HC Deb 22 July 1858 vol 151 cc1931-3

said, he would beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, what communi- cations have passed between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Turkey on the subject of the recent outrages at Jeddah; whether Her Majesty's Government have insisted on the summary punishment of the offenders; and whether they are in possession of any information whether it is possible for ships of war to take up such a position in the Harbour of Jeddah, as to enable them to give effectual protection to the Christian population in the event of any future disturbance?


in reply said, that on a former occasion he had stated that the Cyclops had been telegraphed to, and ordered to return with other vessels to Jeddah immediately, and the officers were instructed, if ample reparation were not given, to bombard Jeddah, and insist on the immediate punishment of all the parties concerned in the outrage. He could now state that the Cyclops immediately sailed for Jeddah, and he was informed by the captain that by lightening the vessel she could approach quite close to the town; and the captain added that she was so heavily armed that she could perform any service required of her. There was also a very heavy armament for the whole of her boats. This determination of the British Government was immediately communicated without reserve to the Turkish Government, and information had been received that the Turkish Government forthwith ordered a general officer to Jeddah to enforce the summary punishment of the murderers. In a subsequent despatch from the Foreign Office, Sir Henry Bulwer was instructed to say that this was a case in which the British Government could not be trifled with:— And that even great political objects, as they regard our alliance with the Porte, must yield to the paramount principle of supporting Christian and British prestige in those regions. It was not enough to send a general to Jeddah. Troops were wanted there, but, above all, a public execution of the murderers immediately. The Pasha ought to have the power of life and death without tedious references to Constantinople. Three ships had been ordered to Jeddah, and we should seize the place if justice was not speedily obtained. Sir Henry Bulwer was instructed to state this to the Grand Vizier without reserve. He (Mr. S. FitzGerald) could further inform the hon. Gentleman that, in consequence of these representations, an officer of the highest rank had been despatched from Constantinople; that he was backed by a very large force; that he was authorized to proclaim martial law, and without any reference whatever to Constantinople to inflict immediate punishment upon the authors of the outrage. He could state also, that not only had the Ministers of the Sublime Porte at Constantinople adopted these measures, but that the Sultan had personally sent his Secretary to Sir Henry Bulwer to say there was nothing His Majesty would not do to testify his indignation at the outrage and to satisfy the British Government. In testimony of that feeling his Imperial Majesty had placed 1,000,000 piastres at the disposal of the British and French Governments, to be distributed among the sufferers, and had also signified his intention of settling an amount of upwards of £400 a year upon the daughter of the French Consul and the representative of the British Vice Consul.