HC Deb 13 July 1897 vol 51 cc17-9

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether there is any truth in the statement that the Admirals have decided, and have published their decision, that for the future all columns marching in the interior of Crete shall be strengthened, and shall take cannon with them, and that any attack on the part of the insurgents will be visited with reprisals and severe repression?


The British Admiral has reported that while a column of Austrian and Italian troops was marching a short while ago from Canea to Platanea, the insurgents of Alikanu fired upon them more than 100 shots. The European troops did not return the fire. The insurgent leaders subsequently apologised for this act, and stated that the insurgents had mistaken the flags. The Admirals, however, regarded such a mistake as impossible, and accordingly warned the insurgents that if any further attack were made upon their troops, it would be replied to, and that the offenders would be seized. The Admirals also decided that the columns should in future be strengthened, and should if necessary take artillery with them. A subsequent march of the troops was unattended by incidents.


I would remind the right hon. Gentleman, with a view to asking him another question, that he stated to me last week that the Admirals had decided not to continue this route marching in the interior, owing to the protest of the insurgent leaders. Have the Admirals changed that decision?


I have no reason to believe that the march spoken of in the question was what the hon. Gentleman describes as a route march in the interior.


The right hon. Gentleman says 100 shots were fired. How many were killed and how many were wounded?


Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put his important question On the Paper, and I will endeavour to answer it. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.]


Important! I assert its importance. [Laughter.]


Order, order!


You will have the question to-morrow, then. What an important and superior person! [Laughter.]


I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether on Friday evening last several Christian houses in Candia were set on fire by lighted fuses soaked in petroleum, which were thrown into them by Mussulmans; and, what steps, if any, do the Powers intend to take for the prevent ion of outrages of this character?

MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Foreign Office is in receipt of any recent information concerning the state of affairs in Canea and in Candia; and, whether in the former town several Christian houses were set on fire by lighted fuses soaked in petroleum and thrown into them by Mahomedans?


As regards the situation at Candia and Canea Her Majesty's Consul at Canea reported in a telegram dated the 9th instant that at the request of the Governor of Candia, and with the approval of Colonel Chermside, an order had been issued by the Acting Governor General of Crete forbidding the carrying of antis by all persons in the City and district of Candia except those to whom special official permission should be issued. This order was to come into force on the 6th instant; In a further telegram dated the 11th instant, Her Majesty's Consul reported the election by the delegates from the different districts of Crete on Apokorona of the officers of the coming General Assembly. The choice made is considered by Her Majesty's Consul to be satisfactory. No information has been received with regard to the alleged incendiarism?


I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether a provisional tribunal has been constituted at Canea consisting of eight members, six Mahomedans and two Christians; and, if so, whether the Representatives of the Powers, in view of the disturbed condition of the public mind in Canea and other parts of Crete, have sanctioned the establishment of a tribunal on which the majority of the people are to be so inadequately represented.


Her Majesty's Government have received no information confirming this report.