HC Deb 06 July 1885 vol 298 cc1702-4

gave Notice that, tomorrow, he would ask the Secretary of State for India, Whether the following extracts from a report in The Times of December 19, 1883, of a speech delivered by him at Edinburgh on the previous day are substantially accurate— I furnished him (Mr. Gladstone) with documents…proving that the Khedive Tewfik was the author of the massacres of Alexandria, when many British subjects were slaughtered, that he plotted those massacres for the purpose of ruining Arabi and of precipitating European intervention. He betrayed his country and his people to the foreigner, and verily he shall have his reward.…This is the man—did I say man? He is not a man; this is the being whom your Army and Navy supported against Arabi Pasha and the Egyptian people. This is the being to gratify whose frightful instincts, whose lyings, lusts, and vileness Alexandria was bombarded and Tel-el-Kebir was fought…The Khedive Tewfik, the conspirator against his father, the robber of his family, the banisher of his brother, the dealer in human flesh and blood, the betrayer of his allies, of his Ministers, of his country, the man of magic and of sorcery.…I advocate in the first place a clear conception of the unutterably hopeless task in which Mr. Gladstone has engaged you—that of imposing by force of arms upon a foreign people a Ruler whom they despise and reject, a Government which they loathe and abhor, a foul despotism on a nation longing to be free, a usurious and crushing debt on a land which has every capacity for being wealthy and great. I advocate a frank confession of our gigantic error, an honest endeavour to retrace our steps now while we may—I advocate in the first place the expulsion, bag and baggage, of the Khedive Tewfik, with all his Turks and his Circassians, his Zaptiehs and his Mudirs, his Bimbashis and Yusbashis, his Kaimakams and his Pashas.… I advocate the recall of the exiles from Ceylon, the resuscitation of the National Party, the formation of a genuine popular Government, at the head of which shall be placed the Prince, either Native or European, as you will, who shall be in deed and in truth, constitutional, enlightened, and just. I advocate a great re-arrangement and reduction of the Egyptian National Debt, and a clear sweep of the debts of the victimized, the bankrupt, and the ruined Fellaheen. I advocate the placing of Egypt under the guarantee and guardianship of united Europe, so that no one single Power shall be able to exercise there superior influence to another, so that collective authority shall restrain individual ambition.… All I say is, just try it; for of this be certain, that no Government, however unconstitutional, can be worse than, or can approach in iniquity and worthlessness, that of Tewfik and his hideous crew; and, if so, whether he still adheres to this estimate of the character and conduct of Tewfik Pasha, and will now support such an Egyptian policy as he then recommended to the electors of Mid Lothian?


Perhaps I may be allowed to say that, to save the authorities of the House the expense of having the long and portentous extracts read by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. M'Coan) printed in the Minutes of the House, I will inform the hon. Member at once that they are perfectly accurate, and that I have no explanation whatever to give him.