HC Deb 10 August 1916 vol 85 cc1205-6
13. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the declaration made by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in his statement of 23rd July, 1915, to the United States that we are not detaining enemy goods on the sole ground that they are the property of an enemy, if he can say whether that is the policy now being pursued; whether orders to that effect have been issued to the Fleet and to others concerned in the detention of goods brought into port on the ground of probable liability to confiscation; and, if so, can he explain how it is that, while neutral goods suspected of being contraband of war are detained and submitted to the Prize Court, enemy goods are not even detained but are allowed to go free without submission to such Court, and on what ground or for what reason enemy goods are treated with an indulgence not extended to neutral goods?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. With regard to the second part of the question goods are not brought into port on the ground of probable liability to confiscation, but in order to facilitate the belligerent right of search as was explained in the last note on the subject to the United States Government. No orders in the sense indicated are now in force. No such indulgence as is apparently suggested in the last part of the question is now or ever has been shown to enemy goods.

Sir J. D. REES

Is my Noble Friend quite sure that the Prize Court have not condemned goods on the sole ground that they are enemy property?


I do not think that arises out of this question. I am not quite sure about it, but my recollection is that no such case has, in fact, yet been brought before the Prize Court, but I do not know.