THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a Question of which I have given him private Notice, Whether Her 1864 Majesty's Government have received from the Russian Government any proposals on the subject of a joint occupation of the Province of Eastern Roumelia by the Powers who were parties to the Treaty of Berlin, upon the retirement of the Russian Army from that Province; and, if not, if he is able to give the House any information in regard to any negotiations that may have taken place in consequence of those communications?
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
wished also to put a Question, of which he had given the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer private Notice—namely, Whether there is any truth in a telegram from Berlin, dated March 26, which asserts that Article 16 of the Treaty of Berlin is to be set aside, and a "mixed occupation" of East Roumelia is to take place; and, whether the Porte has given its consent to and will take part in that occupation? Also, whether this course has been assented to by Her Majesty's Government in virtue of a secret agreement that Russia shall be free to advance to Merv and shall not oppose the advance of English troops to Herat?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
In answer to the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington), I can only say that communications upon this subject have been received by Her Majesty's Government from the Government of Russia, and I believe also by the Governments of the other Powers who were parties to the Treaty of Berlin. The subject is still under discussion; and it would not, therefore, be convenient to express any opinion upon it at the present time. I have not seen the telegram to which the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) refers. It certainly seems to contain some very strange news.