HC Deb 01 August 1898 vol 63 cc705-6
MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

had on the Paper the following Question, but was not in his place to put it: I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government are in a position to make any statement as to the military situation in Uganda; and whether troops sent by the Indian Government for the purpose of repressing the revolt in Uganda were detained at the coast by Sir Arthur Hardinge, and only proceeded to the interior owing to the action of the officer to whom the troops were directed and in defiance of the orders of Sir Arthur Hardinge?


As the honourable Member is not in his place, and as the Question contains allegations against a British officer, I desire to answer this Question. The Papers, which will be in the hands of honourable Members to-morrow, bring the history of the military situation in Uganda down to the end of April. Since then we have not received any information justifying the alarmist rumours that have appeared in some quarters in the Press. Both the statements contained in the second paragraph are untrue. Sir A. Hardinge did not detain the Indian troops at the coast, nor did they proceed to the interior in defiance of his orders. On the contrary, he did everything in his power to accelerate the despatch of reinforcements to Uganda, and the success of his efforts has been cordially recognised by the authorities in that Protectorate, as may be seen both from the Parliamentary Papers already laid, as well as those which will shortly be presented.


Can the right honourable Gentleman give us any later information before Parliament separates. There is a good deal of anxiety on the subject?


I need hardly say that any information in our power shall be given. The only information we have later than April is not official, and is obtained from private letters.