§ EARL PERCY
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 345 whether disturbances of a serious character have occurred during the last four months in the Vilayet of Bitlis; and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Government will reconsider their decision to withdraw the British Vice-Consul from Bitlis.
§ * VISCOUNT CRANBORNE
At the end of July last a massacre of Armenians was reported to have taken place at Spag-hank in the Talori district of the Vilayet of Bitlis. Her Majesty's Vice-Consul at Van made inquiries into the matter, and although there were conflicting accounts of what took place, he could ascertain no more than that a small band of revolutionists took refuge in a church at Spag-hank, from which they fired on the Turkish troops, and in which they were eventually killed. This intelligence was supplied by a person who had visited and carefully examined Spag-hank, which is a small village of only six houses. There have been no reports of any further disturbances in the Vilayet of Bitlis. As my predecessor informed my noble friend on the 22nd of March last, Her Majesty's Government have not decided permanently to withdraw the British Vice-Consul from Bitlis, but the matter is under consideration.