§ MR. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the Despatch from M. de Giers, published in the English newspapers of the 22nd and 23rd, and purporting to be a reply of the Russian Government to Her Majesty's Government, is authentic; and, whether the following or similar passages occur in the Russian Despatch:—It is impossible for us not to trace back the cause to the military aspect with which the English Government thought it their duty to invest their boundary commission.We cannot pass by the facts that certain Officers in its suite directed the movements of the Afghan troops, and that the loudly proclaimed interview between the Amir and the Viceroy, and its bellicose surroundings, must certainly have contributed to embolden the Afghans to the point of committing such acts of provocation as could not be tolerated by the representatives of Russian Military authorities?
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
Until the moment arrives for presenting Papers to Parliament, it would not be in the public interest that I should make any statement in regard to documents published in the newspapers which, if 657 they are what they profess to be, are evidently of a confidential character.
§ [No reply.]