HC Deb 08 April 1851 vol 115 cc1228-9

begged to ask the noble Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress had been made towards the settlement of the frontier between Turkey and Persia, and whether the rumour that Astrakan had been ceded to Russia was correct; and also whether there was any truth in the report that the Turkish Go- vernment were negotiating a loan with this country?


said, that if the hon. Gentleman would, in private, in-form him what specific details he required for any purpose he might have in view, they should be readily supplied to him. The House was aware that the British and Russian Governments had for some years past been mediating between Turkey and Persia in relation to various differences that had threatened to involve those Powers in war, both of which insisted very pertinaciously, and often very wrongly, on their supposed rights; but he was happy to say that an arrangement was very likely to be made which would settle the main question, and leave only the local matters to be decided by the commissioners. The mediation, in fact, commenced under the late Sir Robert Peel's Government. By this mediation a treaty of peace had been effected, in which certain lines of boundary were described, and under which certain towns, which had been matters of dispute, were to be given up on either side. Four commissioners, an English, Russian, Turkish, and Persian, were appointed to mark out the boundaries indicated in the treaty, but no satisfactory progress had for some time been made, owing to the tenacity with which the Mahomedan commissioners insisted on their respective pretensions. Tie understood, however, that of late better progress had been effected, and that the survey was advancing towards completion. With respect to the report that Astrakan was to be ceded to Russia, he had to state that it was entirely unfounded. It most probably had arisen from the wish of the Russian Government to maintain a number of hostile buildings on their frontier. As to the loan to Turkey, nothing could be farther from the intentions of the British Government than to have anything to do with a foreign loan. The experience of the last few years had been quite lesson enough. There had certainly been a proposition submitted to various private persons, but the Government had nothing to do with it.

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