be greater than it is; and whether any communication has been, or will be, made to the Russian Government upon this subject?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir J. FERGUSSON, Manchester, N.E.)
The attention of the Russian Government has been called by Her Majesty's Ambassador at St. Petersburg to the difficulties owing to want of space in the harbour of Batoum. Important works have been undertaken there, and are, I believe, still being carried on. Hitherto there have been no loading quays available for foreign vessels to lie alongside, and all discharging of cargo has been done by barges. I believe that a quay will, however, shortly be completed. I have never heard of any notices having been published in the Russian Press concerning the depth of water in Russian harbours.