HC Deb 14 July 1890 vol 346 cc1598-600
MR. LEVESON-GOWER (Stoke-upon-Trent)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he already possesses, or will endeavour to obtain, any information as to the correctness of the following statements in the Daily News of 11th July, that; according to the Official Report, nine persons were killed, and 78 wounded, and three shops and six houses pillaged at Erzeroum on the 20th ultimo; that the Armenian Patriarch has received orders from the Minister of Justice to dissolve the Civil and Ecclesiastical Armenian Councils at Van, and to recall the Bishop to the capital, thereby removing some of the few remaining restraints upon the exactions of the Turkish officials, and the brutalities of the Kurds; and, lastly, that certain Armenian peasants of the village of Alakilesse, in the Province of Sivas, were burnt alive by the police, owing to their inability to satisfy the tax-gatherer's demands, without any punishment of the Zaptiehs ensuing, in spite of the written complaint of the Armenian Prelate of Sivas; and whether, in the event of these reports proving correct, the Government will direct Her Majesty's Representative at Constantinople to urge the Porte to rescind the orders issued by the Minister of Justice, and to punish the authors of the outrage at Alakilesse?


A very unfortunate incident occurred at Erzeroum at the date mentioned, when a search for arms was made in an Armenian church and school with the consent of the, Bishop. This was resented by the Armenians, who appear to have been responsible for the not which followed including an attack on their own Bishop. Some shots were also fired on the troops, which took fatal effect upon them, as well as killing the sexton of the church, and in the subsequent collision and rioting the loss of life was greater than stated in the question, some 20 having been killed and from 200 to 300 wounded. The Vali used his best efforts, and succeeded in preventing further misfortunes. Certain recommendations made by the British, French, and Russian Consuls were communicated to the Porte, and representations were at the same time made by the British and French, and it is believed by the Russian Embassy also, and order has been re-established. Her Majesty's Government have no information with regard to the other matters mentioned in the question.


Will Her Majesty's Government take advantage of the presence of Sir William White in this country to confer with him as to the serious condition of affairs in Armenia?


I have no doubt that the Secretary of State will avail himself of the opportunity of Sir W. White's visit to confer with him on this and other subjects.

In reply to Mr. F. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye),


said: I do not think there is any need for special instructions.

MR. J. O'KELLY (Roscommon, N.)

I understand that Mr. Clifford Lloyd has sent in a Report. Will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to lay it on the Table of the House?


I have no doubt that Papers will be presented giving Reports of what has taken place, Mr. Clifford Lloyd has carefully reported on all of these cases.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

When will the Papers be presented? Will it be before the end of the Session?


Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will be good enough to put the question on the Paper.