§ CAPTAIN PIM
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether his attention has been called to statements in the Press thatthe Cesarewitch has been appointed President of the Russian Committee formed to arm privateers in case of a war with England;that "several American steamers have already been purchased;" that a large force of officers and men is held in readiness for immediate privateering service; that a consignment of torpedoes adapted for privateers has been received in Russia from an English firm; and that no less a sum than £10,000 has been 1370 offered to the Russian Government for one "letter of marque;" 100 vessels being available on the same terms at a month's notice for this purpose, not only without cost to Russia, but actually paying into their Exchequer no less a sum than £1,000,000 for the privilege; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will, before it is too late, demand the intentions of Russia with respect to their employment of privateers or "letters of marque" in the event of war?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, I have seen statements to that effect, and also many other statements equally alarming. I can only say that we have received no official information on the subject. Considering that Russia was a party to the Declaration of Paris, under which privateering was abolished, it is not to be expected that any such measures would be adopted on her part.