HC Deb 21 February 1876 vol 227 cc561-2

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether the following words in his published speech on the purchase of the Khedive's shares—namely— Arrangements are in progress which we hope will lead to.…. the introduction into the administration of the Company of three representatives of England,"— refer to an election of three out of the twenty-one members of Council, or of three out of the four members of the Committee of Management?


Sir, I am unable to give a categorical answer to the Question of my noble Friend. There are, as he states, a Council of Administration and a Committee of Management in connection with the Suez Canal. It would be impossible for any arrangement to be made for the admission of three or any other number of members named by England into one or other of those bodies, unless by an alteration of the statutes moved at a general meeting with the approval of the Khedive. We hope to introduce three gentlemen into the administration of the Company. We have reason to believe that M. Lesseps has recommended an arrangement which has the approval of the present Council of Administration, and also the provisional approval of the Khedive; but what that arrangement precisely is, I am not at present in a position to state.