*MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can confirm the statement published at page 95 of the French Yellow-book on Armenian affairs, that Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs proposed on 13th August 1895 to Baron de Courcel, French Ambassador in London, to confide the surveillance by the Rowers of the execution of Armenian reforms provided for by the Treaty of Berlin, to a Commission organised on the spot which might be composed of four Ottoman delegates and of one representative of each of the three Powers; what part it was proposed should be taken in such a Commission by the other Powers signatories of the Treaty of Berlin; and whether the proposal still subsists, or has now been abandoned?
§ *THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFATRS (MR. G. CURZON,) Lancashire, Southport
1442 The Dispatch recording the conversation referred to will be found on page 120 of the Correspondence presented to Parliament in Turkey No. 1, 1896; and a considerable amount of correspondence with regard to it is contained in the pages which follow. The reason for which it was suggested that the three Commissioners should be nominated by Great Britain, France, and Russia was that they were the only Great Powers who possessed representatives on the spot, and that these representatives had been acting in concert since the events arising out of the Sasun massacre in 1894. The Porte strongly objected to the proposed surveillance Commission, and when a scheme of reforms which was considered to be satisfactory by the Great Powers was accepted by the Sultan the idea of the Commission was abandoned.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I gather that it was proposed that no other Powers signatories to the Treaty of Berlin should take part?
§ *MR. CURZON
Yes. It was proposed that the Commission should be constituted, in addition to the Ottoman delegates, of representatives of those three Powers alone.