HC Deb 03 July 1879 vol 247 cc1289-90

said, that the first of the Papers laid on the Table was dated April 25, 1879; the last Papers on the subject of Egyptian affairs were received at the end of last year. There was a large gap between the 31st of December, 1878, and the 25th of April, 1879. When would the Papers between these two dates be placed in possession of the House? There was a similar omission at the other end, between a despatch from Mr. Lascelles, at Cairo, to Lord Salisbury, and a telegraphic despatch, dated June 26, from Sir Austen Layard to Lord Salisbury, announcing that the Sultan had deposed the Khedive. He understood that there was a large number of Papers addressed by our Ambassador at Constantinople to Lord Salisbury, which had not been produced. He wished also to know, Whether these Papers would be produced as early as possible, in order that the House might have time to consider them before entering upon a discussion on the subject?


said, he was very sorry that the hon. Baronet had not given some Notice of the Questions which he had just asked. Had that been done, he might have been in a better position to answer them. As to the first Question, he could inform the hon. Baronet at once that the Papers to which he referred were in preparation, following up those which were already in possession of the House; but he could not say, at that moment, when they would be presented. As to the other Papers to which the hon. Baronet referred, he could not answer the Question without consulting the Secretary of State; but he might say, with regard to both series of documents, that no greater delay would take place than was absolutely necessary in the interests of the Public Service.


said, he should like to put a further Question to the hon. Gentleman. The Chancellor of the Exchequer informed the House the other day that, now the matter was completed by the deposition of Ismail Pasha, there could be no objection to lay all the Papers on the Table of the House; and, therefore, he would ask, What objection there was to produce the Papers which dated from Constantinople upon this question?


said, the expression, so far as he remembered, which he made use of was that Papers explanatory of the action of Her Majesty's Government would be produced without delay. He thought it would be much more convenient if, in a matter of this kind, Notice were given.