§ MR. W. F. LAWRENCE (Liverpool, Abercromby)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign. Affairs, Whether in the matter of the Mary Mark, run down while at anchor by a Spanish man-of-war three years ago, the Foreign Office has sanctioned the interpretation of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea, laid down by the Naval Court at Havana, as applied to this case; whether it has conveyed to the Spanish Government the reply of the owners in May to the finding of the said Court; and whether any answer thereto has been received; whether it will submit the papers in this case to the Law Officers of the Crown for their opinion; and, what further steps, if any, Her Majesty's Government will take to obtain redress for the destruction of the property of a British subject, which for three years has been withheld?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E)
Her Majesty's late Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs concurred in the reply of the owners of this vessel referred to by my hon. Friend. Sir Clare Ford was accordingly in-strutted on the 18th of June last to make a communication to the Spanish Government supporting the contention of the owners, and to propose that the case should be referred either to the Admiralty Court in this country or to arbitration. Many representations have been made to the Spanish Government, who last year conducted a fresh inquiry, to which the reply mentioned by my hon. Friend has been made by the owners. The attention of Her Majesty's Minister will be again called to the subject. At present there does not appear to be any legal point to be submitted to the Law Officers.