§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the Government have yet received full despatches from General Manning in reference to the recent operations in Somaliland; whether the Government have yet come to a decision as to the future policy to be pursued in Somaliland; when General Manning's despatches and the decision of the Government will be communicated to the House; and whether the Government are now in a position to give an 1141 estimate of the probable cost of the operations in Somaliland during the current financial year over the amount already provided by Parliament.
§ *THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Lord STANLEY,) Lancashire, Westhoughton
The despatches will be laid at once. As regards future operations we are now in communication with General Egerton, but it, would, of course, be impossible to publish the detailed action proposed. Further, it is not possible, at present, to calculate the possible expenditure, but there is no intention whatever of undertaking enterprises involving great expense.
§ MR. DILLON
May I remind the noble Lord that the Secretary of State for War stated that as soon as the full despatches were received from General Manning the Government would resolve upon a policy and communicate it to the House. Can the noble Lord state on what date that will be done?
§ *LORD STANLEY
I am afraid I cannot answer that Question The despatches will be laid at once. Communications are now passing between the right hon. Gentleman and General Egerton.
§ SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cornwall, Camborne)
Is it not possible to tell the country what we are fighting about?
§ [No answer was returned.]