HC Deb 17 June 1880 vol 253 cc177-8

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been called to the following facts: that, some time before the Treaty of Berlin, a special tribunal was appointed by the Turkish Government to arbitrate between that Government and the Danube and Black Sea Railway Company; that this tribunal, in January 1879, made an award against the Turkish Government, by which award that Government was required to pay a sum, now amounting to £160,000 to the Danube and Black Sea Railway Company in respect of work done for and wrongs committed by that Government in violation of the Company's conceded rights, and was also required to restore to the Company valuable lands and quays, of which the Company had been forcibly dispossessed; whether the Turkish Government not having paid this amount, and being no longer in possession of territory in which the line is situated, the Roumanian Government is not now, by virtue of Article 51 of the Treaty of Berlin, liable to pay the amount awarded and to restore to the Company the lands and quays; and, whether he will communicate with the Special Ambassador at Constantinople and also the British Minister at Bucharest on the subject?


Sir, the facts in this case are correctly stated by the hon. Member (Mr. Mellor) in his Question. The subject is one which has repeatedly engaged the attention of Her Majesty's Government, and very urgent representations have been made to the Roumanian and the Turkish Governments to induce them to come to an arrangement between themselves for a satisfactory award, leaving any question as to the liability of Roumania in respect of these particular items for subsequent adjustment. Both the Roumanian and the Turkish Governments have remained inactive in the matter, notwithstanding the continuous efforts of Her Majesty's Government. Within the last few days the Representatives of Her Majesty's Government at Constantinople and Bucharest have been instructed to make fresh representations, and if both Governments continue to decline to touch the matter, Her Majesty's Government will have to seriously consider what other steps shall be taken to secure the just rights of the Railway Company and the observance of the 21st Article of the Treaty of Berlin.