HC Deb 23 January 1918 vol 101 cc968-9
21. Mr. LYNCH

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will place in the Library of the House a copy of the contract whereby the Dowager Duchess of Coburg is paid a large annual pension; whether he will state the exact amount; whether he will make it clear whether this contract was made with the Russian Government or with the lady herself; whether, if made with the Russian Government, it is still valid in spite of the disappearance of that Government; whether, if made with the lady personally, he will indicate the consideration, as, for instance, the services rendered by her to this country; whether since that date he has been made aware that she is herself an active agent of the enemies of this country, and that her son is lending troops against this country; and whether, in view of the effect on the public mind of such subsidies granted to alien enemies, he will take steps to stop the payments?


The hon. Member will find a copy of the treaty on which the question turns in the Library, No. C. 901 of 1874. I think this will supply him with all the relevant facts of the case. As regards policy, I must refer him to the reply returned by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the lion. Member for Roxburgh on 18th November, 1914.


Is it also a fact that this lady is a conspicuous enemy of the Allies, and that she also is being subsidised by the British Government?


I am not going to argue the question. We have a treaty obligation, and we keep it. The reasons for keeping it were stated by the Prime Minister. I have no more to say in answer to the question.