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'Italian proceedings on the African coast of the Red Sea' [‎136r] (27/32)

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The record is made up of 16 folios. It was created in 19 Sep 1881. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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* From Foreign
No. 660.
Office, 9th September;
| From
No. 627.
Foreign Office, 31st August;
+ From Foreign
1881; No. 679.
Office, 16th September
Somali Coast; Sect. 11.
S From Foreign
No. 651.
Office, 6th September;
conversation between Mr. Macdonell and Signor
Malvano, the Political Director of the Italian
Poreign Office, which was reported in a Despatch,
No. 341, dated 27th August.* Upon this occasion
Signor Malvano specially dwelt on the incorrectness
of the reports, addressed to Lord Granville, that
the Italian Government, or its Agents at Assab,
claimed Paheita as belonging to Italy; not only,
he said, did they formally disclaim all pretension
over that territory, but looked upon it as an in
dependent State over which the Egyptian flag had
never flown ; and as no valid reason was offered by
the Egyptian Government for so uncalled for,
untimely, and unnecessary an expedition, they could
but see in it a menace and a provocation, planned
with a view to creating difficulties and embarrass
ments, which the Italian Government were de
termined to resist, and which they must resist in
order to uphold their own dignity, and that of the
nation. Signor Malvano urgently requested Mr.
Macdonell to assure Lord Granville that the Italian
Government had no intention whatever to extend
them territory at Assab; their only object now was
to find a satisfactory solution which would enable
them to escape in a dignified manner from the
embarrassments by which they were beset; but
that the course pursued by the Egyptian Govern
ment, if persisted in, could only lead to insuperable
difficulties at Assab, and render their position at
home untenable.
On the 30th Augustf Mr. Cookson telegraphed
from Alexandria that Eakhry Pasha had communi
cated to him a Despatch received from the Italian
Agent, in the sense of the instructions of his Go
vernment, already cited, adding that in consequence
of this formal refusal to recognize its rights over
Paheita, the Egyptian Government would be obliged
to take measures to secure its authority over the
African coast of the Ped Sea, but before coming to
any definite decision desired to know the answer of
Her Majesty’s Government to their request for the
despatch of a Pritish ship of war to Paheita. The
Egyptian Minister positively denied an allegation
of the Italian Government, that the object in send
ing troops to Paheita was to take advantage of the
Beilul massacre to change the statu quo at Assab.
He declared that orders for the step had been given
before that unfortunate event occurred.J
On the 31st August, Lord Granville informed
General Menabrea, in reply to his Note of the 26th,
that although Her Majesty’s Government had no
wish that the matter should be raised, yet it was
out of the question for them to object to the
Egyptian Government acting upon rights which
Her Majesty’s Government had always supported,
and still believed to be well founded. §
However, on the 1st September, in reply to his
various telegrams, Mr. Cookson was instructed to
inform the Egyptian Government that, without
raising any question as to their right to disembark
troops at Paheita, Her Majesty’s Government did

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The document, written by Adolphus Warburton Moore, discusses the following: the actual course of events at Assab and in the neighbourhood since May 1880; correspondence which has passed in the same period between the British, Italian and Egyptian Governments, and between the Political and Secret Department and the Foreign Office; and the proposed disembarkation of Egyptian troops at Raheita.

The situation in Assab was related to the Italian colonisation of the area during the period known as the 'Scramble for Africa'.

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16 folios
Written in
English in Latin script
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'Italian proceedings on the African coast of the Red Sea' [‎136r] (27/32), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B105, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 November 2019]

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