HC Deb 04 March 1886 vol 302 cc1891-2

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Suakin was proved the most convenient port for trade with Central Africa; whether some of the tribes in the interior are hostile to Egyptian rule; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will consider the advantages to trade to be derived from making Suakin a free port under International control, before handing it over to the Egyptian Government?


The first part of the Question put by the hon. Member is matter of opinion; and, considering the vastness of the region to which it refers, it would be difficult to say whether Suakin or any other port has been proved to be the most convenient for trade with Central Africa. The second part is matter of fact; and I think recent events have sufficiently proved that some of the tribes in the interior are hostile to Egyptian rule. In reply to the third part, I have to say that Suakin is no part of Her Majesty's Dominions, but constitutes a portion of Egyptian territory; and Sir Charles Warren, who commands the British Forces there, holds supreme Civil authority by delegation from the Egyptian Government. It therefore does not rest with Her Majesty's Government to take the course suggested by the hon. Member.


I will refer to the subject on the Army Estimates.