HC Deb 28 June 1905 vol 148 cc374-5
MR. STUART SAMUEL (Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government of Venezuela has already paid into the Bank of England the amounts of money due to the British Government and the Governments of Germany and Italy under the award of the Tribunal of Arbitration according to the Agreement of February 13th, 1903; if so, what are the partial totals of each payment made by the said Government of Venezuela towards the fulfilment of its obligations according to the settlement with each of the above stated Governments; and on what dates were the said partial payments made.


It was provided by Article V. of the Protocol of 13th February, 1903, that "pending the decision of The Hague Tribunal" as to the question of priority the receipts of the Customs of the Ports of La Gueyra and Puerto Cabello should be paid over to the representative of the Bank of England at Caracas. From April 1st of that year, therefore, down to the date of the Hague Award (February 22nd, 1904) the monthly instalments were duly lodged in the Bank of England, and these at the latter date amounted to upwards of £178,500. This sum was then distributed between Great Britain, Germany, and Italy in proportion to the aggregate of the Awards obtained by each Power from the Claims Commissions up to that date, viz:—approximately, Great Britain £104,500, Germany £23,000, Italy £50,600. The Customs receipts after that time were retained at Caracas and were in the first instance distributed there by the Legations of the three Powers on the same principle. When, however, the Awards of the British, German, and Italian mixed Commissions had been completed a fixed ratio was established and the monthly instalments are now handed over by Venezuela directly to the representatives of the three Powers at Caracas. The amount of Customs receipts down to April last paid by Venezuela to His Majesty's Government is £224,369, or somewhat over 60 per cent, of the British claims, which, to that extent, have now been paid or are in process of payment.