§ MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he can confirm the report that Turkish troops have surrounded the Irish Mission and native Christians at Antioch; whether a massacre is apprehended; whether any British war ships are in the Gulf of Antioch; and, whether, in the event of massacres, they are at liberty to take on board refugees?
Reinforcements of Turkish troops were recently sent to the Antioch district for the purpose of arresting certain agitators who were said to be exciting the villagers to rise against the Government. Information has since been received that about 15 revolutionists have been surrendered to the Turkish authorities by the Armenian villagers without resistance, and that the difficulty was almost settled. There appears to be no reason to apprehend a massacre. One of Her Majesty's vessels was stationed for a short time in the Gulf of Antioch, and arrangements have been made for occasional visits. With regard to taking refugees on board Her Majesty's ships, the Commanding Officers are guided by Rules laid down in the "Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions." These are, however, I am afraid, too long to admit of being fairly summarised in reply to a Question.