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Foreign Vessels (British Colours)

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what information he has regarding the use of the British flag by foreign yachts or small craft in the Mediterranean for purposes of smuggling; and whether he will take action to terminate this.

It is believed that foreign vessels have improperly used British colours when smuggling but they have been careful not to be caught wearing them. If a foreigner does masquerade under the British flag his ship becomes forfeit under British law and subject to seizure; but the difficulties in catching such people out, and proving the offence, are extreme.