HC Deb 16 July 1925 vol 186 cc1549-50W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the extension of the three-mile territorial limit from the shore to 12 miles as regards search for alcoholic liquors and other purposes, steps will be considered to extend to 12 miles the jurisdiction over national and foreign ships as regards prevention of the discharge of oil fuel and waste likely to cause destruction to fish and sea birds; and whether there is any reason for adhering to the distance of three miles?


This question is based on a misapprehension of fact. The British Government have always maintained the principle that territorial waters are limited to three miles. The Convention of 1924 between this country and the United States of America expressly declares the firm intention of the high contracting parties to uphold that principle, and it would be contrary to the settled policy of this country to admit any deviation from it.