HC Deb 04 June 1891 vol 353 c1629
MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, under the proposed Treaty with Portugal, Her Majesty's Government recognises as Portuguese territory both banks of the Zambesi from Zumbo up to the Katima rapids; whether the parallel of 18° 30 south latitude is now adopted as the southern limit of Portuguese territory, instead of 16 as was fixed by the Convention of last August; whether a large tract of territory amounting to several thousands of square miles, the exploration of which has been almost exclusively British, and which was claimed as British in the Convention of last August, has now been recognised as Portuguese; whether the Treaty, if ratified, will prevent the northern boundary of the British possessions in South Africa reaching the Zambesi; whether the British sphere of influence north of the Zambesi will now be separated from British territory south of the Zambesi by possessions recognised as Portuguese; whether the Government of the Cape Colony has been consulted as to the proposed boundaries and provisions of the Treaty; and whether it has expressed its approval thereof?


To this question I can only answer that until the Treaty has been signed its provisions cannot be disclosed. As none of the boundary lines with which it deals, nor the commercial and other provisions, affect the Cape Colony, the Government of that colony has not been consulted.


Surely the right hon. Gentleman can reply whether the statement in my question is substantially accurate?


We cannot publish the Treaty in full, and I cannot therefore explain it by a process of exhaustion.