By Seymour Mclean

HC Deb 10 March 1871 vol 204 cc1774-7 1774
called attention to the circumstances under which an Envoy from His Royal Highness Prince Kassa of Abyssinia to Her Majesty the Queen was detained three months at Alexandria; and asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he will state to the House the reasons which induced Her Majesty's Government to advise the return of the Envoy to Abyssinia without fulfilling his mission? The other evening an hon. and gallant Member congratulated the House upon the great success which had attended the Abyssinian campaign; but it should be borne in mind that that campaign had in a great measure been successful owing to the friendship and timely aid given by Prince Kassa to Lord Napier of Magdala. The British Army went through 240 miles of Prince Kassa's territory; and if Lord Napier were not leaving behind him a friendly Prince he would have had to occupy that country with a line of troops. He did not know the reason why Her Majesty's Government had not received the Envoy; but he could not help thinking that they ought to have shown greater courtesy to a Prince who had done us such good service.

said, he would endeavour to explain the reasons for the delay of the Envoys of the Abyssinian Prince at Alexandria; but first, with regard to the Correspondence, he wished to state that he would answer the Question another day. He was not aware that any Correspondence existed which could be laid on the Table. The facts with regard to the Envoys were these—On the 7th of October, Colonel Staunton reported the arrival at Suez of two Envoys from Prince Kassa bearing presents for the Queen. These presents were either to be sent to the Queen, or to be brought over to England by the Envoys. The Envoys were willing to pay their expenses to England, but when here expected to be treated as Royal guests, as they had been treated by the Khedive of Egypt. Colonel Staunton therefore requested instructions as to the course which he should pursue. Application was made both to the India Office and the Treasury on the subject. On the 10th of October the India Office expressed their regret that they had no funds available for such a purpose. When the unfavourable reply was received from the India Office application was made to the Treasury, who thought it would not be fair to make use of Imperial funds for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the journey of the Envoys and their maintenance in England. On the 3rd of November, therefore, with the concurrence of the India Office, Colonel Staunton was requested to inform the Envoys that their presents should be sent on to England through him, but that he was not authorized to encourage the journey of the Envoys themselves to England. The presents arrived on the 6th of February, at Southampton, and were said to be of the value of £1,500. They consisted of a gold-mounted burnous or robe, a gold-mounted head-stall for a horse, gold-mounted shoes, a gold-mounted collar or necklace, and a gold-mounted saddle. Accompanying the presents was a letter which it was very difficult to decipher, and it was only the day before yesterday that a translation of it could be obtained. The hon. Member might rest assured that this question had not escaped the attention of Her Majesty's Government, and that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs would lay the letter of the Envoys before Her Majesty. In the meantime Colonel Staunton had been requested to convey to those Envoys an assurance of the friendship which Her Majesty entertained, and to inform them that a suitable reply to the letter would be sent to be laid before their Royal Master. The delay was unfortunate; but it was not easy to avoid, but there certainly was no intention on the part either of the Foreign Office or the Treasury to treat the mission of these gentlemen otherwise than with friendly respect.

reminded the House that Prince Kassa had been of the greatest service to our forces in the Abyssinian Expedition, for at the very first interview with Lord Napier he presented the Army with $10,000 worth of food, including flour, which, at that time was especially valuable. When our troops were leaving the country presents were made to Prince Kassa, and it was a very natural thing that he should have sent Envoys with return presents to the Queen. He regretted that it had not been thought advisable to pay the expenses of those Envoys. They were educated at Bombay by Dr. Wilson, and could explain the wishes of their master better than could now be done. He hoped it might still be deemed desirable to allow them to come.

said, the hon. Gentleman who had introduced this subject happened to be a brother of the unfortunate Englishman who was murdered some time back in Abyssinia when on a hunting expedition. When the hon. Member and another brother sought assistance Prince Kassa came forward expressing his regret, and offered them every possible facility for discovering the author of the massacre, and even an army to accompany them into the district. He had heard from persons quite competent to form an opinion on the subject that greater respect for Englishmen could not be shown than had been evinced by Prince Kassa. After all that had been done by the Prince a little more consideration should have been shown to his Envoys.

said, he could not avoid remarking that, considering that the Abyssinian War had been owing to not answering a letter, it was doubly unfortunate that the same course should be again pursued by the Foreign Office. The noble Lord (Viscount Enfield) who had explained what had occurred in the clearest possible way, gave the House to understand that, up to the present moment, no reply had been given to the letter accompanying the presents brought over from Abyssinia in October last. Not only had no answer up to this day been given to this communication, but the Envoys of the Prince to whom we owed so much, were allowed to remain at Suez for a period of three months, without knowing whether they were ultimately to come to England or to be sent back, their mission uncompleted. He must say the reasons which had been assigned by the noble Lord for the long delay which had occurred, and for the refusal to receive the Envoys of a friendly Prince in England, were such as to give grounds for great regret. It seemed that neither the Government of India nor Her Majesty's Treasury could find the few hundred pounds necessary to receive with ordinary hospitality the Envoys of a friendly Eastern Prince, and he trusted the people of this country would take into consideration the cause of the unhappy line of conduct which had in the present instance been pursued, and would ascribe it to a policy to which we owed so much of the falling off of our prestige not only in the East, but in the West—a policy which led to the cutting down on every occasion, right or wrong, of our expenditure. He, for one, would appeal with confidence to the British public to say whether a few hundred pounds laid out in giving a hospitable reception to the Envoys of a friendly Prince would not be money well expended in the interests of civilization and the maintenance of peace among those Eastern nations.

Sir Wilfrid Lawson
Commons — August 5, 1875
In Abyssinia, after spending millions of money, we managed to get the crown of King Theodore;

HC Deb 17 July 1876 vol 230 cc1477-8
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that a British subject named Kirkham was some time ago detained by the Egyptian authorities at Massowah on his way from Abyssinia to England; whether he is still imprisoned without trial; whether there is any prospect of his release; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will lay upon the Table any Correspondence which has taken place on the subject? He might add, that since he came down to the House he had heard it reported that General Kirkham died recently.

Sir, in the beginning of June it came to the knowledge of Her Majesty's Government that the British subject alluded to in the Question of the hon. Member was imprisoned at Massowah. He is better known under the name of General Kirkham, late Commander-in-Chief of the Abyssinian Army, and was taken prisoner by the Egyptians last spring, being at that time engaged in hostilities against the Egyptian Army. At the time that Her Majesty's Government were first informed of his imprisonment, they were also informed that he was suffering from alleged harsh treatment by the Egyptian officials at Massowah. Under those circumstances Her Majesty's Government brought these facts to the notice of the Egyptian Government, and on the 6th of June Cherif Pasha assured our Consular authority in Egypt that there was no foundation whatever for the statement that General Kirkham had been treated with any harshness; that he was supplied with everything that was necessary for his comfort, and allowed to take exercise in the open air, and the confinement to which he is subjected is no stricter than is necessary to prevent his communicating with his political and military allies and associates. As to the second part of the Question, being taken prisoner of war, he would, I conclude, not be subject to any trial. Whether there is any prospect of his release I am unable to say at present. If my hon. Friend would like to see the correspondence he is welcome to do so, but I do not think that any advantage would accrue to General Kirkham by its being made public. I regret to hear that Kirkham has lately died, but Her Majesty's Government are in no way to blame for it.

HC Deb 08 March 1877 vol 232 cc1569-72
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Her Majesty's Government has taken any steps to ascertain from the Khedive of Egypt what was the fate of the Abyssinian Envoys who, last December, mysteriously disappeared from a hotel at Cairo where they had been lodged by the British Consul General, under the guard of the Consular Janissary, after they had fled to the British Consulate General and demanded protection; whether the Egyptian Government is still engaged in an aggressive movement against Abyssinian territory; and, whether the Foreign Office has received intelligence of the arrest by the Egyptian authorities, on the 3rd day of February last, at Massowah, of two British subjects, Messrs. Barlow and Houghton, and of their conveyance to and detention at Suez; and, if so, what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken or intend to take for their protection and release?

also wished to ask, Whether the attention of Government has been called to the alleged seizure by an armed boat's crew of the Egyptian Government, off the coast of Abyssinia, of Mr. Robert Adeane Barlow, whilst on beard a vessel under the British flag, owned or chartered by British subjects; and, whether immediate inquiries will be made into all the circumstances of the case, and due reparation required if the alleged facts be true?

With respect to the first part of the Question of the hon. Member for Poole, I have to state that only one Envoy from Abyssinia reached Egypt. The hon. Member mentions "Envoys" in his Question—as a matter of fact only one Envoy reached Egypt last December, and he was allowed to remain some time without seeing the Khedive, but after being there some time the Envoy did see the Khedive on the 7th of December. It was then decided that the Envoy should be sent back to Abyssinia with a letter to the King, and that he should be provided with a special train from Cairo to Suez, and a special steamer from Suez to Massowah. When the Envoy received that message he grew very much alarmed, and at once communicated with the British Consul at Cairo, telling him that in consequence of the message he had received, he feared his life was in danger. The Khedive was very much annoyed that what he had intended as an act of courtesy should be taken in this way by the Envoy. However, he then said that if the Envoy took that view of the case he must find the way back to Abyssinia for himself. The Envoy went again to our Consul, and, owing to a communication which was then made by the British Consul to the Khedive, the Khedive promised to send back the Envoy in the same way as first proposed—namely, by special train to Suez, and special steamer from Suez to Massowah. The Envoy started from Cairo for Massowah on the 8th of December, and we have not heard anything of him since. With regard to the second part of the Question of the hon. Member for Poole as to whether the Egyptian Government is still engaged in an aggressive movement against Abyssinian territory—we have heard nothing of any aggressive movement by the Egyptian Government against Abyssinian territory. On the other hand, we know that the Abyssinians have made a raid upon a small detachment of Egyptian troops and were repulsed. Then with regard to the second Question, which relates to Mr. Barlow and Mr. Houghton, the hon. Member for Rochdale has asked a Question, and there is another on the same subject on the Paper by the hon. Member for Wexford (Mr. O'Clery). The facts with regard to this case are these:—Mr. Barlow and Mr. Houghton had been for some time in Egypt, and they had given out publicly that they were both going to Abyssinia. Mr. Barlow announced that he was going as Generalissimo of the Abyssinian Army, to supply the place of General Kirkham; and the other gentleman, Mr. Houghton, said he was to be the future Premier of Abyssinia. Our Consul states that they were distinctly warned before they left Cairo that the Egyptian authorities would not allow them to cross the frontier between Egypt and Abyssinia, or travel in the Provinces bordering on that frontier, and that if they persisted, notwithstanding, in going to Abyssinia it must be at their own risk and peril. Well, they did go. I need not state the circumstances of their being stopped at Massowah. They were stopped at that place, and sent back in a ship to Suez. We have heard from Mr. Houghton in a letter dated the 23rd of last month, in which he says ho has been released. We have only heard from Mr. Barlow up to the 19th, and he was at that time with Mr. Houghton in the same ship. Whether he has been released or not I am not able to state; but as Mr. Houghton was released on the 23rd, it is probable that Mr. Barlow has been released too. With respect to the rest of the Question, all I can say is that when we receive a full report of the circumstances connected with it Her Majesty's Government will take the whole matter into consideration.

I asked whether Her Majesty's Government knew what had become of the Envoy.

I thought I had answered that Question—that he had been given a special train and a special steamer by the intervention of Her Majesty's Consul, and that we have heard nothing more of him since he left Cairo.

I understand the hon. Gentleman to state that the Consul had heard nothing of him after he had left Cairo in the special train. Are we to understand that the Government have no information as to whether he did go on beard the steamer or not? I must ask the hon. Gentleman whether we could not by telegraph obtain knowledge on that subject. We ought to know whether the train did arrive at Suez, and the steamer at Massowah.

I have not the slightest objection to get the information for the right hon. Gentleman. There is no difficulty about getting the information at all.

gave Notice that he would on Monday ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the Abyssinian raid referred to in his Answer to the hon. Member for Poole had not been undertaken in consequence of an Abyssinian officer, charged with a letter from the King of Abyssinia to Her Majesty's Agent and Consul General in Egypt, having been seized and drowned by the Egyptian authorities at Massowah?

HC Deb 13 March 1877 vol 232 cc1850-1
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the raid recently made by Abyssinian troops at Massowah, was made in consequence of an Abyssinian sent by the King of Abyssinia with a letter to Her Majesty's Consul General in Egypt having been seized at Massowah and drowned; and, whether, in revenge, his escort, who had accompanied him, carried off in the raid Colonel Mitchell, an American officer attached to the Egyptian Staff?

I have no doubt that my hon. Friend will be happy to learn that our Consul General in Egypt has reported to us by telegram that he has satisfied himself that the report alluded to is absolutely false, and that the murder of this individual never did take place. Colonel Gordon says he is quite sure if such a thing had occurred King John would have reported it either to him or the commander of one of Her Majesty's ships at Massowah; therefore, he is quite sure it did not take place.

Colonel Mitchell?
We have heard nothing about Colonel Mitchell. My hon. Friend asks whether Colonel Mitchell's capture was not in consequence of the murder of this individual? We have sent a telegram asking for further information on the whole subject, and when a reply is received I shall lay it on the Table.

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether, in accordance with his reply on Thursday last, the Foreign Office has instructed the British Consul General at Cairo to inquire of the Khedive what became of the Abyssinian Envoy last December?

Yes; in accordance with the reply which I gave last Thursday, the Foreign Office have instructed Her Majesty's Consul General in Egypt to make inquiries on this subject; and he has reported that there is no doubt whatever as to the safe return of the Envoy to Abyssinia. His return has been reported by Retif Pasha at Massowah, and has also been confirmed by the French Vice Consul at Massowah.


HC Deb 15 March 1877 vol 232 cc1966-7
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he is now prepared to state to the House the particulars of the outrage on a British subject perpetrated by the Egyptian authorities in the recent seizure of Mr. Robert Adeane Barlow off Massowah, and the measures which have been taken to obtain reparation for Mr. Barlow; also, if Mr. Barlow is now set at liberty?

I stated to the House the other day that Mr. Barlow, who describes himself of the Abyssinian Army, and Mr. Houghton had in November last announced their intention to penetrate into Abyssinia, and they were warned by Her Majesty's Agent and Consul General that if they attempted to do so in defiance of the prohibition which had been issued by the Egyptian Government it would be at their own risk and peril. It appears that they did proceed to the eastern shore of the Red Sea, where they embarked in a small dhow that was going to Massowah with coals for one of Her Majesty's ships. The dhow was not under the British flag, but under the Turkish flag. On their arrival at Massowah they were asked for their passports. They answered that they had got none. Mr. Barlow gave his name as Colonel Knox, and Mr. Houghton his as Mr. Baird. Afterwards they produced their passports. When the authorities at Massowah found by the passport that their names were not Knox and Baird suspicions were aroused, and they were put under arrest; but on Mr. Houghton giving his parole that he would not leave the town he was released; but Mr. Barlow having refused to do so was placed in confinement pending inquiry as to their identity. They were subsequently removed in an Egyptian transport to Suez, where they were set at liberty on the 21st ultimo. They were re-arrested, in consequence, it is said, of their attempting to leave again for Massowah, and Mr. Houghton has represented that great violence was used against him when arrested. Inquiries will be made into the truth of this statement. Mr. Houghton has been set at liberty, and is now at Cairo. Mr. Barlow refuses to give his parole not to return to Abyssinia; but, though under serveillance at Suez, he is free to go where he pleases in the town.

HC Deb 12 April 1877 vol 233 c970
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether in the event of peace being concluded between Egypt and Abyssinia, the Government will take steps to secure free access to and egress from Abyssinia, as far as Egypt is concerned, to all British subjects, including those who wish to take service under King John; and, if there is any objection to lay upon the Table of the House the Correspondence on the subject of the recent arrest of Mr. Barlow and others by the Egyptian authorities at Massowah, and the continued detention of Mr. Barlow at Suez?

The opposition offered to the free entry of Mr. Barlow and other foreigners into Abyssinia was an exceptional measure, consequent on the war between that country and Egypt, and it may be presumed that as soon as peace is concluded the Egyptian Government will not offer any hindrance to the free passage of British subjects to and from Abyssinia. With regard to the Papers mentioned by the hon. Member they are being printed, and there will be no objection to lay them on the Table when they are ready.

HC Deb 19 May 1881 vol 261 c806 806
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If any steps have been taken in consequence of the correspondence regarding the concession to Abyssinia of a free port in the Red Sea; and, if he will lay that correspondence, which took place in the year 1877, between the Earl of Derby and Her Majesty's Consul General in Egypt, upon the Table of the House?

Sir, no steps have been taken to obtain for Abyssinia a port in the Red Sea, and Her Majesty's Agent in Egypt reported that there was no evidence to show that the Abyssinians, who did not claim a port, and could not manage it if possessed by them, wore desirous of obtaining one.


HC Deb 11 November 1882 vol 274 c1636 1636
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether in the course of the arrangements to be made for the settlement of Egypt, Her Majesty's Government will use its influence to secure for Abyssinia a free port on the Red Sea?

In reply to this Question, I should say that I am not convinced that it would be well to mix up the two questions of securing for Abyssinia a free port on the Red Sea and the arrangements now to be made for the settlement of Egypt. The object is one, however, which we regard with sympathy, and we shall do what we can to promote the attainment of it.

9 August 1883 → Commons Sitting → ORDERS OF THE DAY.

said, he entirely agreed with what had been said by his hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth (Sir H. Drummond Wolff) respecting the authority possessed by the Khedive to grant concessions for the construction of Canals or Harbours. He believed the Khedive could not give any such concessions without the approval of the Sultan. The Khedive had certain powers of government in Egypt; but the right of disposing of Egyptian territory was vested in the Suzerain. He would cite a circumstance, which the Committee might not be generally aware of, that would bear out this opinion. Last year the King of Abyssinia sought to obtain from the Khedive—through the intercession of the English Government—a harbour on the Red Sea. We used our authority with the Khedive to obtain this concession. It was granted, and Massowah was accorded to the Abyssinian King as the seaport he desired. But the Sultan declined to confirm the concession; and, as a result, the King of Abyssinia did not get the port which he wished for, and which the Khedive and the English Government were willing to grant him.


SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT 6 March 1884 → Commons Sitting → ORDERS OF THE DAY.

He recollected reading in the newspapers, and the noble Marquess the Secretary of State for War would be able presently to state whether it was correct or not, that, in the first instance, Her Majesty's Government not only meant to give up the whole of the interior of the Soudan, but they meant to give up Suakin. He also heard, at the same time, that France was delighted at the idea of a port on the Red Sea being given up. He humbly, but earnestly, asked the Committee to consider what might arise supposing they were in a great hurry to leave Egypt. What would please the French nation more than that they should go to the relief of Egypt; what would please them more than that they should have a Protectorate over Egypt and the Littoral of the Red Sea? It was their day dream, and their night dream to have the whole of the North of Africa and Syria under their domination; and, therefore, it was that he thought it was most extraordinary that the Prime Minister should say the other night that they meant to remain at Suakin for a short time, and that mainly to prevent the spread of the Slave Trade. That seemed to him to be the most remarkable utterance ever made by a Prime Minister of this country; because at the very time it was made an Envoy of the Government was at Khartoum encouraging the Slave Trade, and Kordofan and Darfour had been handed over to Sultans who were the very life and soul of slavery. The brother-in-law of the Mahdi was to be placed in power, and he was one of the greatest slave dealers in the world. How, therefore, was the increase of the Slave Trade to be prevented if the country was to be handed over to the tender mercies of the Mahdi and his followers? But there was another very serious consideration in regard to the Soudan. Why were they to say, at the first blush, that the whole of the Soudan must be evacuated? He could understand the evacuation of Kordofan and Darfour; but why were Khartoum and Sennaar and Kassala to be given up? He was glad to see that at last, after grave consideration, Her Majesty's Government were thinking of making an ally of King John of Abyssinia, and of giving him an outlet into the Red Sea. If they had done that sooner, they might have rescued by this time the garrisons in the South, because they might have been able to retire through Abyssinia without any difficulty whatever.


The hon. Member also referred to the position of Kassala, and as to what was being done with regard to a possible advance upon Berber. With regard to that point, General Graham's present instructions did not admit of such an advance. With regard to Kassala, Her Majesty's Government had no reason to suppose that that garrison was being hard pressed; but, even if it were, they believed that when the moment came to withdraw the garrison, the withdrawal could be easily accomplished, because of the friendly disposition of the neighbouring King of Abyssinia. On the Vote which would shortly be moved there appeared a part of the expenses of a mission, which was to attempt to come to terms with the King of Abyssinia in regard to those various points which, for some time past, had been causing a difference between the Government of Abyssinia and the Government of Egypt. The House was aware that the Governments of Egypt and Abyssinia had long been separated by certain difficulties—frontier difficulties regarding the possession of the inland districts of Bogos and Galabat and the commercial access to, and sovereignty over, the Port of Massowah and the adjoining coast. There were also certain religious difficulties in regard to the facilities for the consecration of the dignitaries of the Abyssinian Church by the representatives of the Coptic Patriarch, all of which awaited settlement. The Abyssinian Church, he need not remind the House, was a Christian Church, a fact well known, he believed, from the interesting account of it in the work of the late Dean Stanley on the Eastern Churches. All these points it was hoped to settle, and it was clear that if a settlement was arrived at, the retreat from Kassala and the neighbouring garrisons would be greatly facilitated. Reference had been made to what his noble Friend the Secretary of State for War had said the other night, and the hon. Member for Northampton had attacked the Government for alleged inconsistencies in their policy relating to the Red Sea Coast.

No; the reduction is in connection with Sir William Hewett's mission to Abyssinia.

said, the charges for Sir William Hewett's mission to Abyssinia, Lord Dufferin's special mission to Egypt, and General Gordon's special mission to the same place, appeared to him to be items of account which required more explanation than Her Majesty's Government had given down to the present, so far as his knowledge extended. Lord Dufferin had gone on a special mission;

He was also anxious to know for what object Admiral Sir William Hewett went to Abyssinia? The Abyssinian question was one of great importance. No country in that part of the world had suffered more from the polity of the Government than that country. Was Sir William Hewett authorized to redress any of its wrongs? Were any negotiations entered into with the Abyssinian Rulers; and, if so, what was the object of those negotiations, and what had been the outcome of them? He did not wish to press Her Majesty's Government for information unduly; but when they were asked to pay large sums out of the public taxes, it was only reasonable to expect that some explanation of those sums should be afforded.

As to Admiral Sir William Hewett's mission to Abyssinia, the hon. Member, he was afraid, must have been absent from the House during the discussion in the afternoon, because he (Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice) had particularly alluded to the subject in his speech, fully explaining the object of the mission, stating that he did so because the money to be asked for the mission was in the Vote the Committee were to be asked to pass. He had explained what the differences of opinion between the Egyptian Government and Her Majesty's Government were, what were the grievances of Abyssinia against this country, and what were the particular points on which it was hoped they would be able to make an arrangement.


HC Deb 05 May 1884 vol 287 c1330
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether our relations with King Johannes are such as to admit of an expedition for the relief of General Gordon being despatched from Abyssinia to Khartoum down the Blue Nile?

In answer to this Question I have to say that our relations with Abyssinia are quite satisfactory; and I do not think it would be desirable to say anything beyond that.


HC Deb 13 May 1884 vol 288 cc174-5
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, Whether he can inform the House where Admiral Sir William Hewett is believed to be at the present time, and what was the date of the last communication from him; and, whether the Government are yet in a position to give the House any information as to the objects and purpose of the Mission to the King of Abyssinia?

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, What escort, if any, Admiral Hewett has for his protection during his mission to King Johannes at Adowa; whether, when he started from Massowah he was escorted by a body of Bashi-Bazouks, who were such a terror to the inhabitants that they were not allowed to cross the frontier into Abyssinia?

According to a telegram from Captain Hastings from Massowah, Admiral Hewett expected to reach Adowa on the 26th of April. I explained the general objects of the mission in the debate on the 15th of March, and I have no further statement to make at present. No reports have yet been received from Sir William Hewett, and I have no information on the subject of the escort mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member.

asked if the Government had any information as to where Admiral Hewett was?

The Government have no knowledge of the position of Admiral Hewett at this moment, but information is expected from him every day.

What is the latest date on which a communication was received from him?

I do not think the Admiralty have received any report from him since his departure.

Just before I left the Admiralty this morning I was told that a letter had come in from Admiral Hewett, dated April 18, but that it did not add much to the information already in possession of the Admiralty.

asked whether Admiral Hewett had been relieved of his command in the Red Sea?

said, the command in the Red Sea was to be transferred for a time to the Commander-in-Chief on the Mediterranean Station.


HC Deb 22 May 1884 vol 288 c998
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he can give any further information as to the present position of Admiral Sir William Hewett and the progress of the negotiations with the King of Abyssinia?

The latest information received is to the effect that the Admiral, whole ft Massowah on April 7, had reached Adowa on the 6th of May, and was awaiting the arrival of the King, who was expected on the 12th instant. He was accompanied by Mason Bey, the Governor of Massowah, and Captain T. C. S. Speedy, a gentleman well acquainted with the language and customs of the Abyssinian Court and county. Admiral Sir William Hewett states that he was being treated hospitably by Ras Aloula, and that the officers and others attached to the mission were in good health.


HC Deb 06 June 1884 vol 288 cc1682-7
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the Government have received any confirmation of the statement that the Mahdi has advanced to Khartoum, and that his adherents are in possession of Abu Hamed and of the wells at Murad; what is the position of Berber at the present time; and, whether any recent intelligence has been received from Sir William Hewett?

The rumour that the Mahdi has gone to Khartoum has reached Her Majesty's Government; but they have no confirmation of it. The rebels are said to be in force at Abu Hamad; but though they are still to the east of Murad, Major Kitchener has reason to believe that the desert will soon be clear of them, and he proposes to go there himself. This news is dated yesterday. Berber is said to be still invested; but the accounts vary, some representing it as closely besieged, others giving an opposite account. The news of Admiral Hewett is satisfactory. A message from him was received at Massowah on the 26th ultimo, dated the 18th from Adowa, the capital of the King of Abyssinia. The mission had been well received, but the King's arrival had been delayed owing to his illness. He was expected about the 20th. The Admiral thought the negotiations with him would be successful, and that he will be able to arrange with him for the relief of Kassala.


HC Deb 09 June 1884 vol 288 cc1791-2
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the Government is in a position to give any further information with regard to Sir William Hewett; whether he is still at the capital of Abyssinia, or on the way back to the coast; and, whether the negotiations have had any result?

I made a very full statement on this question on Friday, and no new subsequent intelligence has been received at the Foreign Office.

§ Subsequently,
said: I have been informed by my hon. Friend the Secretary to the Admiralty that he has just received further intelligence at the Admiralty of a favourable kind.


HC Deb 12 June 1884 vol 289 cc91-2 91
asked, Whether the Government had received any additional information with regard to Berber?

No, Sir. Beyond the information which I gave to the House yesterday, at the close of the proceedings, no fuller information had been received by the Foreign Office, up to the time I left with regard to Berber. I may state, however, that a telegram has been received to-day from Admiral Hewett from Adowah, in which he states that his Mission has been successful; that he would leave for the coast on the 4th; that a Treaty had been signed securing free transit through Massowah from Abyssinia, and also that a Slave Trade Treaty had been signed.

Is there anything said in the Treaty about the territorial cession of Massowah?

I have given the House all the information in the possession of the Government; but, as I have already stated in debate, it was hoped that the negotiations would be successful without the territorial cession of Massowah, the King of Abyssinia being satisfied with the right of free commercial access to the town and port; and, in this hope, I gather Her Majesty's Government have not been mistaken.

Can the noble Lord inform the House where Admiral Hewett is now?

No, I cannot; but the telegram gives the date at which he expected to leave Adowah and reach the coast.

Is the noble Lord unaware that a telegram appears in all the evening papers, that he has arrived on the coast?

I said nothing to the contrary. I merely gave such information as had boon received at the Admiralty and Foreign Office.


HC Deb 20 June 1884 vol 289 c999
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he can state the terms of the Treaty lately made by Admiral Hewett with Abyssinia?

Neither Admiral Hewett's Report nor the text of the Treaty have yet been received; and, pending their receipt, it is not in my power to make any statement in addition to that which I made on the 12th instant.


HC Deb 23 June 1884 vol 289 cc1102-3
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the Papers relative to Admiral Hewett's mission to Abyssinia will be laid upon the Table of the House; and, whether it is a fact that, as a consequence of this mission, the Gallas, a savage tribe known to be thirsting for vengeance on the neighbouring tribes in the Soudan, are to be sent into that country ostensibly to relieve the Egyptian garrisons?

said, he had referred to the Admiralty upon this subject, and he must ask the hon. Gentleman to be good enough to wait a little for authentic information, as the Admiralty was not yet in possession of the despatch or despatches upon which alone they could entirely rely.

HC Deb 17 July 1884 vol 290 cc1414-5
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether there is any truth in the report published in The Daily News that 40,000 Abyssinians are now on their way to relieve Kassala; whether, in that case, their operations are to be limited to the relief of Kassala; and, whether their movements can be so far controlled as to prevent their ravaging and laying waste the country inhabited by the Shorkerizeh or other Soudan tribes, who, during the last twelve months, have remained loyal to the Egyptian Government?

King John of Abyssinia informed Admiral Hewett that he should not allow Kassala to be held by the Arabs, so that on the retirement of the Egyptian garrison from that place it may be expected that King John will occupy it; but we have no positive information as to the number and disposition of his troops. We believe that the King also contemplates occupying Amedib, which is on the road from Kassala to Senbit. Her Majesty's Government have, from their recent communications with King John, no reason to suppose he intends adopting the course contemplated in the latter part of the hon. Member's Question.

asked whether the occupation of Kassala formed any part of the agreement between the English Government and that of the Khedive?

I should prefer the hon. Member seeing the Papers which I have undertaken to lay upon the Table of the House on Tuesday next.


HC Deb 18 July 1884 vol 290 cc1616-7
said, he wished to ask the noble Lord the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs a Question of which he had not been able to give Notice—namely, Whether King John of Abyssinia had taken up arms as an ally of the British Government; and, if so, what pledges had been required against the adoption of cruel methods of warfare as practiced by uncivilized people, especially in regard to the infliction of torture?

I have answered an exactly similar Question put by another hon. Member. I said the Papers will shortly be laid on the Table.

I will ask the noble Lord on Monday what are the terms of the engagement entered into between Admiral Hewett and King John of Abyssinia; and what is the consideration agreed upon for the military assistance of the King?

The Papers will be laid on the Table on Tuesday.


HC Deb 30 October 1884 vol 293 c528
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the Military support from Abyssinia, to obtain which Admiral Hewett's mission was despatched to King John, has yet been supplied to the besieged Egyptian garrisons; and, if not, whether it has yet been arranged when our Abyssinian Allies will invade the Soudan?

The conduct of the evacuation of the garrisons referred to has been intrusted by the Egyptian Government to Mason Bey, and Captain Speedy has been appointed by Her Majesty's Government to advise the Abyssinians in carrying out the Treaty of June 3. There is no question in that Treaty of an invasion of the Soudan by Abyssinia. By the Third Article of the Treaty the King of Abyssinia engages to facilitate the withdrawal of the Egyptian troops through his territory to Massowah.

Are the garrisons being relieved now through Abyssinia?

Arrangements are being made by Mason Bey and Captain Speedy with that object.

HC Deb 24 November 1884 vol 294 c266 266
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the following statements that have recently appeared in the correspondence of The Times and Standard are correct: that there are now 16,000 British troops in Egypt, and 9,000 of these south of Assouan; that brigandage is rife in the province of Minieh, and that the Minister of the Interior has gone to investigate it; that Mason Bey, Governor of Massowah, reports that the arrangement with Abyssinia as to the Egyptians at Kassala and other towns is wholly impracticable, and that the French are actively intriguing against us in Abyssinia?

The British troops in Egypt, including Marines, amount in round numbers to 16,000 men. The troops south of Assouan, or moving up the Nile, may be estimated at 9,000. No report has been recently received by Her Majesty's Government such as is referred to by the hon. Member, neither are they aware that the Treaty arrangements with Abyssinia, in regard to Kassala, &c, have been declared by Mason Bey to be impracticable. Colonel Chermside, Egyptian Governor of the Red Sea Littoral, is taking steps for the evacuation of the places referred to; but, before carrying it out, he wishes to consult the Egyptian Government personally as to some details, and has started for Cairo with that object. I must decline to reply to the last part of the hon. Member's Question, which is offensive to a friendly Power.

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