Mr. MARK SYKES
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether certain contact mines in the Dardanelles have exploded; whether any have broken adrift; whether the pilots appointed to take ships through the Straits can guarantee the safety of the course; and whether the British Consular authorities can guarantee the reliability of the pilots?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Montagu, for Sir Edward Grey)
His Majesty's Vice-Consul at the Dardanelles has reported that several mines have recently exploded. It is uncertain whether they were contact or observation mines. No damage has been done by the explosions, which were all on the side furthest from the channel left for shipping. I have no information that any mines have broken adrift, or that the buoyed channel left clear for shipping is unsafe or that the pilot ships which are provided by the Ottoman Government are unreliable.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
There is no report of any sort on that subject. If the hon. Member will put down another question, inquiry can be made.