§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT (Sussex, N.W.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he has seen in the papers the following statement:—That, on the settlement of the Russo-Afghan frontier, the Russian frontier has been moved forward between the Kushk and the Murghab some 18 miles in the direction of 1171 Herat; that the area of the valley pastures now ceded to Russia is 1,220 square miles, whilst the Ameer only receives 40 square miles;and, if this statement, as the papers now affirm, is not correct, but that the arrangement made is a most fair and equitable arrangement, he will be good enough to state which version is the correct one?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
The statement is not correct. The Russian frontier is advanced 11½ miles towards Herat by the new arrangement. But this change has no strategical importance. The amount of land given up by Afghanistan in consequence of the restoration to the Saryk Turcomans of the lands previously occupied by them on the Kushk and Kashar is estimated at 825 square miles. The lands claimed by Russia near the Oxus, and now conceded to Afghanistan, are computed at 770 square miles, leaving a balance against Afghanistan of 55 square miles. In actual value the advantage is on the side of Afghanistan. On the whole, the settlement is equitable in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government.
§ In reply to Mr. ARTHUR O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.),
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said: The lands have been assigned, as much as possible, according to existing possession, those now depastured by the Saryk Turcomans being left to thorn, and similarly those in possession of the Ameer and his subjects to Afghanistan.