§ MR. GOURLEY
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty to be good enough to 413 inform the House, How many steamers are now engaged in patrol duty on the Nile; whether they have been equipped with side and deck plating sufficient to resist small gun and rifle balls; and, whether new armour-clad boats, of shallow draught and suitable for being navigated as a whole or in pieces over the Cataracts, are being prepared at home, Egypt, or elsewhere, for the protection of the Nile between Assouan and Wady Halfa, and also for the purpose of aiding in the relief of Dongola, Berber, and other garrisons, directly there is sufficient water for the purpose?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
Three Egyptian Nile steamers have been manned and armed by officers of the British Navy for the purpose of patrolling the Nile between Assiout and Wady Halfa. We are not aware of the particulars of the fitting of the steamers. The last Question put by my hon. Friend is, as I think he will, on reflection, see, of a kind which it is undesirable to answer.