HC Deb 25 June 1883 vol 280 cc1407-8

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether, in view of the fact that Article X. of the Treaty of Berlin refers mainly to a 'payment of money justly due to the Bondholders of the Varna Railway, Her Majesty's Government will state why the claim of those bendholders should be made the subject of arbitration; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will take steps to have the case for arbitration so framed as to place Bulgaria, irrespective of any change of Ministry in that country, on the same footing as Turkey, in respect to the fulfilment of her Treaty obligations?


Sir, the claim of the Varna Railway Company was made the subject of arbitration at their own suggestion in consequence of the failure of their negotiations for its settlement, and of the Bulgarian Government disagreeing with them as to the extent of their obligations under Article X. of the Treaty. As regards the second Question, it is proposed in the draft Agreement of Reference to settle all differences arising under Article X.; and the award will be equally binding on Turkey and Bulgaria as regards their respective obligations under it, when they are ascertained.


Am I to understand that the Varna bendholders suggested an arbitration themselves?


Yes, Sir; there was a suggestion after the failure of the negotiations specified in Article X. That Article suggests or proposes an agreement by the parties with the Bulgarian Government; and it was when these negotiations failed that an arbitration was suggested.