HC Deb 16 November 1911 vol 31 cc499-500

asked whether, in view of his expressed wish for quotations from German authorities, his attention has been called to the fact that the two German authorities, General von Caemmerer and General Baron von der Goltz, have laid it down specifically that the term base cannot be restricted to one district, but must mean the whole area of a State connected with railways; and does this necessarily mean that under the Declaration of London all neutral as well as British ships bringing foodstuffs to this country would be liable to be captured or sunk by an enemy's warships, or by his merchant ships converted into commerce destroyers?


I have seen the quotations referred to. I am unaware of the context from which they were drawn, and can, therefore, form no opinion as to their exact bearing upon the definition of the word "base" in the sense in which it is used in Article 34 of the Declaration of London. In no case do His Majesty's Government consider that the effect of Article 34 can be that suggested in the last part of the hon. Member's question.


Is it not a fact that at the Court of Arbitration at Geneva in 1872 our own representative—


The hon. Member seems to credit the Foreign Secretary with omniscience. He really must give notice of a question of that kind.