HC Deb 06 August 1888 vol 329 cc1696-7

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is the fact that Mrs. Barker, a British subject residing at Aleppo, who was violently dispossessed of her house there by a dragoman attached to the Turkish Governer of Aleppo, remains unable to recover possession of her house and compensation for the injuries she has suffered, because the Turkish Court refuses to carry out the judgment it has pronounced in her favour; whether the Turkish authorities, on being appealed to to require the Court to enforce its sentence, reply by advising Mrs. Barker to bring an action against the Judges of the Court; and, whether Her Majesty's Government, considering the long and oppressive denial of justice from which this lady has suffered, will represent to the Turkish Government the hardship of the case (which was brought to their knowledge more than a year ago), and will endeavour to obtain due redress and better security for British subjects living in the Sultan's dominions?


Mrs. Barker brought an action against Jed in the Aleppo Court for recovery of her house; it was decided in her favour by the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal. Jed then appealed to the Court of Cassation at Constantinople. That Court was ready, on the 31st of January last, to give judgment on either party making application for it, and Mrs. Barker was advised by the Embassy to appoint an agent to do so. This advice she has not followed, and consequently Sir William White took the only step open to him, and requested the Minister of Justice to recommend the settlement of the case to the Court of Cassation. With reference to the criminal proceedings at Aleppo, Mrs. Barker complained that her adversary had bribed the members of the tribunal; but the opinion of the Embassy and Consul General at Constantinople is that unless she can succeed in proving this, she must appeal to a higher Court, and that, as the accused is not a British subject, Her Majesty's Government would not be justified in interfering against the sentence of the Aleppo Court.