§ MR. G. DRAGE (Derby)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, under the existing Russian law, British ships are excluded from the coasting trade between Russian ports in Europe on the same sea—e.g. the Baltic or the Black Sea; whether under a law recently enacted, which comes into force in 1900, British ships will be excluded from the ocean trade between Russian ports—e.g. between Russian ports on the Black Sea and in the Far East; and whether he will obtain from the British Embassy at St. Petersburg a report on the steps taken by the Russian Government in recent years for the benefit of the Russian mercantile marine?
Her Majesty's Consul General at St. Petersburg reports as follows—The privilege of the coasting trade, hitherto confined to Russian subjects and vessels plying between ports situated in the same sea, will, from 1–13 January, 1900, be extended to all Russian ports situated in different seas. In this manner foreign vessels, which had been allowed to carry goods, say, from a Russian port in the Baltic to one in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, or White Sea, and vice versâ, or from any Russian port in the Far East, will from the above period be precluded from doing so. Exception, however, will be made in favour of salt shipped from Russian, Black, and Azov seaports to those of the Baltic, which may be carried in foreign bottoms until notice to the contrary shall be given.The report in question, which contains further particulars respecting steps taken by the Russian Government for the benefit of Russian shipping, will shortly be laid with a collection of similar reports from other countries.