HC Deb 24 November 1884 vol 294 c276

asked the Secretary of State for War, If he is aware that General Gordon, in Egyptian Papers, No. 8, stated in a telegram to Sir Evelyn Baring that "what would have greatest effect would be rumour of English intervention;" whether it is possible to prevent intelligence being passed on that a relieving force is on its way to Khartoum for the purpose of liberating General Gordon and other garrisons, and also for the purpose of liberating the Soudanese from Egyptian rule; and, whether it is true that all communications transmitted to this Country are subject to supervision by the British Military authorities?


I think the statement made by General Gordon is accurately stated in the first part of the Question. I am not quite certain that I understand the second portion of the Question. It probably would not be possible to prevent intelligence being passed on "that a relieving force is on its way to Khartoum" for the purposes stated in the Question. But, whether it is possible or not, there is no desire that I am aware of on the part of anyone to prevent such intelligence from reaching Khartoum and its neighbourhood. It is true that the telegraph wire from Dongola is under the superintendence of the military authorities, but not for the purpose of preventing the transmission of such intelligence as is referred to in the Question, but simply to prevent the transmission of details of a military character, a knowledge of which might be injurious to our own troops.