HC Deb 24 April 1896 vol 39 c1643
MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he will state the specific charges made against Mr. Knapp, lately residing in Bitlis; whether Mr. Knapp has been the local almoner of the Armenian Relief Fund, and an active distributor of money, bread, and clothing to the destitute Armenians at Bitlis; and, what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken, or will take, either alone or in conjunction with the United States Government, to secure the recovery of the relief funds found in Mr. Knapp's possession, and confiscated by the Turkish authorities, and his release from custody at Diarbekir?


Mr. Knapp was called upon by the authorities at Bitlis to answer a charge of breaking the peace and of stirring up the Armenians against the Turks, who had thereby been moved to reprisals. He was engaged with other missionaries in the distribution of relief, but the United States Legation at Constantinople considered that it would be best to arrange the difficulty by withdrawing him, and it was agreed with the Porte that he should leave Bitlis when the weather and the state of the roads permitted. According to telegrams recently published in the newspapers, Mr. Knapp was on his way to Alexandretta. There is no information that any funds in his possession were seized by the Turkish authorities.

MR. J. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

asked if relief was being distributed?


Yes, Sir. Relief is being distributed at Bitlis under the supervision of the British Consul, who has expressed himself as satisfied with the arrangements that have been made. ["Hear, hear!"]