HC Deb 05 April 1887 vol 313 cc502-3
MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he can give the House some information as to the present state of the negotiations with which Sir Henry Drummond Wolff is charged; and, whether, having regard to the anticipations expressed some weeks ago by Her Majesty's Government as to the progress of those negotiations, he can fix a probable date for the termination of a Mission which has much exceeded the duration originally contemplated for it, and involves a very largo annual expenditure?

MR. GOUELEY (Sunderland)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is correct that Her Majesty's Government have submitted proposals to the Sultan of Turkey and the European Powers, through the agency of Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, for the neutralization of Egypt and the Suez Canal; if so, will he be good enough to inform the House the general tenour of the proposals, and what prospect there is, if any, of their being approved and ratified?


The discussion of the proposals made to the Sublime Porte by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, with a view to an ulterior Convention respecting Egypt, has continued in such a manner as to promise a favourable result; but it is impossible to give a probable date for the termination of his Mission, because unlooked-for difficulties might occur, and the speed at which the negotiations may progress does not depend on ourselves. The advantages which it is hoped to attain are so considerable that I believe that the House will not think the cost incommensurate. I have to add, with reference to the Question of the hon. Member for Sunderland as to the general tenour of the proposals, that it could neither conduce to their success, nor be in accordance with practice, to make a statement of their purport beyond what has been already stated on the part of Her Majesty's Government?


In consequence of the answer just given, I beg to give Notice that I shall refer to this question after Easter.


Has the cost of Sir Henry Drummond Wolff's Mission not approached something like £40,000 already?


No, Sir; nothing like that sum.