HC Deb 26 October 1908 vol 194 cc1573-4
MR. CARLILE (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

To ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in view of the fact that in the month of May, 1908, eight Bahamian turtling vessels were seized by Cuban revenue cutters and towed into Cuban ports, the owners being heavily fined and the vessels and crews detained for three months, the Government is now prepared to send the cruiser to the Bahamas which has been asked for by the Government of those islands.

(Answered by Mr. McKenna.) The incident of the seizure of the Bahamian turtling vessels was dealt with on the spot through His Majesty's representative at Havana, and it was therefore unnecessary to send one of His Majesty's ships to Cuban waters. No subsequent incident has rendered the presence of a man-of-war desirable, and it is not therefore proposed to send one, but His Majesty's Government will take all proper steps for the protection of British interests. His Majesty's ship "Scylla" has, however, recently visited the Bahamas at the request of the Governor, but it was with a view to the distribution of relief to the sufferers by the hurricane, and not in connection with the turtling incident.