HC Deb 15 February 1878 vol 237 cc1734-5

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If he can, with convenience to the public service, inform the House the names of the European Powers invited by Her Majesty's Government to send ships of war to Constantinople, and whether for the purpose of protecting the subjects of their several States, or in case of need, the entire Christian population located in the city; and, if he can state the nature of the replies received?


A communication was made to all the principal Powers, and I am afraid that I cannot conveniently enter in detail into the answers received; but they were generally to this effect—Austria has applied for a firman, but I do not know whether it has been granted. France and Italy.—[Mr. GLADSTONE was understood to make a communication.]—We have been informed of that. A communication, of course, was made in answer to an invitation communicated by Her Majesty's Government to certain foreign Powers, and these foreign Powers naturally would inform Her Majesty's Government of anything they did. The Austrian Government applied for a firman, but we are not informed whether it has been granted. Italy and Prance gave instructions to their Ambassadors to apply for a firman in case of need; but they have hitherto refrained from doing so. The German Government have stated that they do not, under present circumstances, intend to apply for a firman.