§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he had any official information which indicated an intention on the part of the Russian Government to close the trade in Russian waters in the Far East to vessels which do not sail under the 312W Russian flag; and what area was included in this prohibition?
§ Sir E. GREY
The privilege enjoyed by foreign vessels of engaging in coasting trade in Siberian waters expired in October last, but was extended until October, 1909, after which date, I am informed, a special committee of the Ministry of Commerce have advised the Russian Government not to renew it as regards steamships. The practice as regards sailing vessels remains unaltered, and a proposal is under consideration for extending the privilege for four years more in these waters as far north as Olga Bay, but no further. The whole Pacific coast and islands adjoining would be included in the prohibition as regards steamships.