HC Deb 25 March 1902 vol 105 cc989-90
MR. O'DOWD (Sligo, S.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the President of Honduras, on 6th April, 1900, made, through the British Minister to Central America, Mr. Jenner, an offer to Mr. M'Guinne, a British subject, of a free acquittal of the charges preferred against him, also a money compensation of 500 dollars, and that twenty-six days after M'Guinne, on his refusal to accept these offers, was tried and sentenced to five years imprisonment; and whether, in view of the treatment which this man has received, and the fact that his property has been confiscated, some effort will be made to have the amount of compensation offered by Honduras increased.


Mr. Jenner. His Majesty's Minister in Central America, in reporting on Mr. M'Guinne's case in April, 1900, mentioned that the President of Honduras had "personally" offered 500 silver dollars, equal to £40, as compensation, and had expressed hopes that Mr. M'Guinne would be justly acquitted. This offer being inadequate, Mr. Jenner decided to confine his efforts to obtain Mr. M'Guinne's full acquittal, leaving the question of compensation for subsequent settlement, Mr. M'Guinne shortly afterwards was sentenced to five years imprisonment, but the sentence was can celled and he was liberated. A sum of £200 was subsequently offered by the Honduras Government as compensation, and the statement contained in my reply to the hon. Member of yesterday referred to this subsequent offer and not to the informal and inadequate offer originally made by the President in 1900. We are not aware that M'Guinne's property was confiscated. His Majesty's Government are ready to endeavour to obtain the renewal of the offer of £200 which was refused by Mr. M'Guinne.