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Volume 203: debated on Thursday 28 July 1870

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said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he is aware whether English subjects now in Germany can return to England by any of the ordinary routes, namely, viĆ¢ Hamburg or Cologne; and, if so, is there any understanding or announcement as to a limit of time; or, whether it is true that passenger boats are no longer permitted to run between Hamburg and the English ports; and, whether, in the event of the usual modes of return to England being stopped, the Government proposes to afford any and what special facilities to the large number of English subjects now in Germany, more particularly the children of English parents at school there to return to England?

said, in reply, that he was sorry to say, on behalf of the Government, that he could give no information upon the subject of the hon. Member's Question. The movements of English subjects in Germany desiring to return to this country must necessarily depend upon the military movements in that country and on the movements of the belligerents. Of these movements the Government had no information, nor were they likely to receive any. As to whether passenger boats between Hamburg and the English ports were no longer to be permitted to run, the Government had no information; but if stopped, the stoppage of those boats would doubtless also necessarily depend upon the military movements. With regard to the affording of special facilities to British subjects wishing to return to this country, he was not aware of any which the Government could afford except sending passports; and the rule with regard to sending passports abroad had been relaxed in consequence of the events which were occurring upon the Continent. Passports were now sent out for British subjects in Germany upon the application of persons of respectability in this country. But information as to the routes which might be taken by persons desiring to return to England would be far better obtained in the country where those persons were at present residing than here in England.