HC Deb 14 May 1888 vol 326 cc162-3
MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been called to a statement circulated by the Armenian Patriotic Association setting forth the horrible sufferings and persecutions of the Christians of Armenia, owing to which many of the Southern and Eastern Districts of the Province of Van are nearly depopulated of the Christian element; whether it is true, as alleged, that the British Consuls in Armenia are well aware of the facts set forth in the said statement, amongst others, that in certain districts— The prisons are filled by numberless Armenians (many of whom are clergymen), all of them arrested for groundless reasons. That— Some of them have been kept more than 40 hours without food and water, their hands, feet, and necks in chains extended cruciform on the wall, in a dark, cold, damp underground cell; whether, under the 61st Article of the Treaty of Berlin, Turkey did not engage to ameliorate the condition of its Christian subjects, and to introduce indispensable reforms; and, whether the Government has addressed any remonstrances to the Turkish Government on the subject, and with what result?


A copy of the statement in question has been communicated to the Foreign Office. The particular facts mentioned in the question have not been reported by any British Consular officer. A previous Memorial of the Armenian Patriotic Association was forwarded to Sir William White, who has replied that the statements contained in it go over so much ground, and that the means of testing their accuracy at his disposal are so limited, that he must ask for time before he can report upon them. The engagements of the Porte contained in the 61st Article of the Treaty of Berlin are contracted with all the Signatory Powers in common. No useful object would be attained by official representations to the Porte unless they are made upon well-substantiated facts, and in common with the other Powers.