asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is a fact that an official report of the capture of Berber and massacre of the garrison has been received at Cairo, as stated in The Daily News of the 27th?
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
The statement in The Daily News refers probably to a telegram received by the Khedive from the Mudir of Dongola. He reported that a soldier who had arrived from Berber stated that on the 26th of May the rebel troops had attacked and taken that town. The intelligence, however, is contradicted by a telegram received yesterday from Consol Baker at Suakin, who states that he has received the following information from the Governor of Suakin:—Pilgrims who left Khartoum May 23 and Berber June 7 report all well Khartoum. Food plentiful. Garrison numerous. All right at Berber also. Government and soldiers there. Food cheap.In the face of these contradictory statements, it is impossible to say that any report is "official."
§ MR. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
asked whether the noble Lord the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs had given 1687 the whole of Consul Baker's telegram, and if it were not the fact that the story of the pilgrims was disbelieved, and that orders had been given to detain and search them, as it was supposed that they had letters from the Mahdi in their possession?