HC Deb 06 July 1903 vol 124 c1376
MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)

To ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with regard to the draft treaties relating to the law of collision and salvage at sea, based on suggestions made at conferences of shipowners, lawyers, underwriters, and merchants organised by the Comité Maritime International at Antwerp, 1898, London, 1899, Paris, 1900, and Hamburg, 1902, received from the Belgian Government, and the suggestion that these draft treaties should be submitted to a diplomatic conference for consideration, if he will state what action is to be taken by the Government; and what reply has been made to the Belgian Government.

(Answered by Lord Cranborne.) The Belgian Government have been informed that it has long been the settled policy of His Majesty's Government not to be officially represented at such conferences, the decisions of which, if they were represented thereon, might possibly be regarded as to some extent placing them under an obligation to alter or modify the existing maritime law of this country.