§ MR. HERBERT GLADSTONE (Leeds, W.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any estimate has been made of the cost to 12 the country of the blockade of Crete; and whether any arrangement has been arrived at for an equal apportionment of the total cost among the six Governments directly concerned in the Concert of Europe?
§ *THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. G. CURZON,) Lancashire, Southport
The answer to both Questions is in the negative.
§ MR. JAMES BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the six Powers have yet agreed upon the scheme of autonomy to be established in Crete; and, if so, whether the Sultan has accepted the scheme; and what progress is being made with the removal of the Turkish troops from Crete?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The question of the organisation of Crete is under the consideration of the Powers. It has not yet been possible to open discussion with the Porte on the subject, as the settlement of an armistice and the terms of peace between Turkey and Greece first require attention. The removal of the Turkish troops from Crete is dependent upon the formation of an adequate force for the preservation of public order—a measure which is now under discussion.
§ MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
asked if the right hon. Gentleman could say whether the Powers had yet agreed upon the choice of a Christian Governor for the island?
§ MR. J. C. FLYNN
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether an armed band of Mohammedans made a sortie from Candia on the night of the 29th instant, burned the village of Kalivia, killing 12 men and two women, and lifting a large number of cattle; and whether, in view of the exasperating effect likely to he produced by this raid on the Christian Cretans, the representatives of the 13 Great Powers will take adequate measures to protect the Christian population against the recurrence of such attacks?
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information is in the possession of Her Majesty's Government as to the Mohammedan attack from near Candia on Kalivia and the loss of life which occurred?
§ *MR. CURZON
It appears from telegraphic reports received from Sir A. Biliotti and Colonel Chermside that on the night of the 28th a secretly organised raid was made by Moslem peasants on the village of Ghalifa. The raid resulted in the death of 10 or 12 Christians and one or two women; cattle and sheep were carried off, and the olive oil deposits were destroyed. The Consul derives his information from Turkish sources. Colonel Chermside sent on the 30th instant to the insurgents informing them of his regret, and that the raid took place without the knowledge of the Governor, who had specially instructed the outposts that no movement of any sort was to take place. Colonel Chermside has been directed by the Admiral to insist upon the disarmament of the Mohammedans, who commenced the attack.
§ Mr. JOHN DILLON (Mayo, E.)
asked whether any punishment was to be awarded to or any effort made to bring to justice these murderers, because they were nothing else?
§ *MR. CURZON
That is an assurance which it is difficult, if not impossible, for me to give here, and I am afraid that if we are to give promises about meting out punishment to those who commence these disorderly attacks in Crete the whole time of our officials in that country will be taken up in so doing.
§ CAPTAIN PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say who is responsible at this present moment for the government of Crete?
§ *SIR C. DILKE
On behalf of the hon. Member for North Monmouth (Mr. R. McKENNA), I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information of a nature to supplement or contradict the statement in a letter of Rear Admiral Harris to Admiral Sir J. O. Hopkins, of 23rd April 1897, in which he describes the insurgent forces round the town of Candia as consisting of 3,000 fighting men, which might be raised to 8,000 or 10,000 for any operation on the outside of the town; and whether this may be taken as a substantially accurate estimate of the insurgent forces round Candia at the present moment?
§ MR. CURZON
In a Dispatch dated May 11th, Colonel Chermside stated that from the date named in the Question onwards there were reports of a considerable concentration of insurgent forces upon Candia, and that on one occasion it was estimated by the Turks that as many as 6,000 insurgents, including 600 horsemen, were present.