HC Deb 21 April 1896 vol 39 cc1369-70
*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether he will at once lay before Parliament the revised Agreement with the Ameer of Afghanistan by which the Bashgal Valley was given to the Ameer?


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, (1) whether he will place in the Library a facsimile of the map referred to in Clause 1 of the Durand Agreement as being attached to that Agreement, and also a facsimile of the detailed map referred to in Clause 3; (2) whether he will lay upon the Table a copy of any document which sets aside the provisions of Clause 3, and transfers the Arnawai or Bashgal Valley from the British to the Ameer's sphere of influence; (3) whether he will state approximately the length and breadth of the Arnawai or Bashgal Valley; and in what other respects, if any, the Durand Agreement has been modified; and, (4) whether he will recommend the Government of India to depute Colonel Holdich, the Boundary Commissioner, or other suitable officer, to superintend the removal of those Kafirs who are being expatriated, and secure for them humane treatment?


The maps referred to in the first Question of the hon. Baronet the Member for Banffshire are inconvenient in size, and I have no spare copies; but I will have the line traced upon another map and place it in the Library. I have here a copy of the Agreement, dated April 9th, 1895, as signed by the Commissioners and subsequently ratified by the Ameer, which I will lay upon the Table. I cannot give the information asked for in the third Question at the present stage of negotiations. In answer to the fourth Question, I can only refer the hon. Baronet to the reply given by me on the 23rd March last to the hon. Member for Darlington.


IS not the valley a large one, and estimated to contain a population of about 49,000 inhabitants?


I do not know the dimensions of the valley, but the total population of Kafiristan at the extreme estimate is 90,000, and the Bash-gal Valley occupies quite a small portion of the country.