HC Deb 14 February 1865 vol 177 c234

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is intended any longer to permit Her Majesty's Consul General at St. Petersburg to supplement his salary by a tax, known as agency money levied on British Shipping, and received by him as Agent for the Russia Company?


said, that if the hon. Gentleman would refer to some papers laid on the table of the House last night, he would find the whole question of the money paid to M. de Michele, the Consul General at St. Petersburg, was gone into. This sum had been paid by the company from time immemorial. When M. Michele received the appointment fifteen years ago it was with the understanding that he should receive such sum in part payment of his salary. He had received it ever since, and Her Majesty's Government could not deprive him of this source of emolument without doing him a great injustice. They would, in fact, have to give him some adequate compensation. Now the tax did not in any way interfere with British shipping. If M. Michele did not receive it other persons would receive it. At the same time, Her Majesty's Government thought it was wrong in principle that a public servant should receive pay from sources other than that of the Government, and whenever M. Michele retired from St. Petersburg it was not intended that this sum should be received by his successor.