§ LORD LAMINGTON rose to ask His Majesty's Government the position of our relations with the Imam of Yemen: and to move for Papers. The noble Lord said: My Lords, the last time I raised this question a very satisfactory answer was given, namely, that the Imam had cleared his forces out of the Aden Protectorate, except with respect to a very small tract of country in the far North East, which was not very important. I believe that position is still maintained, and that no portion of our Protectorate is in the occupation of the Imam at the present time. The next step is to know whether we have improved our relations with the Imam, or are on more friendly terms, and as to the possibility of an understanding or treaty being framed between ourselves and the Imam, so that our trade and position in Aden may be benefited. It is an important matter that we should be working in 770 harmony with the Imam, and I should be very glad to hear whether it is the case that there is a probability of a thorough understanding being arrived at between ourselves and the Imam.
§ THE EARL OF PLYMOUTH
My Lords, the position has not materially altered since the date on which the noble Lord last raised this matter in this House. The position is that in September last a communication was received by the Resident at Aden from the Imam, intimating his readiness to reopen negotiations, and that the Resident in reply invited the Imam to send a representative to Aden, to confer with him as to the terms of a preliminary agreement. It was proposed that this agreement should include on the one hand a recognition by His Majesty's Government of the complete independence of the Yemen and the Imam's sovereignty, and, on the other hand, a clause relating to the frontier of the Aden Protectorate, and defining the actual situation of the boundary. It was hoped that, if a preliminary agreement, on those points could be arrived at, a more comprehensive treaty might be drawn up subsequently, disposing of such other disputed questions of detail as might then remain outstanding. A full power has been prepared and forwarded to the Resident, authorising him to negotiate a preliminary agreement on the proposed lines, but, so far as I am aware, the Imam has not yet despatched any representative to Aden. I think I can only add in conclusion that since the date when the matter was last raised in this House there has been no further aggression against the Aden Protectorate.
§ LORD LAMINGTON
I thank the noble Earl for his fairly satisfactory answer. I suggest that the Imam might be invited to send a representative to this country, or else to Cairo, and by this means we might facilitate some agreement. Meanwhile I thank the noble Earl, and ask leave to withdraw my Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.