HC Deb 27 March 1882 vol 268 cc5-6

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with reference to the unfortunate circumstances that resulted in the death of Captain Selby at the hands of an Albanian shepherd, Whether he will take any action on the following passage in Lord Dufferin's letter to Earl Granville, as printed in the Parliamentary Paper just issued, In talking over the matter with Mr. Wrench (Her Majesty's Consul at Constantinople) and with Hobart Pasha, who has often shot over the locality where the attack was made, I am inclined to think the Albanians were irritated at their flocks being disturbed by the noise of the guns and by the dogs of the shooting party; and, whether he will inquire if any application was made to the Albanians for leave to shoot over their land; and, if it should be found that no such, application was made, and that the shooting party were consequently there as trespassers, whether he will ask the Turkish Government to deal leniently with the Albanian shepherds, who are charged with having taken part in the attack?


Her Majesty's Government do not propose to take any action on the passage quoted by the hon. Member. They are informed that there is no law in Turkey by which the owner of land can prevent persons from walking or shooting over his property unless it is surrounded by a wall or fence; and that the plea of trespass has not been raised at the trial of the persons implicated in the assault on Captain Selby, which is being conducted very correctly and without pressure from Her Majesty's Embassy. The locality where the assault took place is stated to have been frequently visited by sportsmen, and on the previous day the party were assisted in their search for game by some of the shepherds. It would, in the opinion of Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople, who has been consulted on the point, be altogether premature to address the Turkish Government in reference to the shepherds now undergoing their trial.