HC Deb 23 February 1888 vol 322 cc1232-3
ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he is now in a position to inform the House fully of the result of his inquiries into the alleged murder of a British merchant seaman by a Spanish sentry in the Port of Bilbao; and, whether any offer of compensation for the poor man's family has been made by the Spanish Government in respect of the aforesaid outrage?


The Spanish carabineer was tried by court martial, and was acquitted on the ground that the contradiction between the Spanish and English witnesses, as to his having been assaulted by the seaman, admitted on both sides to have been intoxicated, was decided by the medical evidence that he had received a severe bruise on the chest, for which he had to be treated by a doctor for several days. It was held that, under military instructions, he was bound to fire on his assailant in self-defence, and that, under the 7th Article of the Military Penal Code, he must be acquitted of the charge of homicide. The sentence of the court martial was confirmed. Under the circumstances, it is not to be expected that the Spanish Government will offer compensation.