HC Deb 07 April 1873 vol 215 cc633-4

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, considering the heavy damages this Country has to pay for the participation of individuals in matters connected with the civil war in America, he will take measures to prevent British subjects from raising subscriptions, which are not for a loan with a view to profit, but for a gift gratuitously given, in order to foment the civil war in Spain?


Sir, the Spanish Minister recently called the attention of Her Majesty's Government to an adver- tisement which had appeared in The Westminster Gazette, inviting subscriptions in behalf of the Carlists in Spain, and claimed the protection of British Law against proceedings of that character. In consequence of that representation, it was the duty of my noble Friend (Lord Granville) to examine into the state of the law, and he referred the question to the Law Officers of the Crown for their opinion. The opinion of the Law Officers was to this effect,—that the advertisement being a request for gifts—though a contract for that purpose would be illegal, and not capable of being enforced in an English Court—it did not amount to any infraction of the law at all. There is nothing to prevent any person giving or any person asking money for such a purpose. That being so, I need not say it is not in the power of Her Majesty's Government in any way to go beyond the law.

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