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Heligoland Pilots—Question

Volume 203: debated on Tuesday 26 July 1870

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said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it would be a breach of neutrality and an infringement of the Royal Proclamation if the Heligoland Pilots should conduct French Men of War to German Ports, or if the Pilots of the Channel Islands were to conduct German Men of War to French Ports, and whether in the event of any such men of war endeavouring to retain the services of such pilots measures will be taken by Government to prevent them from being so employed; and, whether the Government are disposed to issue Proclamations to this effect in the above named localities to warn pilots against taking employment on board belligerent men of war, as considerable apprehension exists in Germany on this subject?

said, with regard to the Question whether it would be an infringement of the Royal Proclamation of neutrality if Heligoland Pilots should conduct French Men of War to German Ports, he apprehended that there could be no doubt that such a proceeding would be a breach of neutrality, and a direct violation of the Royal Proclamation. He presumed that the Question was put under the supposition that the Heligoland pilots did not understand English. If that were the case, it would be desirable to have the Proclamation issued in the German language. He would make inquiries, and all necessary stops would be taken to make those pilots acquainted with the nature of the Royal Proclamation.