HC Deb 02 March 1885 vol 294 cc1769-70

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether Lord Wolseley has ever intimated that, apart from the determination to overthrow the native leaders in the Soudan, he could not retire his troops by the Nile route to any point at which it might be desired to make a stand, and do so more easily, and with less expenditure of life and money, than by way of Berber; whether Lord Wolseley has since thrown any doubt on the accuracy of the following statement in his letter of January 12th 1885:— To our boats movement by water is actually more feasible to-day than it was in November last; nor am I led to anticipate, by those who are best acquainted with the river, that any stage of water will be reached during the next three months which cannot be successfully passed by our English craft; and, whether, in fact, there is an unbroken stretch of the Nile of upwards of two hundred miles from the Fourth Cataract, considerably above Korti, to the Third, considerably below New Dongola, on which navigation is easy at all seasons; and, again, for some dis- tance between the Third Cataract and the Second, on the way to Wady Haifa?


Lord Wolseley has not expressed any doubt of his ability to withdraw his troops, if necessary, by way of the Nile. Since the telegram referred to by the hon. Member, Lord Wolseley has not thrown any doubt on the accuracy of the statement referred to. The Nile is navigable for whalers, without break, from Abu Fatmeh to Owli, 226 miles, and for steamers from Abu Fatmeh to Belal, 218 miles, both places being above Korti. Between the Third and Second Cataracts there are unbroken stretches from Amara to Kaibar, 66 miles, and from Kaibar to Hannek, 30 miles.