HC Deb 25 July 1904 vol 138 cc1045-6
GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)

I beg to ask the Under. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the fact that a Russian warship, the "St. Petersburg" has overhauled and searched British vessels in or near the Red Sea; and, if so, can he state whether this is the same vessel, also named the "St. Petersburg," that recently passed through the Bosphorus under the Russian commercial flag; and, if so, whether it is in conformity with international law that the same vessel can at one time fly the commercial flag and at another time assert the authority of a warship; and whether this transformation can take place on the high seas, or whether it is obligatory that a vessel holding a commission as a warship should be commissioned as such in a port of the nation to which she belongs.


There are several Questions on the Paper of the same character addressed to the Prime Minister, and perhaps it would be more convenient if this could be dealt with at the same time.


Then am I to address it to the Prime Minister?


I think my hon. and gallant friend will see from the Answers to be given to the other Questions how far it is possible to answer his.