§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any inquiry has been made as to the circumstances under which a British mail steamer was recently stopped in the Red Sea by a Russian man-of-war; whether the man-of-war issued from and 1205 returned to neutral ports; whether there is reason to believe that she had coaled in a neutral port since having coaled in a Russian port; and whether any protest has been made either to any neutral Power or to the Russian Government on the subject.
§ EARL PERCY
His Majesty's Government have received no information of the stoppage of any British mail steamer recently in the Red Sea. In February last two steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental Company and one of the Indian Steam Navigation Company were stopped by the Russian squadron in the Red Sea, and in two cases the vessel was boarded and its papers examined, but in each case after a very short detention it was allowed to proceed. There was nothing in these cases which would have justified any protest on the part of His Majesty's Government.