§ MR. ALFRED PEASE (York)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can explain why Her Majesty's Government, having lately refused to admit the validity of ancient Portuguese claims to African territory lying between the territory occupied by that Power on both the Eastern and Western Coasts of Africa, have since then acquiesced in the German contention with regard to certain African territory in favour of the "Hinterland" principle, and have announced that they cannot opposeThe claim which the Garman Government based on the fact that the region was in the immediate rear of their own;and what was the reasons for this difference of policy in the two cases; and whether Her Majesty's Government has secured for England, on the "Hinterland" principle, the region to the rear of Walfisch Bay as a sphere of British influence?
§ *SIR J. FERGUSSON
It will be seen on reference to the Despatch addressed to Sir E. Malet, on the 14th inst., that Her Majesty's Government have not accepted the Hinterland doctrine as advocated by Germany. Claims of Portugal rest on historical grounds which are not admitted by Her Majesty's Government. Negotiations are still proceeding in 201 regard to Walfisch Bay and Damaraland.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is the case, as shown by the map in the Tea-Room, that tinder the Agreement with Germany the sphere of German influence has been extended 250 miles southward, to about the 22nd degree of South latitude, and about 350 miles eastward to the Zambesi; whether tin's will carry German authority eastward more than half the way across the African Continent, and place a new German territory of over 300 miles between North Bechuanaland and West Makolololand; whether this will cause one section of the Makololos to be under German influence and another portion under British influence; and whether he will show on the map the old German boundary on the West Coast as well as on the East?
§ *SIR. J. FERGUSSON
I do not understand what the hon. Member means by the first paragraph of his question. The German Agreement with Portugal of 1886 defined the limits of their respective influence on the West Coast of Africa; but the boundaries of the German and British spheres in that quarter have not till now been clearly described. Only a strip of territory 20 miles wide will give the Germans independent access to the waterway of the Zambesi. It is possible that there will be Makololos within both the German and British spheres. The tracing paper attached to the map in the Tea-Room shows the eastern boundary of German Damaraland on the 20th parallel of east longitude, up to the 18th parallel of south latitude; that is unaltered; but above that, and to the north-west, it had not been defined previously. We have secured the recognition of British influence by our neighbours in vast regions; we ought not to be jealous of what remains.
§ DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to a statement of the Vienna correspondent of the Times, to the effect that—The Russian papers attach most importance to the theory that they have themselves devised as to there being a secret clause in the Agree- 202 ment relative to East Africa which would make England and Germany allies in ease of war;and whether he is in a position to dispel this source of irritation by denying the existence of any such secret provision or understanding in connection with the Agreement?
§ *SIR J. FERGUSSON
Her Majesty's Government have undertaken no new obligation in regard to European Powers either in the present Agreement or otherwise.