HC Deb 24 November 1884 vol 294 cc245-6

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to accounts recently received from Macedonia, describing the state of anarchy which prevails there, and the frequent occurrence of murders and other outrages; whether, having regard to the state of Macedonia, and to the fact that there is only one British Consul now in that country, viz., the Consul at Salonica, Her Majesty's Government will again consider the propriety of placing Vice Consuls at other points of the country, such as Uskiub or Prisrend; and, whether Papers containing the representations which Her Majesty's Government are understood to have recently addressed to the Forte, pressing upon it the necessity of proceeding to carry out the Organic Law for the European Provinces of Turkey, framed in 1880, will be presented to Parliament; and, if so, when?


The Reports from Her Majesty's Consul General at Salonica and the Consular Agents in Macedonia do not confirm those which have appeared in the newspapers, and which have been referred to him. But it appears that the state of things on the actual borders of Macedonia, Eastern Roumelia, and Bulgaria, and in Upper Albania and the adjoining district of Kossovo, is not satisfactory, the force at the disposal of the Government being insufficient to maintain order. There are Vice Consuls or Consular Agents at Kavala, Drama, Janina, Serres, and Previsa; but some of these places are outside the limits of Macedonia. The question whether any advantage is to be gained by appointing Vice Consuls at Uskiub and Prisrend will require consideration. Despatches showing the condition of affairs in Macedonia will be laid before Parliament; but Her Majesty's Government have not addressed any recent representation to the Porte in regard to the execution of the Organic Law of August, 1880, beyond those under which Lord Dufferin had discretion to make efforts in the manner and at the time which might be most judicious. I may, perhaps, be allowed to point out in connection with this subject that the Treaty of Berlin restored the direct government of the Porte in Macedonia, and that, consequently, the attempt to carry out the reforms stipulated for by Article XXIII. have had to be made under conditions which did not exist in regard to the autonomous Province of Eastern Roumelia.