HC Deb 31 July 1894 vol 27 cc1407-8
MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

I beg to ask the Tinder Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is able to communicate the results of the renewed efforts which Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople has been desired to make on behalf of the Armenian Archbishops of Marash and Zeitoum and the Bishops of Hadjin and Arabgir, whose liberation is claimed on the ground that they have been unjustly punished; whether success has attended the efforts of Sir Philip Currie to obtain the release of the prisoners detained without trial in the prisons of Aleppo, Sivas, Angora, Van, Yuzgat, Adana, and Sinope; and whether, in view of the frequent representations in this House and elsewhere of the position of these untried prisoners, the Government will lay upon the Table of the House further Papers giving information as to the steps taken on behalf of the Armenians in Turkey?


I informed the hon. Member on the 19th of April that in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government it would serve no useful purpose to make any representation on behalf of the exiled Bishops of Hadjin and Arabgir. In May last the cases of the Archbishops of Marash and Zeitoum were brought before the Grand Vizier by Her Majesty's Embassy with a view to obtain some mitigation of their sentences. The reply was that they had been properly convicted and merited their sentences. It is, unfortunately, the case that many Armenian prisoners are still awaiting trial, and that the efforts of Her Majesty's Representatives in Turkey to hasten their trial have not been successful, but Her Majesty's Government have never undertaken to ask for their unconditional release. Her Majesty's Government do not consider it desirable to lay Papers relating to one phase only of the Armenian question, and they have frequently stated that a full publication of the correspondence would not be of advantage.