§ MR. H. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign affairs—(1) whether he will lay upon the table of the House all or any Papers in which Her Majesty's Government conveyed to the French Government the intimation that the Valley of the Nile between the Lakes and the Southern Frontier of Egypt is within the sphere of British influence; (2) whether, if this information was conveyed to the French Government, he will lay upon the Table of the House the reply (if any) of that Government to that intimation; (3) whether he can state what is the Western Frontier of this sphere of influence; (4) whether the de facto Government of the Soudan (by such term being understood that portion of the Soudan under the sway of the Mahdi) is recognised by Her Majesty's Government as a Government, or whether those comprising it are deemed rebels to the Khedive of Egypt; (5) and whether he is aware that a large portion of the Valley of the Nile between the Lakes and the Southern Frontier of Egypt is within the dominions of the Sultan of Turkey, and whether that Sovereign admits that this country has any rights, territorial or otherwise, over it?
§ SIR E. GREY
The points referred to in the first two paragraphs, and our position with regard to them, have been the subject of discussion with the French Government last year. The discussions did not reach a definite conclusion, but they have not been broken off, and no Papers with regard to them can be laid at present. The Western limit of the British sphere of influence is defined in Article 1 of the Agreement with Germany of July 1, 1890. Her Majesty's Government cannot recognise the Government of the Mahdi, or of his successor, as in any way ousting or disparaging the rights of Egypt in those territories. In answer to the last paragraph, I must refer the hon. Member to Page 4 of Africa No. 4, 1894, where it is declared that Her Majesty's Government do not ignore the claims of Turkey and Egypt in the basin of the Upper Nile.