HC Deb 10 June 1881 vol 262 cc236-7

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the statement in the public journals is correct that the First Lord of the Treasury has forwarded a letter to M. Zancoff, one of the leaders of the Constitutionalists in Bulgaria, expressing his sympathy with them in their endeavours to sustain the Constitution of their Country; whether there is any truth in the report that the Russian Government is sending officers and arms to Bulgaria to aid Prince Alexander in an attempt to subvert the Constitution which he had sworn to obey; and, whether any confirmation has been received by Her Majesty Government of the publication of a note in the Russian Official Gazette, in which it is stated that— The Russian Government desires the Bulgarian nation, placing confidence in the loyal words of the Prince, should remain faithfully united to him, and oppose the instigations of ambitious agitators who may plunge the Country into anarchy involving its ruin;" and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Government intends to communicate to the Bulgarian Constitutionalists that this appreciation of the confidence to be placed in the loyal words of the Prince, and of the results of their efforts to maintain the Constitution, is not shared in by Her Majesty's Government as one of the signatories of the Treaty of Berlin?


Sir, the first portion of my hon. Friend's Question should be addressed to the Prime Minister. Her Majesty's Government have received no such information as that referred to, respecting the despatch of Russian officers and arms to Bulgaria; and, with regard to the last Question, I can only repeat that Her Majesty's Government have not been called upon to express any opinion as to the recent events in that country so far as the main portion of the case is concerned.


asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether he would answer the first part of the Question?


Sir, a short time ago M. Zankoff addressed a letter to me on the state of affairs in Bulgaria; but it was not an official letter, audit did not draw forth an official reply. I had the pleasure of making that gentleman's acquaintance in 1876, and he therefore was quite entitled to write to me. The substance of my answer—I am quoting from memory—was that we had not received sufficient information to enable me to form a judgment on what was meditated in Bulgaria. I added, however, that the prepossession of the British Government must always be in favour of order, legality, and liberty. We have since received further information; but it will require elucidation before an opinion can be expressed upon it.