§ MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, N.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign affairs, whether it is a fact that Senor Barros Gomes stated, in the Chamber of Deputies at Lisbon, that it was the intention of the Portuguese Government, as a consequence of Lieutenant Cardosa's expedition, to build a residence for a Portuguese official near the southern end of Lake Nyassa; whether Lieutenant Seal is now there, as representing the Portuguese Government, and whether Lieutenant Cardosa and another officer are shortly to be sent back to Nyassaland; and whether Her Majesty's Government will decline to recognize any assertion of Portugese sovereignty in this region, and prevent its annexation by Portugal?
also asked, whether the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs was correctly reported by Reuter's Agency to have stated in the Chamber of Deputies on Saturday that "Portugal maintained her right to control the navigation of the Zambesi, and also the right to extend her influence over the territories which lay inland from her coast possessions," and "that these rights had been acknowledged by the Berlin Conference, and in particular by two Powers;" whether Her Majesty's Government admit the rights referred to to have been acknowledged by the Berlin Conference as stated; and whether they acknowledge the existence of either right on the part of the Portuguese Government?
§ *SIR J. FERGUSSON
I will reply to the question of the hon. Member for Glasgow along with this. Both the Reports quoted appear to be substantially correct. Her Majesty's Government have not disputed the right of Portugal to control" the navigation of waters within her territories, but claim for their vessels the right to navigate the Zambesi so far as it is navigable; nor have they denied the right of Portugal to extend inland the area of her settlement and Government, but claim that British settlements shall not be disturbed by any act of the Portuguese in regions over which they have not hitherto exercised sovereignty or protectorate.