HC Deb 15 May 1885 vol 298 c633

asked the Prime Minister, Whether he could give the House a clearer indication when the Papers relating to the Penjdeh incident would be presented, and whether they might be expected before Whitsuntide? The right hon. Gentleman had, on the night of the division, told the House of Commons that the ratification of the proposed agreement would certainly be received, or was expected, within two or three days at latest. Several days had elapsed since then, and now it appeared that there was to be an indefinite delay.


I never stated that I could name a day within two or three days within which the negotiations would be concluded. What I certainly did was to express my opinion that it would be desirable that the House should have the whole case before it. That, I am afraid, is not quite possible. I cannot undertake to say—if it depended on ourselves exclusively I could say very well—but I cannot undertake to say absolutely, as it does not depend upon us, by what day the negotiations will have concluded. Therefore, I cannot promise to give the entire Papers by a particular day. If the hon. Gentleman is anxious that the Papers should be given at as late a day as they can be given before the Whitsuntide Recess, I myself will communicate with my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs with a view to see whether anything of that kind may be done.


asked whether the Papers ordinarily coming from the India Office and those relating to the conference at Rawul Pindi, and also the despatch of the Earl of Dufferin with respect to the Russo-Afghan Frontier, would be included in those to be presented to the House?


I believe that the Papers which come direct from the India Office will be more conveniently included in those presented.