HC Deb 27 March 1879 vol 244 cc1863-4

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a Question of which I have given him private Notice, Whether Her 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?


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?


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.