HC Deb 24 March 1902 vol 105 cc825-6
MR. O'DOWD (Sligo, S.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that, in the matter of the claim of John M'Guinne, a British subject, against the Honduras Government, the British Consul in Honduras entered into negotiation-; with that Government, and arranged the amount to be paid M'Guinne in compensation for false imprisonment and confiscation of property without consultation with either the British Minister at Guatemala or M'Guinne, and that the British Consul telegraphed to M'Guinne on 15th July. 1899, that he was communicating with His Majesty's Minister on the subject. And whether, seeing that His Majesty's Minister stated to M'Guinne that the case was not reported to him until it was five months old, that the prosecuting officials were dismissed, and that it was owing to his refusal to accept the compensation offered him by the Honduras Government that M'Guinne was convicted on the 2nd May, 1900, the Government will make further inquiries into this case.


The amount of compensation was fixed at £200 after communications between His Majesty's Government, His Majesty's Minister in Central America, and the Honduranean Government. It is not known whether His Majesty's Consul at Tegucigalpa telegraphed to Mr. M'Guinne on the date mentioned. Mr. M'Guinne was arrested on the 10th of July, 1899, and the case was reported to His Majesty's Minister in Central America on the 27th of September following—a delay of about two and a half months. It is not a fact that Mr. M'Guinne was convicted owing to his refusal to accept the compensation offered him, for he was convicted some time before June 8th, 1900, and the compensation of £200 was offered and refused in April, 1901. Nothing is known in this Department of the alleged dismissal of the prosecuting officials.


Will the noble Lord let me have a copy of the communications, and if I furnish him with the letters addressed to Mr. M'Guinne showing the opinion of the Consul that the compensation was insufficient, will he—


Order, order! Notice must be given.