HC Deb 16 May 1890 vol 344 cc1120-1
SIR J. KENNAWAY (Devon, Honiton)

As a matter of urgency, I beg to ask whether there is any truth in the statement, made in the Morning Post of to-day, that the Germans are aiming at the exclusion of British Missions and British commerce from the Kingdom of Uganda; that Cardinal Lavigerie has entered into an agreement with the Gorman East African Company to procure these ends and to cause Uganda to be withdrawn from the scope of the contemplated deliminations of territory in Central Africa; and whether, in view of the expenditure of life, labour, and money there in the cause of civilisation and Christianity, the Foreign Office will do its utmost to protect the interests of Missions and travellers in those parts?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers the question, may I ask him to inform the House whether the line of demarcation in 1886 still remains the line between the sphere of British influence and the sphere of German influence in that portion of East Africa? The point I refer to was laid down in a letter of Lord Salisbury's dated July 2, 1887.


As the newspaper statements in question are calculated to cause apprehension, and as the House does not sit again till Monday, I shall be justified in replying that Her Majesty's Government have no information tending to confirm them. In reply to the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. M. Ferguson), I may say that we know of no action on the part of the German Government or of German Agents calculated to prejudice the rights of British subjects under existing agreements, and that matters hitherto unsettled are being discussed at Berlin in a friendly spirit, so that the important interests involved will not be prejudiced by abstention from discussion at present.