HC Deb 23 June 1896 vol 41 cc1685-6

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether it is practicable for Her Majesty's Government to convey, in terms of especial courtesy and commendation, to the Government of the French Republic the widespread appreciation and gratitude of the English people for the marked sympathy which has been displayed by the inhabitants of the Ushant coasts to the survivors and victims of the disaster to the Drummond Castle?


I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether Her Majesty's Government will take some suitable and public means for conveying to the French Government the expression of the high appreciation which is entertained in this country of the sympathy and admirable devotion of the officials and population of Ushant and other parts of Brittany in connection with the lamentable shipwreck of the Drummond Castle.


The Secretary of State has already requested the French Ambassador to convey a message of the character suggested to the President of the French Republic, and a Dispatch on the subject will also be addressed to Her Majesty's Ambassador at Paris.

At a later stage,


said: May I supplement the Answer that I gave with regard to the lamentable disaster to the Drummond Castle, by reading to the House a communication which the Secretary of State has received from the Board of Trade, and which will be made by the Foreign Office the basis of a communication that will be immediately addressed to the French Government? The letter from the Board of Trade is as follows:— With reference to the recent lamentable loss of the steamship Drummond Castle off the coast of France, I am directed by the Board of Trade to state for the information of the Marquess of Salisbury, that many accounts have reached them of the great humanity, generosity, and kindness shown by all classes of the community in the vicinity of the disaster, not only in their treatment of the survivors, but in the solicitude displayed for the feelings of the friends and relatives of those lost, and in the careful arrangements made for the burial of the bodies recovered. The Board of Trade feel that it would be unbecoming at the present moment to select the names of any individuals for special mention; they are grateful to all alike for what has been done, and trust later on to testify their appreciation in some tangible way. I am, however, to suggest for Lord Salisbury's consideration that Her Majesty's Ambassador at Paris should be instructed to convey through the the French Government the warmest thanks of Her Majesty's Government to all concerned for their efficient and kindly help, and for the hearty and sympathetic way in which it has been rendered. [Cheers.] Such a communication of thanks and appreciation would, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, be endorsed by the whole nation as an expression of its feelings under the sad circumstances of the present case.

[Renewed Cheers.]