HL Deb 10 March 1885 vol 295 cc595-6

My Lords, seeing the noble Earl the Foreign Secretary in the House, I wish to ask him, Whether he can give the House any information with, respect to the intelligence which has reached this country as to what has occurred on the West Coast of Africa at the Cameroons? I will not comment upon it further than to say that, looking to the great gravity of the case, I am sure the noble Earl will desire to give the House all the information he can.


My Lords, lam not the least surprised at the noble Marquess putting this Question, of which he was good enough to give me private Notice this morning. I may take this opportunity of saying that it does not happen to be the case that I communicated any telegram on the subject, as has been stated, either to the noble Marquess or to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales yesterday. I have read the Reuter telegram. No confirmation of it has reached Her Majesty's Government, and none has been received at the German Embassy. In any case I may add that, whatever the facts may be as to the action of the civil authorities, not only upon principles of international comity, but from the spontaneous declaration of Prince Bismarck when a report arrived that a Protectorate of Samoa had been proclaimed, and from the fact that our negotiations with Germany on Colonial matters are at present on a very friendly footing. I feel convinced that this incident will lead to no disagreeable complications.