HC Deb 17 June 1892 vol 5 cc1456-8
MR. KELLY (Camberwell, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will name the provision, if any, in the Concessions of the Suez Canal Company giving authority to make, what has-hitherto been and is optional, by its mere motion compulsory and binding, in the matter of the exclusion, by virtue of the provisional regulations, of petroleum tank steamers from the Canal, when such vessels do not happen to have been constructed in accordance with the terms of such regulations?


This question refers to a matter of law, namely, the construction of the Charter and Concessions of the Canal Company, which is at present the subject of litigation in the Egyptian Courts; and it is not within the province of Her Majesty's Government to express any opinion upon it.


I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when the Papers relating to the Inter-Departmental Commission, with reference to the provisional regulations of the Suez Canal Company, will be laid upon the Table of the House?


These Papers are in the printer's hands, and will be distributed as soon as possible.

SIR RICHARD TEMPLE (Worcester, Evesham)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether a conference of the Inter-departmental Commission (British) of 1891 was held before or after the adoption of the principle of allowing ships laden with bulk oil to pass along the Suez Canal; would he state on what date or dates the Commission met; and whether any rules on the subject were adopted, modified, or abandoned in consequence of direct negotiations between the Commission and the Government Directors of the Suez Canal or the Company itself?


The date of the meeting of the Inter-departmental Commission was December, 1891. The action of the Commission and its results will appear from the Papers which have been laid and which will be distributed as soon as possible. They are now in the printer's hands.

MR. MACLURE (Lancashire, S.E., Stretford)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of Slate for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the possible dual system of rules adopted by the Suez Canal Company and the Egyptian Government, Her Majesty's Government would urge the Suez Canal Company to suspend the Provisional Regulations until Egypt has declared in the matter or abandoned her police rights in reference to bulk petroleum in or on the waters of the Suez Canal, or in the ports situated in, or along, and adjacent to the Canal, and pending the decision of the Egyptian Courts as to the legality or illegality of the Provisional Regulations.


I replied yesterday to an almost identical question put to me by the hon. Member for West Limerick (Mr. Abraham), and I have nothing to add to the answer I then gave.

MR. PHILIPPS(for Mr. LLOYD MORGAN,) Carmarthen, W.

I beg to ask the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether there has been any communication of a special character relating to the passage of bulk petroleum through the Suez Canal, between the Foreign Office and the Suez Canal Company, prior to the admission of the principle of the passage of ships laden with bulk oil by the Directors of the Suez Canal, including the nominees of the Government on the administration of the Canal?


No such communication as that referred to in the hon. Member's question took place.