HC Deb 01 March 1886 vol 302 cc1539-40

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether any part of the revenues of Cyprus is used to pay the interest of the Turkish Loan of 1855, guaranteed by England at France; whether France, who divides with England the responsibility for this payment bears her share, or whether the whole is paid by Cyprus; and, if Cyprus pays the whole, or a part, whether Her Majesty's Government propose to take any steps to relieve the Cypriots from paying the liabilities of England and France?


Under Article 3 of the Anglo-Turkish Convention of 1878, an annual sum, now ascertained to be £92,800, was agreed to be paid to Turkey out of the revenues of Cyprus. This sum when paid ceased to be part of the revenues of Cyprus, and became part of the revenues of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey having, since 1876, ceased to provide for the payment of interest on the Turkish Loan of 1855, guaranteed by England and France (excepting so far as that interest is charged on the Egyptian Tribute), this sum of £92,800 is paid over to a special account at the Bank of England, and is, with the acquiescence of Turkey, ultimately applied to make good the default of Turkey in payment of that interest. It is one of the first rules of equity that, where one or two guarantors gets hold of an asset belonging to the defaulting guaranteed person, he must share the benefit of it with his co-guarantor, and in compliance with this well-known rule the money so received is applied to make good payments which otherwise would have to be met by the two guaranteeing Powers, England and France. The ultimate application of the fund can make no possible difference to Cyprus; because, under the Anglo-Turkish convention, that Island is bound in any case to pay the £92,800 a-year, and if it was not required for the ser- vice of the Guaranteed Debt, it would go to Turkey.