§ MR. BOWLES (Lambeth, Norwood)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if any convention or arrangement has been made between the United States Government and the German Government providing that in case Germany should be engaged in war the German mercantile marine shall be taken under the United States flag; and have His Majesty's Government received any communication on the subject from the British Ambassador to the United States.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir EDWARD GREY,) Northumberland, Berwick
I have received no communication of any kind on this subject. If the hon. Member has any reliable information upon it, I shall be very glad to receive a communication from him.
§ MR. BOWLES
Do I understand that the Foreign Office has no information on the subject of any kind whatever?
Yes, Sir. We have no information at all; from which I should infer that no such arrangement exists.
§ MR. ARTHUR LEE (Hampshire, Fareham)
Is it not the case that no convention or international agreement of any kind with a foreign Power can be entered into by the United States Government without the public ratification of the Senate; and is it not, therefore, impossible for such an arrangement to exist without its becoming a matter of public knowledge?
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
The hon. Gentleman is as good an authority as I am on the Constitution of the United States, and I have no doubt he is correct. It seemed to me when the Question appeared on the Paper that it was quite impossible that any such arrangement could exist.