The exact text of the above correspondence, and the other correspondence at the time on this question, appears in British Parliamentary Papers, Spain, No. 1, (1875,) as follows:
The Earl of Derby to Mr. Macdonell.
Foreign Office, August 13, 1874.
Sir: On the 10th instant I received from you a telegram informing me that the Spanish government had forwarded to you a project of a note, expressing their willingness to pay, as an advance, such sum as might be claimed by Her Majesty’s government for the relief of the families of the British subjects taken on board the Virginius and executed at Santiago de Cuba; but that, while the American claims are still pending, the Spanish government do not wish to admit the principle involved in the matter.
I have now to instruct you to state to the Spanish minister for foreign affairs that Her Majesty’s government accept the arrangement proposed by his excellency, and you will add that Her Majesty’s government consider the following would be a fair amount for the Spanish government to pay:
- To the family of each colored man, of whom there were nine, £300, making £2,700.
- To the family of each white man, of whom there were ten, £500, making £5,000.
- Total, £7,700.
You will also state, that in any case where no near relations of one of the persons executed come forward to make a claim, or in case any alleged relatives fail to prove their claim within a reasonable time, the money paid on account of such claim shall be repaid to the Spanish government.
The substance of the above instructions has already been sent to you by telegraph.
I inclose, for your information, a copy of a memorandum, showing the names of the British subjects in question, and the information regarding each of them in possession of this office.
I am, &c.