HC Deb 10 March 1881 vol 259 cc728-9

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he can state what decision has been arrived at on the point of Law with reference to the Entida Estate in Tunis, which he informed the House, on a former occasion, had been referred to the Law Officers of the Crown; whether any information has been received by Her Majesty's Government that the French Government had consulted the Sheikh- el-Islam at Constantinople, thereby acknowledging that the question came under the jurisdiction of the Mahomedan Law, and should consequently be decided by the Local Courts at Tunis; whether his attention has been drawn to a statement which appeared in a letter to one of the leading journals, to the effect that the French ironclad "Friedland" did not leave Tunis, as was alleged by him, when Her Majesty's ship "Thunderer" took her departure from Tunisian waters, and if he can say if there is at present any French war vessel lying there; and, whether the time has not arrived when the Papers connected with this subject can be laid upon the Table of the House?


Sir, no decision has yet been arrived at on the point to which my hon. Friend refers. Her Majesty's Government have no knowledge of any reference to the Sheikh-ul-Islam beyond a statement to that effect made to Lord Granville by Mr. Levy's legal adviser. Her Majesty's Government are not yet in a position to lay before Parliament the Papers upon the subject. The Friedland did leave Tunis the day before the Thunderer left, and there is only the usual smaller ship there now.