MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I beg to ask; the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has observed the statement recently made that, on 28th April, the French steamer "Gironde" sailed for | Europe with £135,000 in specie and £121,000 in bar gold, a total of £256,000, consigned to Paris by the Banque Francaise at Johannesburg; whether he has any reason to doubt that this large amount of treasure is the produce of the Transvaal, now at war with this country, or that it is transmitted in payment of supplies or of recruits to be used in hostilities against Her Majesty's troops; and whether Her Majesty's Government have any means of preventing, by Her Majesty's Naval forces, the carriage by neutral vessels of the produce and property of Her Majesty's enemies.
§ * MR. BRODRICK
The statement in question has appeared in the newspapers, but Her Majesty's Government have no official confirmation of it. Enemy's property, other than contraband of war, is protected on neutral ships by the Declaration of Paris, but Her Majesty's Government are giving careful attention to the subject.