§ 45. Sir K. WOOD
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now supply any further information as regards recent frequent piratical attacks on British ships in Chinese waters, and as to the results of the different steps he has taken in this matter; whether the Hong Kong Government have decided that in the case of death or disablement of British officers through these attacks they will pay certain compensation, but, at the same time, that this provision is not intended to relieve the shipping companies of their responsibilities in the matter; whether the British owners of the vessels concerned have been approached on this matter by the Colonial Office; and whether any information can be given as to what provision of a similar kind they intend to make?
I am awaiting a report, which I have no doubt will deal with the question of compensation. Meanwhile escorts have been arranged for vessels sailing in convoys. As a temporary measure, the General Officer Commanding has been authorised to detail British troops as guards on merchant ships The answer to the last two parts of the question is in the negative.
§ Viscount CURZON
Has the right hon. Gentleman been able to do anything with regard to increasing the use of wireless in ships employed in those waters, in view of the increased protection that would thus be given?