HL Deb 11 February 1839 vol 45 cc204-5
The Earl of Ripon

had, he said, in allusion to the sixth article of the Turkish treaty, to ask a question of his noble Friend. The treaty referred to the whole of the dominions of Turkey. He wished to know whether the British Government had had any understanding with the Pacha of Egypt as to carrying into effect his part of the treaty so far as related to the portion of territory under his controul. It was true, that the Pacha of Egypt was nominally the subject of the Porte, but for all practical purposes he was in the state and condition of an independent sovereign. Now, the whole of the policy, commercial and financial, of that eminent personage, was at direct variance with the stipulated treaty. The article provided, that monopolies should be put an end to in the Turkish dominions. Now, it was notorious, that that very extraordinary personage was a great monopolist of every staple article of the country; for instance of cotton. That article was not suffered to be disposed of to any individual merchant, but must be sold to the Pasha himself. It was, therefore, important to know whether any understanding had been entered into with that individual; because, if the Pacha of Egypt did not choose to give up his system of monopoly, he might resist this treaty, and then they would be placed in this singular predicament—either to give up the treaty, as it respected Egypt, or to call upon Turkey to coerce the Pacha: or if the Pacha should prove refractory, and they were not able to obtain redress from the Turkish government they themselves might be obliged to take measures to coerce him. It was, consequently, of great importance to the commercial interests of this country to know how that matter stood and to ascertain whether British merchants might proceed to Egypt for the purpose of carrying on trade in the manner indicated by the treaty.

Viscount Melbourne

said, that it was not at all extraordinary, that the matter should have struck his noble Friend in the manner that it had done, nor that he should have put the question which their Lordships had just heard. In answer to his noble Friend he had to state that the Pacha of Egypt had distinctly and directly stated to Colonel Campbell, the English Consul, that it was his intention to accede to the stipulations of the treaty, and to carry them into effect.

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