§ 17. Mr. NUNN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has 1414 any information concerning the boarding of the British steamship "Nanchang," on 29th March, by Chinese pirates off the mouth of the Liao river; and what steps are being taken to rescue the four British officers of the vessel who have been kidnapped?
§ Sir J. SIMON
A report has been received from His Majesty's Minister at Peking, according to which the steamer "Nanchang," of the China Navigation Company, was attacked at noon on the 29th March by a large force of pirates, while at anchor off the mouth of the Liao river. The pirates carried off four subordinate British officers, and made away up river. His Majesty's sloop "Cornflower" at once proceeded to Newchwang, and an officer attached to His Majesty's Legation at Peking was also sent there. Urgent representations were made to the local authorities and to the Japanese Government; and all possible steps are, I am informed, being taken by the land and river police in concert with the Manchurian coastguards. Seaplanes and a number of junks are being employed to carry on the search. The Japanese Government have instructed their subordinate authorities to afford all possible assistance.
§ Major HILLS
Have the Foreign Office any idea where these unfortunate British officers have been carried off to?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I have no more knowledge than that they have been carried off by a force of pirates who have made their way up the river.