HC Deb 31 March 1890 vol 343 c304
MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

I also desire to ask the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs a question, of which I have given private notice, namely, whether there is any foundation for the statement in the Times of this day telegraphed from Athens that several Turkish war vessels cruising around Crete have endeavoured to disguise their character by flying the British flag; and whether, if the statement is found to be true, the Government will take prompt notice of such unwarrantable conduct?


We have heard that there was a rumour at Athens that one or more Turkish men-of-war had been seen in the direction named, under Italian colours. No mention was then made of such use of British colours, nor have the Admiralty heard anything concerning these allegations.


May I ask whether, considering the positive way in which the statement is made in the Times, the right hon. Gentleman will take steps to inquire whether the statement is true?


The Foreign Office are hardly bound to make inquiry on every statement that appears in the newspapers. I would remind the hon. Gentleman that this country has ships in those waters, and that if any improper use is made of the British flag it is quite certain to be reported to the Admiralty.