HC Deb 17 April 1905 vol 145 c286

To ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will state on what grounds the facilities for coaling and revictualling afforded to the Russian fleet during its recent passage through the Suez Canal were withheld from the Spanish fleet under similar circumstances in 1898.

(Answered by Earl Percy.) The circumstances of the two cases were entirely different. In the recent case of the Russian Squadron, coal was allowed because the vessels were entitled, under Rule 3 of the Canal Regulations now in force, to an amount sufficient to take them to the nearest port where they could obtain the supplies necessary for the continuation of their voyage, and the amount which they had on board was not sufficient. In 1898 Admiral Camara might have claimed, under the general principles of international law, coal sufficient to enable him to reach the nearest Spanish port, or some nearer neutral destination, but for the fact that the Spanish warships had already enough for that purpose, and further supplies were therefore refused on that ground.