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Piloting Belligerent Men-Of-War

Volume 203: debated on Monday 8 August 1870

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Question

I wish, Sir, to ask the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether representations have been made to Her Majesty's Government by the Prussian Ambassador complaining that English Pilots have been engaged in piloting French Men-of-War?

Sir, whether a formal representation to the effect stated by the hon. Member has been made to the Foreign Office I am unable to say, although it is a matter that I could easily have ascertained before coming down to the House, had I had previous Notice of the hon. Member's Question. I, however, mentioned on a former day that the subject had been dealt with by Her Majesty's Government, and that specific directions had been given with reference to piloting belligerent vessels of war, to the effect that no English pilots were to give assistance to the ships of war of the belligerent Powers, except for the purpose of steering them out of or into a British port, or in case of distress.