HC Deb 25 February 1904 vol 130 cc981-2

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs can he explain in what way the Suez Canal Convention of October, 1888, is held by His Majesty's Government capable of being invalidated or hindered in its operation by reserves made by His Majesty's Government in 1885, three years previous to the signature and ratification of that Convention, or by the renewal of those reserves in 1887, one year before its signature and ratification; have the other Powers concerned accepted the claim of His Majesty's Government to override a Convention by reserves previously made, or expressed their views thereon; and, if so, can the Papers embodying those views be laid upon the Table; do His Majesty's Government hold themselves entitled to adopt, or to assent to, the adoption by the Egyptian Government, for the Suez Canal in time of war, rules and regulations inconsistent with the Convention of 1888; and are the regulations issued by the Egyptian Government on the 10th instant consistent therewith.


The Convention was signed and ratified by His Majesty's Government subject to the reservations already made by them. In view of these reservations the other Signatory Powers have abstained from any steps for the purpose of bringing the Convention into active operation. There are no Papers on the subject that can be presented to Parliament. His Majesty's Government have no intention of adopting or assenting to the adoption of rules inconsistent with the general principles laid down in the Convention with regard to the navigation of the Canal in time of war, and the rules recently issued are in entire agreement with those principles.

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