HC Deb 31 August 1914 vol 66 cc390-1W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether German and Belgian goods bought and paid for by a British firm in England and consigned on a German steamer to a British firm established in a British Possession are liable to confiscation; and (2) whether Belgian-made goods paid for in London by a British firm, and consigned to Hong Kong by a German steamer, would be confiscated if captured by a British ship?


Goods the property of a British subject, or the subject of an allied or neutral State, shipped on board a German vessel, are not liable to confiscation, apart from any question of contraband. The question whether particular goods are in fact the property of a British subject, or of a subject of an allied or neutral State, is one to be decided according to the rules of law applicable in such case. The following notice, which appears daily in the "Times" newspaper, has doubtless not escaped the hon. Member's attention:

"All persons having any interest m cargoes other than enemy cargoes laden on enemy ships captured as prizes and requiring a release of such cargoes or portion of cargoes should make inquiries in London at the offices of His Majesty's Procurator-General, Treasury Chambers, Whitehall, and at the out-ports of the United Kingdom, at the offices of the Agents for His Majesty's Procurator-General, whose addresses can be obtained from the collectors of Customs at such outports.

His Majesty's Procurator-General will require proof of ownership and particulars as to freight, whether paid or unpaid."