HC Deb 11 December 1900 vol 88 cc497-8
MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any official congratulations were sent to the Sultan of Turkey from this country upon the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his accession to the throne; and, if so, what were the terms of those congratulations; and whether it was by the orders or with the approval of Her Majesty's Government that the British Fleet was illuminated upon that occasion.


Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople presented a letter from the Queen to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of Turkey on the 1st of September, congratulating him on attaining the twenty-fifth anniversary of his accession to the throne. This course was in conformity with that adopted by the other Great Powers, many of whom sent special missions to Constantinople for the purpose. It is not the practice to make public the terms of such letters, and no exception to the rule can be made in the present instance. It was decided that Vice-Admiral Sir John Fisher, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Squadron, who was about to visit Constantinople at this date, should associate himself with Her Majesty's Ambassador on the occasion, and the despatch boat, in which he proceeded, was illuminated, together with vessels of other nations, and those of the Ottoman Fleet, on the evening of the 1st of September.


Were Her Majesty's representatives instructed to ask when the massacres in Armenia will cease?