HC Deb 12 February 1897 vol 46 cc264-5
MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire,) Eifion

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any and what number of Armenian refugees have been admitted to Cyprus; whether any such refugees have been prevented from landing in Cyprus; if so, to what extent and for what reasons; and whether, in the event of fresh troubles arising in Asia Minor, Armenian refugees will be permitted to land in Cyprus?


The High Commissioner reported in September last that 80 Armenian refugees had arrived at Larnaca, of which number one-half left immediately for other destinations; and early in October he reported the arrival of 40 more. Since then no definite information has been received, but there appears to have been no immigration on any large scale. In addition to those mentioned above, a small number of Armenian widows and children, about 20 persons, have been received in Cyprus by a private agency. Some of these have since been sent to Egypt. No refugees have hitherto been prevented from landing in Cyprus, but, with regard to the future, I may say that the Government of Cyprus have no funds at their disposal for the relief of distress nor for the construction of works on which it would be possible to employ Armenian immigrants. Nor is there any probability of such immigrants being able to obtain private employment; and in these circumstances, if any large influx of destitute refugees were likely to take place, it would be probable that Her Majesty's Government would have great pressure put upon them by the local authorities in the interests of the island community, to authorise the High Commissioner to exercise the powers vested in him by statute, for preventing the landing of destitute immigrants.