HC Deb 24 July 1873 vol 217 cc907-8

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he will state to the House the precedents according to which Her Majesty's Government propose to offer presents of plate to three of the Arbitrators in the late Geneva Award, and which precedents were referred to by him in general terms on the 10th of March last.


in reply, said, it had been the custom, from time to time, for a very long period, to give presents to foreigners who had discharged special duties or performed special services for this country, as it had also been the custom with other nations to give presents to persons belonging to this country who had rendered special services to them. The precedents he would quote in the present instance were these. There was the precedent of Lord Castlereagh, who received a valuable service of china from the King of France after the Congress of Vienna, in 1814. There were also the cases of Lord Sidmouth in 1815; Lord Bathurst in 1816; the Russian and Danish Ministers in 1822, from this country; the Bavarian and Spanish Ministers, from this country in 1823; the Danish Minister in 1834; the Brazilian Plenipotentiary in 1827; the Netherlands Ambassador to Constantinople in 1829. Particulars could be supplied if the hon. Gentleman desired them. Perhaps the precedent most relevant to this particular case was that of Sir Edward Thornton, our Minister at Washington, who received a present for his services as Arbitrator between the United States and Brazil, in the case of the vessel Canada in 1870. The hon. Gentleman would remember that in the present instance it was the United States Government which took the initiative.