HC Deb 06 March 1885 vol 295 cc273-4

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been called to a statement in The Globe of 3rd March, to the effect— That, without the usual delays and formalities attending the action of the tribunals, four men belonging to the village of Matarieh were courbashed, "the reason given being" the increasing insolence of the native population towards Englishmen, and an alleged assault by some of the villagers on two unarmed Hussars; whether inquiry will be made as to the nature of the provocation given by the Hussars; how is it they went about unarmed; and, whether the punishment inflicted on their alleged assailants was not in direct contravention of the undertaking to abolish the courbash?


asked, Whether there is any truth in the circum- stantial statement published in The Standard of the 3rd March, and substantially repeated in several journals, that an alleged assault, in a village in Lower Egypt, was punished by the Egyptian Military Police by way of lynching, without trial; the village being surrounded, a statement implicating certain persons extorted from the Sheiks by threat of immediate flogging, and the persons so implicated being tied to a tree in front of the Mosque, and flogged, first with a stirrup leather, and then with a courbash, by the Military Police; and, if he is not informed, whether he will at once inquire and ascertain whether such things have happened under the reformed regime; particularly whether what was done was a mere rough reprisal by British Military, or was really the act of the Military Police, enrolled under European officers for the express purpose of maintaing the Law; and, if in the latter case, he can give an assurance that the Police officers will be adequately dealt with?


asked, Whether it was not the fact that the only tribunal to which the men assaulted could have carried their case was the Court of the Cadi, in which Christian evidence was not admissible?


In reply to my hon. Friend, and to a similar Question put by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy, I have to state that the Foreign Office have as yet received no information with regard to this occurrence; but they cannot undertake to exercise minute supervision over the administration of Egypt. Inquiry will, however, be made as to the facts. I cannot answer the Question of the hon. Member for Wicklow (Mr. M'Coan).