HC Deb 14 December 1908 vol 198 cc1248-9
MR. MCARTHUR (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the periods for which vessels arriving in Spain from Liverpool have been detained in quarantine on account of recent cases of plague in Liverpool; whether he is aware that the detention has amounted to as much as twenty days, although the International Sanitary Convention of 1903 (to which all European countries, except Spain, Greece, and Norway, were parties) decided that a period of five days quarantine, computed from the date of isolation of the last-known case of plague at the infected port, was sufficient; and whether he will make representations to the Government of Spain with a view of bringing the usage of that country into accord with that prevailing in other European, countries, so as to minimise the loss and inconvenience to which British shipowners and merchants are subjected.


The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I am not aware that detention in quarantine in Spanish ports has amounted to as much as twenty days. Twelve days was the period fixed in the first instance by the Spanish Sanitary Regulations; but representations were made by His Majesty's Ambassador at Madrid, and subsequently the Spanish Government gave free pratique to healthy vessels arriving from Liverpool, subject to certain reservations in accordance with the Venice Sanitary Convention, to which Spain is a party. His Majesty's Government recognise the importance of securing uniformity and a common standard of regulations, as provided by the Paris Convention, and will do all in their power to facilitate its general application.