HC Deb 23 July 1891 vol 356 cc126-7
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the following statement in the Daily News of Tuesday:— The new Chilian cruiser Presidente Errazuriz, which arrived at Falmouth several days ago from Havre, is still in Falmouth Harbour, and her captain seems to have had considerable difficulty in obtaining a crew. On Saturday about 30 men who had been engaged at Plymouth by one of the officers, arrived at Falmouth. They included engineers, stokers, and ordinary seamen, and one of the men stated yesterday that after the engineers went on board, they refused to sign articles on the ground that part of the agreement, which was that the whole of the men should receive a month's pay in advance, had not been fulfilled. They also stated that, with the exception of the chief engineer, all the engineers on board had been put in irons, and, on hearing this, the other men refused to join the ship"; whether a Chilian warship has been permitted to engage a crew in Falmouth; and what steps, if any, have been taken by the authorities to prevent breaches of the Foreign Enlistment Acts, and the entrapment of British subjects, and their enforced employment in the Chilian Civil War?


I have seen the statement. Her Majesty's Government have not interfered, as the Foreign Enlistment Act does not apply to the case, and Her Majesty's Government have no power in the matter.

In reply to a further question by Dr. CAMERON,


I do not suppose that anybody in this country requires to be told that a state of war exists in Chili; but a vessel belonging to a Foreign Power has a right to engage British subjects, so long as no belligerent rights have been recognised on the other side.

Forward to