HC Deb 23 March 1914 vol 60 c63W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether precedent exists for His Majesty's Government offering the services of a British consul to British subjects arrested by Foreign Governments in regions where legal advice is unobtainable; and, if so, whether His Majesty's Government would consider favourably an application for such assistance on the part of the friends of the Rev. J. S. Bowskill?


I am not aware of such a precedent. A British consul is, of course, bound to render such assistance as he can to British subjects, but it is not part of his duties to offer legal advice, or to interpret the laws of foreign countries; in this case he will give all the assistance he can.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will inquire what is the civil and military composition of the tribunal before which the Portuguese Government proposes to try the case of the Rev. J. S. Bowskill; and whether any of the military representatives have been at all concerned with the recent administration of the Angola or San Thomé Colonies?


I have already impressed upon the Portuguese Government that, if possible, the trial of Mr. Bowskill should take place before a properly constituted tribunal, but I have not yet received information as to the composition of the Court. The Portuguese Government have, however, promised to guarantee full justice, and have said that as the sittings of the tribunal will be public, a British consular officer can attend them. I will, however, ask the Portuguese Government to let me know how the Court will be composed as soon as they have decided this point.