HC Deb 23 June 1890 vol 345 cc1631-2

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the statement contained in an interpellation to the French Government, of which, according to a Reuter's Despatch dated Paris, 19th June, M. Deloncle has given notice to the effect that in 1862 Lord Cowley, on behalf of Great Britain, and M. Thouvenel, on behalf of France, signed a declaration by which the two countries mutually agreed not to interfere with the independence of Zanzibar, and that Germany gave her adhesion to this declaration in 1862; and whether any such agreement as that alleged was entered into between France and this country; and, if so, was the consent of France to the abrogation of the agreement obtained before entering into the arrangement regarding Zanzibar, announced in Lord Salisbury's Despatch to Sir E. Malet of the 14th inst.?


The agreement in question was entered into, but Her Majesty's Government are not of opinion that it is interfered with by the assumption of a Protectorate of the dominions of the Sultan with his full consent.


Is it true, as stated in an Exchange telegram published this afternoon, that satisfactory communication has passed between the French and English Governments on the subject of the Protectorate of Zanzibar?


No, Sir; that is not true. I can only say that information of the intention of England to assume this Protectorate has been conveyed to the French Government, but it had not reached the hands of the Minister when he made his speech on the matter to the French Assembly. Information has been conveyed, but no reply has yet been received.