HC Deb 26 June 1888 vol 327 cc1266-7
MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to the arrest more than two months ago on some supposed political ground of a number of Armenians in Constantinople, several of whom are teachers in schools supported by the Armenian community; whether these persons were detained in prison for some weeks, no formal charge having been brought against them; whether they have now, having never been tried nor afforded an opportunity of proving their innocence, been shipped off to Tripoli, where they are at present kept in banishment; and, whether Her Majesty's Government, considering not only the violations of justice involved in such arbitrary imprisonment, but also the irritation which such proceedings produce in the minds of the Armenian subjects of the Sultan, and the consequent dangers to the peace of Asiatic Turkey, will endeavour to obtain either the release of these persons and permission for them to return to their homes, or at least a fair and open trial for them?


Our information is necessarily imperfect on these matters; but suspicions of treasonable practices have, rightly or wrongly, been entertained by the Imperial Ottoman Government, and there have, consequently, been arrests. Her Majesty's Government will do their utmost to assist any persons who may have been arrested without cause or wrongly punished whenever they are able to ascertain that that such wrongs have been inflicted. But the mode of representing any such case to the Government must be left to the judgment of Her Majesty's Representatives on the spot, and be regulated by diplomatic 0usage.


asked the right hon. Gentleman, whether the Government would make inquiries in order to ascertain whether this was a particular case for interference by representation?


I have no doubt Her Majesty's Ambassador will endeavour, as far as possible, to make himself acquainted with the circumstances.