HC Deb 21 March 1895 vol 31 cc1547-8

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether Her Majesty's Government propose, during the present hostilities between France and Madagascar, to allow either belligerent to make use of ports or roadsteads in British Possessions or Dependencies (as, for example, at Mauritius, or the Cape, or Aden) for warlike purposes, or to coal or provision themselves beyond what may be necessary for immediate use; does the Foreign Enlistment Act, 1870, apply to this case; and, are Her Majesty's subjects entitled to exercise the same rights as in time of peace, or are they subject to the obligations lying on neutrals in time of war; and, if the latter, at what date did these obligations begin to take effect?


The situation is, for the purposes of this question, the same as that which has existed on previous occasions when Great Britain has been carrying on hostilities in different parts of the world. In these cases, while there have been in fact hostilities proceeding, it has not been thought necessary to bring into operation the obligations which would arise from the recognition of a state of war; no proclamations of neutrality have been issued, nor has the trade of other countries, or the use of their ports been in any way curtailed. Her Majesty's Government propose at present to follow the same course, but no part of British territory would be allowed to be used as a base for hostile operations.