HC Deb 11 February 1823 vol 8 cc96-7
Mr. Hume

, in moving for various documents relating to the Russian-Dutch loan, observed, that few were aware that, by a convention dated in May 1815, Great Britain agreed to pay to the king of the Netherlands a loan of three millions advanced to Russia. Perhaps, therefore, at that very moment, the emperor Alexander was preparing to make war upon Spain, with the funds of this country. The consideration for this payment was the possession of the Cape of Good Hope and Demerara, which had since cost Great Britain about half the original purchase-money, and they must always remain a useless burden. He wished to know what amount of prin- cipal and interest had been paid by this country since 1815. He did not know whether it was possible for us to vitiate this most impolitic engagement; but if it was entered into under the implied condition, that the emperor of Russia was to do all in his power to preserve the peace of Europe, we clearly were not bound to adhere to it; inasmuch as he was now straining every nerve to involve Europe in a new and a nefarious war. He concluded by moving for an Account of the sums paid in British money, in pursuance of the Convention, for Principal and Interest of the Loan, and an estimate of the sum remaining to be paid.—Ordered.