HC Deb 14 July 1898 vol 61 cc937-8

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Porte has addressed a protest to all the Powers concerned in proposing the provisional arrangement for the government of Crete; and what action it is proposed to take in face of this protest?


The Porte has made the protest alluded to; but I am not aware of any action that is in consequence required. The provisional scheme of government is in the meantime being proceeded with.

SIR C. DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

Will the Admirals, then, continue during a period of indefinite time to govern the towns of Crete where the Assembly has no power?


Yes, Sir; I think the period may be called indefinite in so far as it is at present impossible to fix a limit to it.


Can the right honourable Gentleman say whether the Admirals will actually exercise authority now in the town of Candia, instead of leaving it in the hands of the English military officer?


That Question shows a misapprehension of what has happened in the town of Candia. Papers will be laid which will show that there has been continuous co-operation between the council of Admirals and the British officer in charge of Candia.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

May I ask whether we are to understand from that statement that the negotiations for the selection of a governor of Crete are, in the meantime, suspended, or whether they are stall going on?


I think the former is the truer description. No negotiations are at the present moment actually in progress on the point.


With reference to the two statements that Germany and Austria remain in the Concert, and that the Admirals must remain because they cannot safely be replaced, may I ask whether Germany and Austria will take part in the consideration of the question whether the Admirals can be safely replaced, and the forces of those countries, having been withdrawn—


Order, order! That is a Question which ought to be put on the Notice Paper.

MR. COURTNEY (Cornwall, Bodmin)

May I ask whether the Provisional Committee can be dissolved only by the unanimous decision of the Admirals, or by a majority of them?


That is a point as to which I do not know whether it has been discussed; it is a very important one, and I will look into it.

MR. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)

Where will the Provisional Committee get the funds for the purpose of carrying on the government?