HC Deb 25 July 1889 vol 338 cc1252-3
MR. SUMMERS (Huddersfield)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is the fact that the Kurdish brigand, Moussa Bey, when on his way to Constantinople, was received with manifestations of honour and sympathy by leading Mahommedan officials at Bitlis, Moush, Erzeroum, and Trebizond; whether, when the steamer that conveyed Moussa from Trebizond reached Constantinople, Generals Hassan and Bahri Pashas went on board; whether the aforesaid Generals had been deputed by the Sultan to convey to Moussa the Imperial salutations; whether Moussa was conducted to Yildiz Kiosk Palace, and had an audience of the Sultan; whether Moussa is now being entertained by his uncle, Bahri Pasha, the Mutessarrif of Pera; whether the Sultan has issued an Iradé, inviting all whom it may concern to come forward and substantiate the charges, if any, that they have to prefer against Moussa; whether, subsequently to the issue of this decree, 12 Armenian emigrants from Moush and Bitlis addressed to the Sultan a petition expressing their readiness to prove all the crimes alleged to have been committed by Moussa, or with his connivance; and whether these petitioners have been arrested and imprisoned in consequence of the action they have taken?


Her Majesty's Government have no information as to the manner of the reception of Moussa Bey at the places named, or as to an audience of the Sultan. Moussa Bey addressed a petition to the Sultan declaring the oppression and brigandage attributed to him to be without founda- tion, and that he has come to complain of the charges, and is ready to stand with complainants before the Court and abide judgment. An Imperial Iradé has been issued instructing the Ministry of Justice to notify to those concerned that the complainants, must bring their charges before the Tribunal in the regular way, and that if any suit is instituted against Moussa Bey it must be examined and decided with the greatest justice, equity, and despatch. The Iradé further provides that the Governors of Bitlis shall be instructed that if there are any persons on the spot to bring forward claims against Moussa Bey they must at once come to Constantinople. The alleged arrest of the members of an Armenian deputation is entirely denied, and Her Majesty's Ambassador has not obtained any confirmation of the report.

MR. JASPER MORE (Shropshire, Ludlow)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he can now give any information as to the proposed inquiry into the charges against Moussa Bey; and whether any provision will be made for the presence of reporters who are acquainted with the Turkish as well as other languages?


According to the information possessed by Her Majesty's Government it is not yet decided what Court will hear the case, but it is believed that it will be brought before an open Court of Justice. Her Majesty's Government are not informed whether provision will be made for the presence of reporters acquainted with Turkish as well as other languages. These are matters which belong to the internal administration of the Ottoman Empire.

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

When will the Papers promised by the right hon. Gentleman the hon. Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Bryce), be laid on the Table of the House?


I believe that they are virtually ready for presentation.