HC Deb 26 June 1882 vol 271 cc406-7

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the following statement, published by the "Times" newspaper, be true, viz.— Two years ago Mr. Cotterill, consulting engineer of an irrigation company, was summoned before the International Tribunals by three Said fellaheen for an alleged debt. The verdict was in favor of the defendant, and the fellaheen were condemned in costs. Yesterday (the 22nd instant) they sought out Mr. Cotterill. and demanded payment of their claim, threatening him with death if he refused. They declined to leave his side, even mounting into his carriage. Mr. Cotterill went to the British Consulate; if, upon the advise of the British Consul, Mr. Cotterill has left the country; and, if the Government will take steps to support the authority of the International Court, and protect the property of British subjects; if he is aware that, within the last few days, the Governor of Alexandria informed an English gentleman that Arabi Pasha has threatened to seize hostages, including the persons of British subjects; and, if it be true that, in consequence of his threat, the engineers of the Alexandria Waterworks have left Egypt?


Sir, Her Majesty's Government have no information as to the alleged legal proceedings against Mr. Cotterill, or of his having been advised to leave the country. In reply to an inquiry addressed to Sir Beauchamp Seymour, he has reported that Mr. Cotterill has gone to Naples, and that Mr. Cornish is at the Alexandria Waterworks, and intends remaining there. He adds that neither he nor Her Majesty's Consul is aware of any threat having been made to seize hostages.


Can the hon. Baronet inform the House whether there is any truth in the statement generally circulated that Arabi Pasha has received a decoration from the Sultan?


That does not arise out of the Question on the Paper; but, having made that protest, I may say it is the fact.


I will ask a Question which does arise out of the Question on the Paper. Is it correct that Arabi Pasha has a list of European officials who will not be permitted to leave Egypt?


I have already answered that portion of the Question. I stated that neither Sir Beauchamp Seymour nor Her Majesty's Consul is aware of any threat having been made to seize hostages.