HC Deb 06 April 1909 vol 3 cc1121-2W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will ask the plenipotentiaries who attended the recent Naval Conference to agree to an additional Protocol supplementing Article 34, by adding the word government after the word enemy at the end of line 3 of Article 34, inasmuch as the words used in the explanatory memorandum are enemy government, but owing to the fact that the explanatory memorandum forms no part of the final Protocol an argument contrary to the sense of the explanatory memorandum is possible, owing to the difference of language between the explanatory memorandum and the final Protocol?


For the reasons already given, I cannot admit that there is any ambiguity as to the meaning of Article 34. It is made clear, both by Article 33, on which Article 34 is dependent, and by the general official report of the Conference, that the word "ennemi" in Article 34 can only mean the enemy government. It is evident, however, that if the point had been raised at the time it would have been made perfectly clear in the drafting, and we therefore propose to make a declaration, at the time of the ratification, that the word "ennemi" in Article 34 means the Government of the enemy.