HC Deb 11 December 1900 vol 88 cc499-500

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs can he state what is the practice of the Foreign Office with regard to the disposal of public moneys received by the office; are all such moneys paid into the Bank of England or into other banks, and, if into other banks, can he give the names of such other banks if more than one, and explain who is responsible for the choice of these banks as custodians of public moneys; and can he state the exact amount of money received by the Foreign Office in November, 1900, in respect of the Delagoa Railway award, into what bank that money was paid, and whether, at the time of its payment into the bank, any arrangement was made for the payment of any interest on the amount; if so, at what rate.


The answer to Paragraphs 1 and 2 is that all public moneys received by the Foreign Office are paid into the hands of Her Majesty's Paymaster General. As regards Paragraph 3, although receipts for £941,511 13s. 10d. were given to the Comptoir d'Escompte by the Governments of Great Britain and the United States on the 21st November, no money was actually paid to the Foreign Office in respect of the award. The money deposited by the Portuguese Government at the London Agency of the Comptoir d'Escompte was in accordance with the terms of the agreement arrived at by the British and American creditors of the Delagoa Bay Railway Company and approved by the British and United States Governments, paid by that agency against the discharge of the two Governments to Messrs. Glyn, Mills, Currie and Company (£840,377 17s. 5d.) and Messrs. Seligman Brothers (£101,133 16s. 5d.). The money so paid over was to be placed immediately to the credit of the representatives of the first and second mortgage debenture holders to be applied as provided in the agreement. There is no stipulation that interest should be paid pending the distribution of the money.


Do I understand that this money was not received at the Foreign Office, but was paid into the bank by some other person?


That is so.