HC Deb 23 March 1893 vol 10 cc889-90
MR. PAULTON (Durham, Bishop Auckland)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has seen the statement in The Times telegram of 21st instant, with regard to the Behring Sea Fisheries; and whether he can state what are the present demands of Russia in the matter?


The statement made in the telegram referred to is in many particulars incorrect. The seizures of British vessels by Russian cruisers last year are still under examination, and the reply of the Russian Government has not yet been received. In reply to the inquiries made by Her Majesty's Government as to the course which the Russian Government intended to pursue in the coming season, the latter have stated that they had no desire to dispute the generally recognised rules as to territorial waters, but in view of the special circumstances caused by the modus vivendi already concluded between Great Britain and the United States, and pending a general International arrangement for the regulation of the seal fishery, they have proposed certain special and provisional measures for the protection of Russian sealing interests which are now under discussion between the two Governments.


Is it a fact that whatever the claims of Russia may be in her portion of the sea, they will be left entirely unaffected by the result of the arbitration now going on in Paris?


That is entirely another question of which I must have notice. I have nothing to add to the answer I have given to the question on the Paper.