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United States—The "Alabama" Award—Question

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 18 May 1876

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asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether Her Majesty's Government has received from Her Majesty's Minister at Washington any report as to the disposal of the sum paid by Great Britain to the United States Government under the "Alabama" award; whether or not it is true that a surplus of upwards of two millions sterling remains in the hands of the United States Government after the payment of all claims on the indemnity; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will lay upon the Table any Correspondence on the subject?

, in reply, said, that he had made inquiry at the Foreign Office on the subject and found that there had been no report from Washington as to the disposal of the amount which the Geneva tribunal gave by their award. A Commission was appointed some time ago under an Act of Congress to investigate the claims, and the Commission would not finish its sittings until the 22nd of July. It appeared that there would be a considerable surplus; but the Commission had been precluded from inquiring into the claims of the insurance companies and certain other claims, and the rate of interest they allowed was restricted to 4 per cent. Bills had been introduced into Congress in order to admit the claims which were before excluded, and to allow the payment of a higher rate of interest than was originally fixed. Her Majesty's Government had no knowledge as to any particular arrangement likely to be arrived at. There had been no correspondence with the Government on the subject, and the only information they had was from the proceedings of Congress. Therefore Her Majesty's Government had no Papers to lay on the Table of the House.