HC Deb 17 March 1885 vol 295 c1444

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether Her Majesty's Government have arrived at any definite conclusion on the terms to be exacted from the Mahdi and his adherents as conditions of peace; and, if so, whether, in order to avoid further expense and bloodshed, Her Majesty's Government will instruct Lord Wolseley to take steps to make such terms known to the Mahdi and Osman Digna before resuming offensive operations?


I think it would not be expedient on the part of the Government to enter into any statement as to the terms on which it would be possible for us to make any agreement with the Mahdi. If the hon. Gentleman will kindly refer to a statement previously made by me on the part of the Government, he will find that I stated it is our conviction that any attempt on our part to approach the Mahdi, even with the best possible intentions, would be much more likely to defeat the object in view than to effect it. That state of things still exists; but I am not aware that we have either repelled any advances from the other side or lost any opportunity on our part.