HC Deb 04 July 1905 vol 148 cc994-6

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that a fund, representing the De L'Herault intestate estate, was transferred by the Irish Government to the Crown's Nominee's Security Account, administered under the direction of the Treasury, when it had been for many years in the hands of the Irish Government, and when accounts of its state and management had been refused to the representatives of the widow of the intestate to whom the money had originally belonged; whether he is aware that the solicitor of the representatives of Madame De L'Herault, the widow of I the intestate, on application to the Treasury for an account of this estate, received in reply a refusal of his request on the ground that his clients had no claim or title to this money or any part thereof; and whether, having regard to the circumstances of the transfer of this money from the Irish to the English Treasury when demands for an account of its management had become pressing in Ireland, and the circumstances of its management, he will direct an account of the state of this fund to be furnished to the solicitor of the representatives of Madame De L'Herault.


The balance of the estate in question was transferred to the Crown's Nominee Account as is usual in such cases. It is against the established practice to furnish outside parties with detailed accounts of sums so transferred.


What was the date of the transfer?


April, 1899.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland when the moneys of an intestate estate, known as the De L'Herault Estate, on which in 1879 a claim was made by the Crown on the widow of the intestate, who thereupon transferred to the Irish Treasury a sum of £3,183 3s. 7d. India stock and £1,411 5s. 6d. cash for interest thereon at £5 per cent, from the death of her husband in 1869, were transferred from the Irish Treasury to the English Treasury, and what were the circumstances under which this transfer took place; whether he is aware that that transfer was made after many applications from the personal representations of Madame De L'Herault, to whom these moneys had originally belonged, for their restoration, and that when an account of the state of the fund was furnished so far back as 1897, at the request of those representations, it was found that moneys which, in 1879, when handed to the Irish Treasury amounted to £4,504 had only increased after eighteen years by a sum of £1,000; and whether he will, on the part of the Irish Government, direct that a full account of the state of the fund and its management till transferred from the Irish to the English Government be tendered to the representatives of Madame De L'Herault, having regard to the fact that since 1897 no account has been furnished.


As the hon. Member must, I think, be aware from the communication made to him on December 31st last, by the then Chief Secretary, Madame De L'Herault received from the Crown all she was legally entitled to, namely, one-half of her husband's personality, and in addition, by grace of the Crown, the interest of the remaining half of the personality for many years, as well as all her husband's realty. In addition, the present claimant, who is no blood relation of Victor De L'Herault, deceased, nor one of his next of kin, but merely the sister-in-law of Madame De L'Herault, was paid by grace of the Crown a gratuity of £500 in full satisfaction of all her claims. The stock was in April, 1899, transferred to the Crown Nominee's Security Account. Accounts were furnished to the Treasury at the time and were found to be accurate, and there is no reason to re-open them. The hon. Member apparently fails to recollect that Madame De L'Herault, until her death in July, 1890, received all the interest of the fund, which accounts for the small accumulation.