HC Deb 12 March 1908 vol 185 cc1750-1
MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to the case of John Riddle, of Sunderland, who died at Carthagena, on the 30th April, 1882, and to the fact that the acting Vice Consul has declined to supply an inventory of the belongings of the deceased, stating that the documents necessary are missing; whether the Vice Consul acted in the matter in his private or public capacity; and, if so, whether it is his intention to take any action in order to compel the production of the necessary Papers.


This case has formed the subject of correspondence since 1898. The Vice Consul, who is an unsalaried officer, has stated that there is no inventory of the estate among the Consular Papers. His business firm was previously connected with the administration of the estate, and whatever Papers he may possess are held by him in his private capacity. The matter is a purely private one, and I am unable therefore, to take any action in order to compel their production. The Foreign Office has frequently advised that this car. only be done through the Spanish Law Courts.