HC Deb 05 July 1909 vol 7 cc787-8

asked the Under-Secretary for the Colonies if he will say whether a military expedition is to be undertaken in Somaliland; and, if so, can he state what the estimated cost will be?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Colonel Seely)

His Majesty's Government trust that no emergency may arise, but in any event they see no reason to doubt that the native troops already in Somaliland will be able to deal with the situation.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any undertaking on behalf of the Government that before any such useless and costly expedition of this kind takes place the House would have an opportunity of expressing an opinion?

Mr. J. D. REES

Whether any expedition can be other than useless and costly if the Government is asked to divulge its intentions beforehand for the benefit of the enemy?

Colonel SEELY

The answer to that question is to be found in the reply to the next question which stands in the name of my hon. Friend. With regard to the supplementary question of the hon. Member for East Clare, the Commissioner who was specially appointed to report on behalf of His Majesty's Government as to the situation is on his way home, and it is extremely unlikely that any such expedition will be required.


In view of the supplementary question put by the hon. Member for Montgomery Boroughs, can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say how many millions the late Somaliland expedition cost?