HC Deb 20 January 1902 vol 101 cc308-9

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he will state to the House the circumstances under which the steamer "Ban Righ" was allowed to leave the Port of London after detention and examination of her papers and cargo; whether this steamer had on board, when she was allowed to leave, guns, rifles, and munitions of war, what were the statements of the owners and officers of the ship as to the purpose for which she was equipped; whether she has since leaving England been fitted with guns and light armour, and has carried numbers of volunteers and supplies of guns to aid the revolutionary movement in Venezuela; and, whether His Majesty's Government has taken any steps, by order to the fleet or otherwise, to prevent a breach of neutrality, and to restrain the operations of this vessel in making war against a friendly State.


The Colombian Minister at this Court stated that the "Ban Righ" was intended for the service of his Government. As no state of war exists between Colombia and any other power there was not any reason for detaining the vessel. Having regard to the assurance given by the Minister no further statements were necessary. It is believed that the "Ban Righ" took arms on board at Antwerp. His Majesty's Consul in Martinique has reported that she cleared from Fort de France for Colon in Colombia. No information has been received as to her proceedings since she left Martinique. No steps have, therefore, been taken such as indicated in the question.