HC Deb 17 April 1893 vol 11 cc446-7

I beg-to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to the statement in a telegram to The Times of 29th March last, that the editor of the Siam Free Press had been publicly thrashed by two Siamese students; and if true, as the Siam Free Press is registered at Bangkok as an English newspaper, and the editor being a British subject, what steps have been taken by the British Representatives at Bangkok to demand satisfaction from the Siamese Government?


I have seen the telegram in question. According to Art. 2 of an Agreement signed at Bangkok on the 13th May, 1856, provision is made for the settlement of all criminal and civil cases between British and Siamese subjects. It provides that all criminal cases in which the defendant is a Siamese shall be tried and determined by the Siamese Authorities alone. Whenever a British subject has ground of complaint against a Siamese, he has to make his complaint through the British Consul, who lays it before the proper Siamese Authorities. Assuming that the editor of the Siam Free Press is a British subject and has a grievance against a Siamese, this is the course which he should pursue. No Report on the subject has been received from Her Majesty's Representative at Bangkok, but unless the proper remedy should be refused on his application, there seems no reason why he should telegraph to the Foreign Office.