HC Deb 29 June 1899 vol 73 cc975-6

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will communicate to the House copies of the Notes which have been addressed to the Porte by Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople, demanding pecuniary compensation on behalf of Mohammedan British subjects who have been outraged between Jeddah and the cities of Mecca and Medina when performing religious duties in the Hedjaz; and whether, as seven years have elapsed since the attention of the Porte was called to the inability of the Governor-General of Turkish Arabia to protect pilgrims from murder, outrage, and plunder, Her Majesty's Government will now join the Government of the Netherlands in making renewed representations to his Imperial Majesty the Sultan on the subject of the safe conduct of British and Dutch subjects whilst travelling on the highways and turnpike roads in Arabia on a visit to the Mohammedan shrines.


It is true that in 1892 Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople represented strongly to the Porte the need of measures to prevent attacks by Bedouins on British Indian pilgrims, and orders were then issued for their adoption. But further representations have been made since then on the insecurity of the Mecca and Medina roads. In October, 1896, Sir P. Currie sent a Note to the Porte on the subject again. In February of this year Sir N. O'Conor called their attention to robberies committed in the Hedjez between 1892 and 1898, and presented a note verbal on the claims of British Indian subjects for compensation. I shall be happy to show these notes, if desired, to the hon. Member, but do not propose to lay them on the Table of the House.