HC Deb 08 March 1877 vol 232 cc1574-5

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he can inform the House what is the present condition of Bosnia, especially whether it is true that a considerable part of the Province is still the scene of obstinate insurrection, and that, owing to continued gross oppressions by the Mahommedans, a large proportion of the Christian population of the Province are passing the winter in mountain caves and holes, and other wretched asylums, on the Austrian fron- frontier, in the most miserable manner; also whether it is true, as stated into- day's papers, that a subsidy of 4,000,000 piastres has been levied on the revenue of Bosnia; and, whether Her Majesty's Government are now engaged in any effort to put a stop to these miseries?


My hon. Friend has given me no Notice of the additional Question he has asked me with reference to a subsidy; but if he will kindly give me Notice, I shall be very happy to answer it. With regard to the other Question upon the Paper, I do not think there is any foundation for the general statement contained in the Question. The latest reports from Mr. Freeman at Bosnia Serai state that 80 men were attacked by the insurgents on their road from Niksich to Gatchko, and that the Prince of Montenegro refuses to permit further revictualling of Niksich. The Insurgent Chief, Peko Paulovich, holds Kristach in considerable force. But we have no information to justify the general statement of the hon. Member. I am afraid that there is much distress and suffering amongst the refugees; but it must be remembered that that is a state of things which may be accounted for by the fact that the country has been, and to a certain extent still is, in a state of civil war. We have, however, reason to hope that when peace is concluded between the Porte and Montenegro tranquillity may be restored to the adjoining Provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.