HC Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc514-5
DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that a sum of no less than one milliard of francs, or forty millions sterling, is duo to France by the English Government under Clause 9 of the private Convention, dated the 20th of November, 1815; if it is a fact that, by the Conventions signed in May, 1814, November, 1815, and April, 1818, a guaranteed fund of 6,500,000 francs of French Rentes, with a capital of 130,000,000 francs, was transferred to the British Government; whether M. Blandin, a Deputy, lately proposed to the Chamber that a Committee should be appointed for the purpose of asking the British Foreign Office for an account of these funds, and also for a return of the surplus, with the interest accruing thereon, to the French Treasury; whether the surplus, with the interest, is estimated to amount to one milliard of francs; and, whether a Committee has been appointed by the Chamber with M. Blandin as reporter?


It is not true that the sum mentioned in the hon. Member's Question, or any other sum, is due to France by the British Government under the Convention of November 20, 1815. A statement of the matter was made to the House of Commons by the Secretary to the Treasury on the 8th of June, 1869; and a Return of the disposition of the funds received from the French Government is shown in a Paper (No. 239) presented to Parliament in 1872. There is no now feature to be considered. A report of a proposal made in the French Chamber of Deputies has been made in the French newspapers similar to that mentioned by the hon. Member; but Her Majesty's Government are not aware that a Committee has been appointed by the Chamber to inquire into the subject. The statetment in question is, no doubt, connected with the legend of the Baron de Bode, which haunted this House for a long period; but which, after being investigated by a Select Committee, was laid to rest.