§ LORD H. BRUCE (Wilts, Chippenham)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, before Heligoland is handed over to a Foreign Power, the wishes of the inhabitants will be consulted as to their remaining under the Union Jack?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH,) Strand, Westminster
I am afraid I must ask my noble Friend to be satisfied with 1657 the numerous answers which have been already given on the subject. We believe the Agreement to be one which will certainly not be to the disadvantage of the Heligolanders.
§ MR. W. REDMOND (Fermanagh, N.)
Will the right hon. Gentleman state to the House whether the question of the cession of Heligoland did not come from Germany?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I am sure that the hon. Member will see that that is a question which ought not to be put in this House.
§ MR. F. S. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any steps have been taken to ascertain the views of the inhabitants of Heligoland on the subject of the proposed cession of the island to Germany; and whether it is intended that, in the event of the cession taking place, the inhabitants shall be liable to military service?
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON
No steps have been taken to ascertain the views of the inhabitants of Heligoland. It is intended that all existing inhabitants shall be exempted from compulsory military service.
§ MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)
I beg to ask wether a recent demonstration in Heligoland has not proved conclusively that the inhabitants wish to remain connected with this country; and whether the attention of the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs has been drawn to the statement in the Pall Mall Gazette that the people are extremely hostile to the proposed cession of the island?