§ MR. BOURKE
said, he did not know whether he was in Order in answering a Question which was on the Paper, but which had not been put; but it was desirable that a Question of its importance should not remain unanswered.
§ MR. RYLANDS (for Mr. T. Cave)
then put the Question, Whether the Government is aware that there is now at Lima a representative of the Peruvian bondholders who was sent out last January by a committee acting under the advice of Mr. James Croyle, representing a large section of the bondholders who disapprove of the alienation of the guano solemnly hypothecated to them by the Peruvian Government as security both for payment of interest and amortisation of the loans of 1870 and 1872 respectively; whether any communication has been made by the Foreign Office to Mr. Graham, Her Majesty's Consul at Lima, with regard to the suspension of the payment of interest on the Peruvian Loans 1870 and 1872, amounting nominally to £11,920,000 6 per Cent. Loan 1870, and £21,546,740 5 per Cent. Loan 1872, the interest of which, has been unpaid for two years; and, whether the Government will lay upon the Table Copy of the Correspondence which has taken place between Her Majesty's Government and Her Majesty's Consul in Peru since the commencement of the present year?
§ MR. BOURKE
I think a Question of this kind ought not to remain on the Paper without being answered. I will first state exactly what Her Majesty's Government has done. In February last a gentleman came to the Foreign Office, and said he represented a large number of Peruvian bondholders, and wished to have a letter sent to Mr. Graham, Her Majesty's Minister at Peru, in favour of Mr. Clark, who was to be the agent of the committee, acting under the advice of Mr. James Croyle. The Government did what they always do under such circumstances. They sent a letter to Mr. Consul Graham at Peru, instructing him to give the gentleman all proper facilities, at the same time taking good care to warn him not to do anything more—that he was not to assist any agent in his endeavours to obtain assist- 1392 ance for his plans from the Peruvian Government, or in any way to do anything that would commit himself. That is what Her Majesty's Government has done, and the reason why I am anxious to answer the Question is, that I wish to state that a great deal has not been done that is stated in the Question. We do not know what section of the bondholders the gentleman sent out represents, or whether it is a large or a small one, or of what they disapprove. We know nothing about Mr. Croyle or Mr. Clark. No communication has been made to Mr. Graham, or by him to the Peruvian Government, on the suspension of the payment of the interest on the loans; and with regard to the Correspondence that has taken place, there is no objection whatever to lay on the Table of the House all the Correspondence that has taken place between Her Majesty's Government and Mr. Graham connected with the question.