HC Deb 03 August 1888 vol 329 cc1409-10
MR. ROWNTREE (Scarborough)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is within the knowledge of the Government that Dr. Gowing Middleton, a British sub- ject travelling in Spain, was attacked and robbed by a gipsy of notoriously bad antecedents at Cordova, and had to stand his trial for taking the life of the gipsy in self-defence; that on the 12th of December last Dr. Gowing Middleton deposited £400 as bail for his appearance at the trial; that at the trial at Cordova on the 9th of April Dr. Gowing Middleton was honourably acquitted, and an order was made that the money and walking-stick taken from him by his assailant should be returned, together with the £400 so deposited, but that this order has not been complied with so far as the return of the bail is concerned; and, whether, in view of the great cost incurred by Dr. Middleton in proving his innocence, and the continued loss to which the detention of the £400 exposes him, Her Majesty's Government will forthwith make representations to the Government of Spain on his behalf?


The facts of the case are correctly stated in the first three paragraphs of the hon. Member's Question. Dr. Middleton's bail has not yet been returned to him, as we believe, because the gipsies have appealed to the Superior Court at Madrid. His case is one of great hardship; but he has suffered no injustice at the hands of the Spanish authorities, and the Secretary of State could not found any claim upon the Spanish Government for compensation.