HC Deb 14 July 1908 vol 192 cc604-6
MR. O'GRADY (Leeds, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to fresh massacres and outrages committed by Turkish troops in the neighbourhood of Van, at the village of Khatchen, under the pretext of searching for arms from the Armenian inhabitants, and to the fact that these outrages continued for ten days; that two women and seven men died as a result of bastinadoing, and that more than fifty women are now suffering from tortures inflicted by the troops; and that the Armenian population is seeking to emigrate en masse to escape further expected atrocities; and, if so, whether steps can be taken by His Majesty's Government to lodge a protest with the Porte to prevent any further outrages.

MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)

At the same time may I ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the tortures and cruelty and extortion recently inflicted by Turkish troops upon the Armenian inhabitants of the village of Khatchen, near Van, and the outrages upon the women of the village; whether this recrudescence of outrage coming after the massacres at Van in April last will induce the Government to prevent a general massacre of Armenians, such as occurred in 1895, by causing an immediate inquiry to be made by British consuls of the district into the action of the Turkish troops, or by taking such other steps as may influence the Porte to put a stop to the present atrocities?


His Majesty's Minister at Constantinople reports that he has heard of no atrocities at Khatchen, but that he is making inquiries of His Majesty's Vice-Consul at Van on the subject. There have been rumours that in the search for arms in the Garchicam district excessive severity has been used, and the attention of the Sublime Porte has been drawn to the matter, with the result that an inquiry is being made with a view to the punishment of the guilty parties should the rumours prove to be well founded.

MR. LYNCH (Yorkshire, W.R., Ripon)

asked if Papers connected with this part of Asia could not be laid, in view of the fact that it was long since the House had any.


was understood to ask for notice.


inquired if it were not the fact that the perpetrators of these outrages were known and would energetic steps be taken to bring them to justice?


I have said that inquiries are being made with a view to their discovery.


What powers are there compelling the Porte to take action?


There are certain Treaty obligations.