FoI Request: Amount paid per year to repay Slavery Abolition Act loan

In response to a sto­ry report­ed via a num­ber of news sites and explor­ing a thread in my own research, I sub­mit­ted a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion (FoI) request to Her Majesty’s Trea­sury on the 7th April. In brief, I request­ed fur­ther details on the amount paid per year to repay the Slav­ery Abo­li­tion Act loan, a loan tak­en by the UK gov­ern­ment in 1834 to ‘com­pen­sate’ slave own­ers for their loss of ‘prop­er­ty’. Shock­ing­ly, this loan was being repaid up until 2015 by UK taxpayers.

I made my request using the amaz­ing What­DoThey­Know site. I’ve includ­ed the text from my request below for context.
Screen shot of written response by HM Treasury to FOI request

To Her Majesty’s Treasury,
As wide­ly report­ed, in 1833–35 [1] the UK gov­ern­ment bor­rowed £20m, 40% of its nation­al bud­get, to “rec­om­pense” slave own­ers for los­ing their “prop­er­ty” [2] — under the Slav­ery Abo­li­tion Act. On 9 Feb­ru­ary 2018, HM Trea­sury announced (via Twit­ter) that this loan had been paid in full. A relat­ed FOI request that HM Trea­sury respond­ed to on 9 Feb­ru­ary 2018 sets the date of the loans ‘con­sol­i­da­tion’ to be the 1 Feb­ru­ary 2015: “The 4% Con­sol­i­dat­ed Loan was redeemed on 1 Feb­ru­ary 2015” [3].
Under the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion act, I request fur­ther details of this loan. Specif­i­cal­ly, I request the annu­al amount paid per year since 1833–35.
I also request to total sum paid to repay the loan, includ­ing interest.
Yours faithfully,
Alex Taylor
1. From the doc­u­men­ta­tion avail­able, it’s unclear whether the loan began in 1833 or 1835.
2. This was cov­ered by a num­ber of news organ­i­sa­tions. Two exam­ples from the Guardian follow:……

Hav­ing left their writ­ten response to the last day of the 20 work­ing days usu­al­ly allot­ted, HM Trea­sury replied with a some­what mud­dled mes­sage offer­ing some details, but not ful­ly answer­ing my request. Some equiv­a­lent to “HM Trea­sury does not hold information/records” was used four times in a one-page response:

“HM Trea­sury does not hold infor­ma­tion with­in the scope of your request.”
“HM Trea­sury does not hold records dat­ing from this period.”
“HM Trea­sury does not hold any detailed infor­ma­tion on the struc­ture or amounts of repayments…”
“HM Trea­sury does not hold infor­ma­tion on the total inter­est paid…”

The let­ter from HM Trea­sury is avail­able via What­DoThey­Know here.
I will be con­tin­u­ing this research and share any fur­ther infor­ma­tion I’m able to obtain.