HL Deb 03 November 1884 vol 293 cc764-5

My Lords, I propose, at the rising of the House, to move that we do adjourn to Thursday next, on which day an important Motion stands on the Order Paper in the name of the noble Earl (the Earl of Dunraven) with reference to the state of trade and industry.


My Lords, on this Notice, I will take the opportunity, in agreeing to the proposal of the noble Earl, to ask him a Question with respect to the very grave news that has been circulated in London during the last 48 hours. It is stated—I do not know whether it is in regular form for me to mention it, but it appears in all the papers—that Her Majesty and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales have received telegrams from the Khedive announcing the fall of Khartoum. I wish to know, whether, within the knowledge of the noble Earl, that is accurate; and, further, whether any information has been received from Sir Evelyn Baring on the point; and, also, whether inquiries have been addressed by the Foreign Office to Sir Evelyn Baring or to Lord Wolseley, to know what is the latest state of their information upon a rumour which, unhappily, is far from impossible?


My Lords, in answer to the Question of the noble Marquess, I have to state that, on seeing the paragraph in The Times of this morning, I took the liberty of inquiring of the Prince of Wales as to whether there was any truth in the report, and I am authorized by His Royal Highness to state that it is absolutely without foundation; that he had received no message from the Khedive on the subject; and that the only information he had was in a telegram courteously forwarded to him by one of the News Associations on Saturday evening. I may state that I also took the liberty of inquiring at Balmoral; and I have only this minute received an answer exactly to the same effect as that from the illustrious Prince on the Cross Benches — namely, that there is no foundation whatever for stating that Her Majesty had received any such report. Of course, it is impossible for me to state that any rumour is without foundation; but we have no reason whatever to believe that this one is true. With regard to the question, whether I have made any inquiries myself of Sir Evelyn Baring, I waited yesterday to see whether any message would arrive from him; and it is perfectly impossible, if this message had really reached the Khedive, that in the course of a day Sir Evelyn Baring should not have given the information to us. But no such information having been received by us this morning, I sent a telegram to inquire of Sir Evelyn Baring, and we have not yet received any reply to it. My own conviction is that Sir Evelyn Baring does not believe in the rumour which has been set on foot.


asked whether the noble Earl had sent a contradiction to the evening newspapers; and, if not, why?


, in reply to the Question why the contradiction had been sent to some of the evening papers and not to all, said, that he had not sent a message to any evening paper. Whoever had done so seemed to have sent it to one Conservative and one Liberal paper.