HC Deb 16 July 1924 vol 176 cc337-8
10. Mr. HANNON

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information to the effect that 19 cases containing rifles and revolvers have been recently seized as contraband on board the German vessel "Schlesien," at Colombo, on the 8th July, the consignment being marked machinery for Kobé, but being apparently intended for China; whether, in view of the embargo upon the importation of arms into China, he will take steps to ascertain whether this consignment was in fact intended for China; and, if so, by whom it, was despatched?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Thomas)

The Governor of Ceylon has reported that the steamship "Schlesien," on arrival at Colombo, was found to have on board certain cases, manifested as machinery, but found on examination to contain firearms and ammunition. The cases were forfeited and the master fined. No doubt the local authorities will take any necessary steps to ascertain the origin and destination of the cargo.


Will the right hon. Gentleman send instructions to his representatives in Ceylon to take care that no consignments of this kind shall get through, without very careful examination?

Captain Viscount CURZON

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since this case there has been another one of a similar kind, where more ammunition has been found?


The noble Lord will observe how very general my answer was. It was made very general, deliberately, not to play into the hands of those who were guilty. I will say no more than that.