§ MR. RITCHIE
asked the Under Secreetary of State for Foreign Affairs, 876 Whether Her Majesty's Government propose to take any steps with a view of making their influence directly felt in Bulgaria, in order to prevent the recurrence of events similar to those which took place in that district in the month of June last?
§ MR. BOURKE
Several earnest representations have been made to the Porte with regard to the cruel and atrocious deeds that have taken place in Bulgaria, and the Porte has been informed that the recital of these deeds has created in the English mind the greatest indignation and horror. We have reason to believe that these occurrences have ceased some little time ago, and we have also reason to believe that exemplary punishment is being inflicted by the Porte upon the perpetrators of these dreadful barbarities. Her Majesty's Government have thought it advisable, with a view to bringing their influence directly to bear upon this unhappy Province, to appoint a Consular Agent upon the spot, in order that they may have the means of communicating directly with our Representative in Bulgaria. Under these circumstances the Consular Agent has been appointed at Philippopolis, and special directions and instructions will be given to him on the subject of the atrocities, so that Her Majesty's Government may now be said to be in direct communication with the scene of these atrocious deeds.
§ MR. FAWCETT
asked, When the Government intended to take the third reading of the Appropriation Bill, on which Motion his hon. Friend the Member for Poole (Mr. Evelyn Ashley) had given Notice that he would raise a debate in relation to this subject?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
The arrangement which the Government had contemplated was to read the Appropriation Bill a third time to-morrow, and we had expected that it would not interfere with the Indian Budget. Under these circumstances we should have been prepared to proceed with the Lords' Amendments to the Merchant Shipping Bill on Friday. But the Notice which has been given by the hon. Member for Poole is one of such importance as to render it necessary that there should be a proper opportunity for discussion. Therefore, what we now propose is that we should now take the third reading of the Appropriation Bill 877 on Thursday, because it would not be possible to do justice both to the Motion of the hon. Member for Poole and to the Indian Budget. The third reading of the Appropriation Bill will be taken on Friday; but we are not at the present moment in a position to say whether we should propose to take it at a Morning Sitting on Friday or in the evening at 4 o'clock. Notice will be given upon that subject. If we should be able to take it at a Morning Sitting on Friday we might be able to proceed with the Merchant Shipping Bill Amendments in the evening, but if we are not able to proceed with these Amendments then they must be taken on Saturday.
§ MR. BOURKE,
in reply, said, that he had presented these Papers yesterday, and hoped that they would be in the hands of Members to-morrow.