HC Deb 14 February 1898 vol 53 cc489-90
MR. ALFRED PEASE (Yorkshire, Cleveland)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the recognition by the Emperor Menelik of the new boundary of the British Somali Protectorate involves any recognition on the part of Her Majesty's Government of Abyssinian claims south of the new Frontier; and, if so, whether the whole of Ogaden and those regions between the Webbe Shebeyli and Webbe Genana, till lately within the sphere of Italian influence, are included in such recognition; whether, in any recognition of Abyssinian claims to any of these countries, any stipulation has been or will be made for the just treatment of the Somali tribes similar to that made for those hitherto enjoying British protection, and now transferred to Abyssinia; and whether any attempt has been made to secure the recognition by the Emperor Menelik of the northern and western boundaries of British East Africa?


No such recognition as is suggested in the first paragraph of the question has been made. The question of the frontier between the Italian sphere of influence and Abyssinia is clearly one for discussion between those Governments. The question of the boundaries between Abyssinia and the British sphere of influence in East Africa remains for future discussion. In this connection I may add that it is proposed to appoint an Indian Officer to be the representative of Her Majesty at the Court of the Emperor Menelik to transact business with him when the occasion requires.

MR. WILLIAM ALLEN (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any other agreement has been entered into with the Emperor Menelik of Abyssinia other than that laid before Parliament; and whether any arrangement has been made in regard to the interior and Lake Rudolph?


The answer to both questions is in the negative.

SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, how it comes that the Treaty with Abyssinia, while it cedes portions of Somaliland, does not deal with boundaries to the west; whether large districts included in the sphere of influence attached to British East Africa, such as the Borana country, are at present claimed by Abyssinia or subject to Abyssinian raids; whether any attempt was made in the negotiations between Sir Rennel Rodd and the Emperor Menelik to settle frontiers in the neighbourhood of Lake Rudolph; and what is the present international situation of the Italian sphere east of parallel 40?


The questions mentioned have not escaped attention, but it has been thought desirable to leave them for subsequent settlement. The last question I have already answered in replying to the hon. Member for Cleveland.