HC Deb 12 February 1856 vol 140 cc611-2

I wish to ask a question of the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government; but if it be inconvenient to him to answer it at once I will repeat it on Thursday. There is a report that Conferences are being held at Constantinople for the arrangement of certain questions referring to the rights of the Christian subjects of Turkey, and also for the settlement of the Principalities; it is also reported that from these Conferences the representative of the Sardinian Government has been excluded, and that he has in consequence protested. I wish to ask the noble Lord whether the Sardinian Minister has been excluded from these Conferences; and, if so, on what account?


It has been arranged between the Governments of France, England, Austria, and Turkey that the representatives of the three first-named Powers at Constantinople should meet for the purpose of considering, in conjunction with the Turkish Government, the measures referred to in the fourth and first points—that is, the arrangements to be made by the Sultan in favour of his Christian subjects, and those to be made in regard to the Principalities. The Sardinian Government has not been communicated with upon these matters. They were not considered to be connected with the general treaty of peace, but were intended, if possible, to be settled by the authority of the Sultan independently, and not as part of the arrangements resulting from that treaty. The Sardinian Chargé d' Affaires applied to be admitted to the Conferences. The Ambassadors of England and France had no instructions upon the subject. They wrote for such instructions; and meanwhile the Sardinian Minister had returned to Turin. The proceedings of the Conferences have hitherto been confined to matters arising out of the fourth point—namely, the arrangements to be made for the protection of the rights and privileges of the non-Mussulman subjects of the Porte.

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