HC Deb 01 August 1882 vol 273 cc369-70

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Can Her Majesty's Government give the House any information as to the proceedings of the Conference; has the Russian Chargé d' Affaires rejoined the Conference; and, when are the proceed- ings of the Conference likely to be terminated?


As I have already stated on several occasions, it is wished by the Representatives of the Powers that the proceedings of the Conference should be secret. The Russian Chargé d' Affaires has been directed by his Government to rejoin the Conference. I am unable to make any statement as to the termination of the proceedings of the Conference.


inquired whether the Russian Chargé d' Affaires would rejoin the Conference on the same footing that he occupied before?


We have no telegram from Lord Dufforin with regard to his rejoining. I should be sorry to make this statement definitely; but, as far as our information from St. Petersburg goes, that would be the case.


asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he can give any information as to the truth or falsehood of the statement that has appeared in the newspapers to the effect that a— Great meeting, composed of the Ulema, the Cadis, the Coptic Patriarch, the religious heads of the Armenians, Greeks, and Maronites, various high functionaries, all the Mudirs from Upper and Lower Egypt, the notables and leading merchants, in all three hundred and sixty persons, was held at two o'clock on Sunday last, at the Ministry of the Interior, at Cairo— That the meeting decided, with only three dissentient voices, to maintain Arabi Pacha, in order that he may defend the country; that all decrees to the contrary were declared to be annulled, as the Khedive was beyond the pale of Mussulman Law; and that Princes Ibrahim, Ahmed, and Kiamil, cousins of the Khedive, who were present, declared Tewfik Pacha to be Khedive if he were with the Country and Army, but that, with Admiral Seymour, he was either a prisoner or the protégé of the English, and that, in either case, his authority might be repudiated?


Sir, Her Majesty's Government have received no official Report confirming the statement which has appeared in the newspapers.