HC Deb 07 May 1908 vol 188 cc420-1

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Consular announcement that in future His Majesty's Government cannot undertake to make any pecuniary advance for the ransom of British subjects captured by brigands in Morocco indicates a wish on the part of His Majesty's Government that British subjects should quit Morocco and British firms should close business relations with the country; and whether he will state the authority to whom British subjects in Morocco should in future apply for protection.


The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the negative. I may point out that the notice embodied no new principle, but merely repeated the warning contained in a circular which was issued in 1881 and was published in a Parliamentary Paper, Miscellaneous No. 8 of that year. It is to the effect that His Majesty's Government cannot undertake pecuniary liability for what may happen in countries which are not under their control; but it did not imply at the time of issue that His Majesty's Government would give any less protection than heretofore. It does not imply that now, and it does not apply only to Morocco, but to all countries where life and property are insecure.

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