HC Deb 04 May 1897 vol 48 c1524
MR. G. LAMBERT (Devon, South Molton)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether at present there are practically no law courts, no council, and no gendarmes in Crete, and the whole island is governed by Military law; what further steps have been taken by the Government for securing self-government to the Cretans, and whether such self-government has been approved by the Christians in Crete; and whether food is becoming exhausted in the country, and desperation will probably result; and, if so, what action is advised by the Government to avert such consequences.


In that portion of the island which is in occupation by the Great Powers, the Turkish Authorities are still carrying on the administration with the old Gendarmerie. The Cretan Council has, of course, since the disturbance began ceased to meet. In the interior of the island no regular administration, so far as we know, exists. Her Majesty's Government have no means of taking separately any steps for the organisation of the autonomy which it is intended to grant to Crete. The Great Powers intend to carry the project into effect, but the continued presence of the Greek troops and the consequent attitude of the Christian Cretans render progress in this respect very difficult. As regards food supplies, there appears to be no lack of provisions in the interior, where the Christians, in addition to their own crops, have the disposal of the crops of the evicted Mussulmans. It is only on the coast, where great masses of Cretan Mahomedans are gathered together, that there is any serious fear of destitution.