HC Deb 29 March 1892 vol 3 c155
MR. GOURLEY (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government, before refusing the request of the United States Government for a renewal of the modus vivendi of last year regarding seal fishing in Alaskan waters, had under their consideration the telegraphic Despatch of the hon. Member for the Kirkdale Division of Liverpool, Her Majesty's Special Commissioner, in which he stated that "the renewal of last year's prohibition and the 7,500 limit would be beneficial"; if so, will he state why the policy thus indicated is not being followed?


It is not correct to say that Her Majesty's Government have ever refused the request for a renewal of the modus vivendi. The conditions under which Her Majesty's Government are prepared to agree to a renewal are fully set out in the papers published yesterday. The hon. Member has not accurately quoted the Despatch of the 9th March from the Special Commissioner, who stated therein that he was of opinion that the taking of one season's limited crop could not injure the seal herd, but that the renewal of last year's prohibition and the 7,500 limit would be beneficial although not necessary. That policy is being followed, subject to the conditions considered necessary by Her Majesty's Government, in the interest of British subjects engaged in the industry.