HC Deb 20 December 1906 vol 167 cc1704-5

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has now received answers to the inquiries with reference to an order of the Soudan War Office prohibiting admission of the Cairo newspaper Al Minbar into the Soudan; and whether that order has now been rescinded, and, if not, upon what grounds is it maintained.

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir EDWARD GREY, Northumberland, Berwick)

His Majesty's Agent and Consul-General in Cairo reports that the Governor-General of the Soudan exercises a discretionary power as to the newspapers which are allowed to circulate in that country, and that the circulation of Al Minbar and some others is prohibited. As regards the question raised by the hon. Member on November 15th last as to whether the Soudan is still under martial law,†I would refer him to Article 9 of the Anglo-Egyptian Convention of January 19th, 1899, which runs as follows:—"Until, and save so far as it shall be determined by Proclamation, the Soudan, with the exception of the town of Suakin, shall be and remain under martial law." This Article has not boon repealed, but it is of course only intended to be put into operation in exceptional cases. Laws and regulations, approved by His Majesty's Government and the Government of Egypt, and enforced through regularly constituted tribunals, are in vigour throughout the whole of Soudanese territory.