§ BARON HENRY DE WORMS
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, With reference to his statement that the covenants under which this Country has been acting in Egypt were not made by the present Government, and to the Correspondence "Egypt, No. 11" 1053 (Despatch No. 1, paragraph. 3), just presented to Parliament as an explanation of the above statement, whether the paragraph in question, which states that Lord Salisbury, in a conversation with M. Waddington, agreed "that the Native Government should receive our earnest support," is the only statement that can be construed into a covenant justifying the acts of the present Government in the Soudan?
Sir, the only passage, in terms that I have ever cited or referred to in this House, was a passage in a despatch that is now laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament. I must, however, guard myself against being supposed to mean that that is the only engagement that has been entered into. I consider that an engagement has been constituted and contracted by the proceedings connected with the dethronement of the late Khedive, and the establishment of a former Khedive. But perhaps I cannot better or more fairly explain the matter than by quoting the passage, which has now become historical, from the speech of Lord Salisbury, delivered in the House of Lords on the 15th May, 1882. The noble Lord is reported to have used these words—With respect to Egypt itself, it appears to me that Her Majesty's Government, both, by the engagements which they themselves have entered into, and by the engagements which they have necessarily inherited from their Predecessors, are bound to give their support to the present Viceroy of Egypt, so long as his Government is in accordance with the principles which they approve. They are bound to give him that support, not merely as a matter of sentiment, not merely in words or in notes, but in something stronger if the need should arise."—(3 Hansard,  651.)
§ BARON HENRY DE WORMS
In reference to the answer of the Prime Minister, I would ask him, Whether his attention has been called to Despatch No. 3, Egypt 11—Lord Granville to Mr. Malet, dated March 3, 1881—in which these words occur—England and France are disposed to give to the present Khedive all their support, and the British and French Agents are to concert measures for the purpose;and, further, to Despatch No. 4, Lord Granville to Mr. Malet, dated March 7, 1881—The policy laid down in this Despatch (referring to Despatch No. 2) is that which you have hitherto recommended and pursued, with 1054 the en tire approbation of Her Majesty's Government;and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, taking into consideration these two despatches, whether they constitute a covenant, and whether this covenant was not entered into by Her Majesty's present Advisers?
I will, without taking any objection to the words quoted in the Question of the hon. Member, say that the words used by Lord Salisbury in speaking of the engagement into which the present Government have entered, correctly stated the circumstances of the case. No doubt, in the development of the Egyptian Question, Her Majesty's Government had occasion to apply to new circumstances, as they emerged, the principles by which they thought themselves bound to act under the covenants which they found existing when they entered Office.
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman a Question, of which, if he cannot answer now, I will give him Notice—namely, Whether the engagement earnestly to support the Government of the Khedive, which was entered into by the late Government on the 19th September, 1879, or a similar engagement which was entered into by the present Government on the 25th February, 1881, and the 3rd March, 1881—whether those engagements were ever communicated, either by the late or the present Government, to the Sultan of Turkey?
I am not Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and it would be very difficult for me to say from memory. I think perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman had better give Notice of the Question.
§ MR. STUART-WORTLEY
I wish to ask the Prime Minister, Whether he considers himself and the Government, under the documents which have been laid on the Table of the House, as being under a pledge to support the dynasty, as well as the person and the Government, of the Khedive?
That is a Question which hardly admits of being answered within the usual limits. But perhaps the hon. and learned Member will give Notice of it, and I will then answer it.