HC Deb 24 November 1884 vol 294 c266

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the following statements that have recently appeared in the correspondence of The Times and Standard are correct: that there are now 16,000 British troops in Egypt, and 9,000 of these south of Assouan; that brigandage is rife in the province of Minieh, and that the Minister of the Interior has gone to investigate it; that Mason Bey, Governor of Massowah, reports that the arrangement with Abyssinia as to the Egyptians at Kassala and other towns is wholly impracticable, and that the French are actively intriguing against us in Abyssinia?


The British troops in Egypt, including Marines, amount in round numbers to 16,000 men. The troops south of Assouan, or moving up the Nile, may be estimated at 9,000. No report has been recently received by Her Majesty's Government such as is referred to by the hon. Member, neither are they aware that the Treaty arrangements with Abyssinia, in regard to Kassala, &c, have been declared by Mason Bey to be impracticable. Colonel Chermside, Egyptian Governor of the Red Sea Littoral, is taking steps for the evacuation of the places referred to; but, before carrying it out, he wishes to consult the Egyptian Government personally as to some details, and has started for Cairo with that object. I must decline to reply to the last part of the hon. Member's Question, which is offensive to a friendly Power.