HC Deb 30 March 1885 vol 296 cc994-5

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If he can now hold out any hope of a day being fixed for the commencement of the work of the Afghan Frontier Commission, or if it is to be understood that, in accordance with the request of the Russian Government, the negotiations for the settlement of the Frontier are to take place in London?


The hon. Member asks if I can hold out any hope of a day being fixed for the commencement of the work of the Afghan Commission. An answer to the last communication of Her Majesty's Government has been sent by the Russian Government. We are not yet aware, however, of its exact contents, but it is understood that it contemplates an early meeting of the Commission, and looks forward to such a meeting as likely to allay the excitement on both sides. Having regard to what we believe to be the conciliatory character of the reply, Her Majesty's Government would strongly deprecate at the present moment the use of any language of a nature to cause irritation, and thereby to endanger the peaceful solution of present difficulties. I must be understood by these observations as in no manner to intend to reflect on the hon. Member opposite or those who act with him, as they have throughout shown the most extreme consideration for the position of Her Majesty's Government in this matter.


asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether Her Majesty's Government still adhere to their views, expressed on the 3rd March, that Pul-i-Khisti, Ak-Rabat, and Zulfagar, are Afghan Territory; and, whether the Russian Forces are still in occupation of these positions, and the Russian Government have refused to give orders for their evacuation?


I must again decline to enter into any discussion of these topics with, the hon. Member. The Russians still occupy the places referred to.


In consequence of that answer I wish to give Notice that, unless the statement promised with respect to this matter is satisfactory, I shall call attention to it on the Motion for Adjournment for the Holidays.