HC Deb 13 February 1896 vol 37 c241

I desire to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he was correctly reported in The Times of yesterday to have stated the preceding night, "We are free from any engagement as to the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire," whether he made this declaration on behalf of the Government, and whether he is aware of the Convention of June 4, 1878, concluded with Turkey?


I do not know whether my hon. Friend was present when I spoke on Tuesday night. I do not know what I have been reported to have said; but I perfectly remember the context and gist of my remarks. The question at issue had been the Cyprus Convention; and speaking of that Convention, I expressed my belief, by which I hold, that the Sultan not having carried out the reforms which he promised, we are relieved of any engagement under that Convention to defend the integrity of the Sultan's dominions in Asia Minor. [Opposition cheers.] I was not speaking of the older Treaties to which my hon. Friend refers.