HC Deb 14 May 1877 vol 234 c862

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If, in consesequence of the Khedive of Egypt having sent (as bound by treaty) a contingent of troops to aid his Sovereign the Sultan of Turkey against Russia, Egypt is to be considered at war with Russia; and whether, as a consequence, the Russian Government has the right, if able, to blockade Egyptian ports and invade Egyptian territory; and, if, in order to avoid International complications, such as are likely to be the result of the present war relative to the navigation of the Suez Canal, he contemplates recommending Parliament to purchase the whole of the Canal, with its adjoining lands and other properties attached?


Sir, the Question which the hon. Gentleman has asked seems to imply that in consequence of the Khedive of Egypt having sent a contingent of troops in aid of the Sultan of Turkey the position of Egypt is in some way altered. But in point of fact, whether the Khedive sent troops to the Sultan or not, Egypt is a part of the Turkish Empire, and, of course, if Russia is at war with the Turkish Empire she is at war with Egypt, as a part of that Empire, and she has, therefore, the right to blockade Egyptian ports and to invade Egyptian territory; and there can be no doubt that vessels carrying contraband of war to and from Egypt would be liable to capture.