HC Deb 28 May 1908 vol 189 cc1262-3
SIR BERKELEY SHEFFIELD (Lincolnshire, Brigg)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can give any information as to a recent case where a Grimsby trawler was apprehended by a German gunboat; and whether the allegations against the skipper have been substantiated or not.


The British Vice-Consul at Cuxhaven has reported the seizure of a Grimsby fishing-boat, the "Taurus," by a German torpedo-boat on a charge of fishing in German territorial waters. I am informed that the master and mate of this ship were subjected to a judicial examination before the local Court at Cuxhaven on the 16th instant, and as neither could sufficiently clear himself of the charges brought against him, the master was kept under arrest pending his transfer to Flensborg for trial by a higher Court. Both men have, however, now been released on bail. The fish and fishing-gear of the "Taurus" were confiscated by the German authorities, but the ship has now returned with the master and mate to Grimsby.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in fact, the trawler was or was not within German territorial waters?


The men have been released on bail. I shall be kept informed of what the evidence given at the trial is, but until the trial it is impossible to say what evidence will be brought forward.

MR. WILLIAMSON (Elgin and Nairn)

Does Germany claim territorial waters beyond the three-mile limit?


I have not heard that the German Government ever claim more than three miles, but certainly our principle is that we only recognise three miles of territorial waters.