HC Deb 15 July 1909 vol 7 cc2283-4

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can furnish any information as to the present state of affairs in Persia; whether he is satisfied as to the present safety of British life and property in that country; and what steps he intends to take to secure it for the future?


His Majesty's Minister at Tehran has reported that the Fedai and Bakhtiaris have entered Tehran. The latest news is that the Royalist resistance in Tehran was practically at an end last night, and negotiations were in progress with the leaders of the Fedai and Bakhtiaris for the surrender of the Persian Cossacks. Except for one case of alleged looting of a British house by roughs, and unimportant damage to a few houses from artillery fire, the persons and property of foreigners have not so far as His Majesty's Minister is aware suffered. Some apprehension has been felt by foreigners in Tehran, but hitherto neither the British nor the Russian representative has come to the conclusion that any special measures for protection are necessary, and no Russian troops have been ordered to advance to Tehran, though they are in readiness at Kazvin. The situation at Shiraz is disquieting, and arrangements are being made to hold in readiness at Bushire a small British force to increase the Consular guard at Shiraz in case of need, to protect His Majesty's Consulate and foreign lives and property. The general situation is, of course, one of great disturbance and uncertainty; where there is danger to British or foreign lives and property at places which are within our reach, we shall of course do what is possible to protect them. But it is urgently to be hoped that the rival factions in Persia will now work out some settlement, which will render special measures of protection unnecessary.