§ LORD CHARLES BERESFORD (York)
I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General what is the legal position of this country with regard to the Declaration of Paris in the event of war; whether this country is legally bound by that Declaration if at war with one of the signatory Powers; whether this country is legally bound by it in the event of war between this country and a Power not a signatory to the Declaration of Paris; and, whether the Declaration of Paris ever received the assent of the Crown; and if so, when?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir R. WEBSTER,) Isle of Wight
The Questions of the noble lord do not admit of answer without qualification. As things at present stand this country is, in my opinion, bound by the Declaration of Paris. What her rights would be in the event of her being at war with a Power which declined to act on the principles laid down in that Declaration is a Question which cannot be determined beforehand. The proposal to sign the Declaration was approved by Her Majesty on April 8, 1856, and after its conclusion was presented to Parliament by command of Her Majesty.
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