§ 39. Earl WINTERTON
asked the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he was aware that some misgivings were felt by the unofficial British community in Egypt as to the methods being adopted by the Committee of Information which had been set up by the Egpytian Government to collect information to place before the Commission to be sent out; and whether, when the Commission came to take evidence, unofficial British, foreign, and Egyptian witnesses would be encouraged to come forward?
I am unaware of any such misgivings, but the Noble Lord may rest assured that every encourage- 1897 ment will be given to unofficial witnesses, whatever their nationality, whose evidence is likely to be of value.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that all the important British interests in Cairo have protested strongly against this method of collecting information and have demanded that information should be got first-hand from all witnesses?
No. I understand that the Commission will get first-hand information from all who can give it.
The object was to make certain preliminary inquiries on the subject before Lord Milner arrived, to assist him in his later operations.
§ 43. Captain ORMSBY-GORE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to state what were the terms of reference of the Milner Commission, to Egypt; when the Commission will begin to take evidence in this country; when it will proceed to Egypt; and whether he will now give the names of those gentlemen who have so far accepted an invitation to serve on the Committee?
The terms of reference of Lord Milner's Mission are:To inquire into the causers of the late disturbances in Egypt, and to report on the existing situation in the country and the form of constitution which under the Protectorate will be best calculated to promote its peace and prosperity, the progressive development of self-governing institutions and the protection of foreign interests.Lord Milner does not propose to take evidence in this country before the Mission goes out, which, it is hoped, will be early in October. All the gentlemen invited to form part of the Mission have accepted, with one exception, and that place has still to be filled. I should prefer not to give the names until the Mission is complete and can be judged as a whole.
§ Captain ORMSBY-GORE
Are we to understand that the Foreign Office evidence will be taken, after the Commission comes back from Egypt, and not before it leaves this country? Are we to 1898 understand that the cause of the outbreak is to be inquired into? Does not that affect the Foreign Office conduct of the negotiations up to the time of the outbreak?