HC Deb 20 June 1862 vol 167 cc806-7

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether accounts have been received that the Turkish Fortress at Belgrade have bombarded the Servian portion of that town? Whether Baron Hubner has offered, at Constantinople, the assistance of Austrian Troops to co-operate with the Porte, either in Bosnia, Servia, or elsewhere; and whether any such intervention by one of the Great Powers, independently of the others, is compatible with the existing Treaties?


stated in reply, that the Government had received information that the Turkish fortress at Belgrade had bombarded the Servian portion of the town. He understood that the Servians had offered considerable provocation to the Turks. Two or three of the latter had been murdered, and on the 16th the Servians, by a surprise, took possession of two of the gates of the Turkish quarter. On the 17th, some shots having been fired at the fortress, the Turkish garrison was led to believe that an attack was going to be made upon them, and opened a bombardment on a part of the town. The Consuls immediately interfered; and as soon as the British Government were apprised of the occurrence, they took such measures as they thought most calculated to stop the effusion of blood. The bombardment, he believed, did not last more than four hours. A telegram had just been received from the Turkish Government stating that a Commissioner would be immediately despatched to Belgrade to investigate the matter, and that every effort would be made to bring about a satisfactory settlement of the differences which had arisen. He was not aware that the Austrian Ambassador had offered to send troops to co-operate with the Porte in Bosnia, Servia, or elsewhere. With regard to the third question, he could only say that the interpretation of European Treaties could not be decided by a mere question and answer in that House, and any expression of opinion on his own part could be but that of an individual.