HC Deb 19 May 1892 vol 4 cc1299-300
MR. CRAIG (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can say whether the Government experts, who advised the British directors when the regulations for transport of petroleum in bulk through the Suez Canal were under the consideration of the Company, acquainted themselves, by personal observation, with the exceptional conditions and circumstances under which this traffic must, if permitted, be conducted?


I am not sure that I understand what the hon. Member means by "personal observation." If the hon. Member means to inquire whether the Inter-departmental Committee visited the Suez Canal as a Committee, the answer is in the negative, although several of the members of it are well acquainted with the locality. The members of the Committee, whose names I gave to the hon. Member on Monday last, are well acquainted with the conditions required for the carriage of petroleum in bulk, and with the circumstances under which it would be carried through the Suez Canal.

MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE(for Sir R. TEMPLE,) Worcester, Evesham

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government have communicated, or will communicate, to the Egyptian Government, the protest made by a body of British shipowners in respect to the provisional regulations which propose to permit the transport of petroleum in bulk through the Suez Canal, together with the Reports of Sir Frederick Abel and Mr. Boverton Redwood, in reference to the safeguarding of the Canal against interruption from possible explosions?


The Suez Canal is not under the direction of the Egyptian Government, but of an independent Company, with whose decisions, so long as they are in accordance with their charter, the Egyptian Government have no power of interference. No object would, therefore, be served in approaching the Egyptian Government on the subject. The pro- test and the Reports referred to have been transmitted to the British directors of the Company.