HC Deb 02 July 1896 vol 42 cc534-5
MR. J. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, what steps have been taken to carry out the recommendations made by Mr. Fitzmaurice (in his recent Report upon the massacres in Northern Syria) for securing the safety of the Christians who, having been forced by the threat of death to declare themselves Mussulmans, have returned, or desire to return to their Christian faith?


Her Majesty's Ambassador was informed, in reply to the representations which he made in consequence of Mr. Fitzmaurice's Reports, that the Sultan had decided on the following measures: Regular troops would be substituted for reserves; a Commission of Inquiry, then at Marash, would be instructed to proceed at once to Biredjik to inquire into the question of the church which had been converted into a mosque, and in the event of this being the case to restore it to its former condition and deliver it back to the Christian community; further instructions would be sent to the Commission not to leave Biredjik until, by means of efficacious measures, confidence was thoroughly restored, so that the converts might be enabled to declare openly and officially their real religious views and perform their religious worship in perfect security. Mr. Fitzmaurice has been directed to return to Biredjik in order to watch the proceedings of the Commission.


said the information the right hon. Gentleman had given was contained in the Dispatch of May 18. What he desired to know was what steps had been taken to carry out the promises given?


said, if the right hon. Gentleman would give him notice, he would endeavour to ascertain.