HC Deb 08 September 1893 vol 17 cc747-8

"That a sum, not exceeding £45,471, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 3lst day of March 1894, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Department of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affaire."

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)

said it was understood that his hon. Friend the Member for Preston (Mr. Hanbury) would raise the question of Armenia, but, as the hon. Member was not here, he thought it was right he should raise the question, and that they might have some statement from the Government in regard to it. Her Majesty's Government, he thought, must have something to say upon a question of this kind. He had no doubt the facts relating to that country were in the possession of Her Majesty's Government, and he trusted they would have an assurance from Her Majesty's Government that the various questions involved would be dealt with in a proper manner, and, above all, that Papers would be laid on the Table without delay.


On this question, Sir, I should like to say I cannot promise that the Papers will be immediately laid on the Table of the House. They required much consideration. Very strong measures were taken by the Porte—not only strong, but somewhat indiscriminate, which culminated in the trial at Angora. The right hon. Gentleman is aware of the state of matters. The accused were not allowed to produce witnesses, and Her Majesty's Government considered whether they should not make representations to the Porte in the interests of justice and mercy. These representations were strictly limited to the case of persons as to whom there was no doubt in the mind of any reasonable man that they were innocent. In two cases the results, as is known, were eminently satisfactory. The practice of making representations at Constantinople under the Treaty of Berlin does not invariably produce good results; and it is, I am sure it will be acknowledged, a practice which should be carefully guarded. Her Majesty's Government have taken care, as one of the Treaty Powers, to discharge their obligations. That is a fair statement of our position, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman and his friend will be satisfied that we have not been at fault.


said, he would point out that if Her Majesty's Government were required to interfere in Armenia by the Treaty of Berlin—the 61st Article—and he did not believe they were—if that was the case, however, surely they would be justified in interfering on the side of Turkey under the 11th Article. What had been done in that direction? He would like to know had anything been done? He had to complain that, with regard to the Pamirs, to Afghanistan, and to Siam they had not been able to obtain any information from Her Majesty's Government. He would like to point out that, in these matters, the strongest position this country could take up was to decline secret negotiations. He knew that was not the opinion all round; but it was his opinion, and he strongly urged it upon the Government. He was sorry they had not more information on these subjects—the subjects that had been mentioned—for it was his conviction that no Minister could carry on a worthy foreign policy unless he had the people of England behind him, and that could not happen unless the people were kept informed of what was going on. He would venture to express a hope that Papers on the various subjects would be laid on the Table without delay.

SIR T. LEA (Londonderry, S.)

said, there was a strong feeling in Madagascar, as well as in England, that the Slave Trade was increasing in consequence of the laxity on the part of the French Government in putting a stop to it. He thought Her Majesty's Government should be in a position to deal with a question of such serious importance, and he ventured to intervene merely for the purpose of asking them to do so. The question was a serious one, and, for his part, he should be very glad to have something done in regard to it.

Resolution agreed to.