HC Deb 22 March 1889 vol 334 cc517-8
SIR R. FOWLER (London)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to state the nature of the British claims which a portion of the Mediterranean Squadron has been sent to Tangier to enforce; whether the Sultan of Morocco has ever sanctioned the telegraphic cable between Tangier and Europe, injury to which is alleged to be a ground of complaint, or has made himself in any way responsible for its maintenance; whether Cape Juby, where injuries are said to have been done to certain traders, for which it is also alleged that reparation is now sought, is within the authority of the Sultan of Morocco; and whether Her Majesty's Government is aware that demands for compensation, on account of misconduct by tribes over which the Sultan of Morocco has no real control, are likely to lead to extortionate demands and violent reprisals, seriously imperilling the interests of the natives?


There are obvious reasons why I cannot state particularly the claims which Her Majesty's Government make upon the Government of Morocco. The sanction of the Sultan to the telegraphic cable was communicated by the Moorish Commissioner for Foreign Affairs to Her Majesty's Minister. It is true that he afterwards attempted to withdraw it; but Her Majesty's Government do not admit his right to do so. Her Majesty's Government have never admitted the sovereignty of the Sultan over Cape Juby; but he, on the contrary, claims to exercise authority there, and it was by an armed force of his soldiers that the European servants of an English company were treacherously set upon, and one of them killed and two wounded. Her Majesty's Government will not make demands which are liable to lead to extortion or injustice.