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Venezuela—Prussian Claims

Volume 203: debated on Thursday 21 July 1870

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Question

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that a Prussian Man of War has lately visited La Guaica, and that in consequence of that visit, or subsequent to it, the Government of Venezuela have paid Prussian claims to the amount of about 50,000 dollars; and, further, whether information has been received at the Foreign Office that the United States Government are about to send ships of war to La Guaica to enforce the claims of American subjects?

said, in reply, that no information had been received at the Foreign Office that the Government of Venezuela had paid money over to the Prussian Government on account of certain claims, and he must observe to his hon. Friend that the Prussian Government was not in this respect a creditor of Venezuela. If there were any claims of that character against Venezuela it was on account of the detention of certain vessels; and information had been received from the Acting Chargé d'Affaires at La Guaica that three vessels of the Germanic Confederation had visited that port, but no official account had been received of the payment of the sum in question. As to the United States Government, it appeared that Mr. Fish had complained of the unpunctuality of Venezuela in paying her claims; had expressed the intention to insist on the fulfilment of her engagements, and had intimated that unless this was done the Governments concerned might think it advisable to send a few ships of war to La Guaica in order to show Venezuela that her engagements were not to be trifled with.

said, he wished to ask whether any steps were being taken by the Government to procure the payment of the large sum of money due from Venezuela to persons in this Country?

, in reply, said, the Government were taking all possible steps for the satisfaction of all such claims as they believed to be really due.