HC Deb 08 March 1911 vol 22 cc1327-45

Postponed Proceeding on Amendment [Colonel Yate] to reduce by £100 the Vote on Account—£19,351,000.

Question again proposed. Debate resumed.


I cannot say how I regret being compelled to encroach upon the speeches of hon. Members on both sides of the House, and I think the great curtailment of time which has taken place to-day should entitle us to some consideration this year in regard to opportunities for debating foreign policy which were almost entirely absent last year. I was endeavouring to express the very keen support that some of us feel on this side of the House for the Foreign Secretary's policy in its full essence. It is to our minds a great idea, but somewhat imperfectly carried out, owing, I think, in great measure to that very absence of public discussion which would lend to it greater force and greater facility of expression. I take an example from our policy in relation to Turkey which is entirely bound up, in my judgment, with our relations towards Germany. We have towards the subject populations of Turkey some special obligations resulting from our actions in the past and from our special treaty commitments. These obligations entitle us and compel us to pay very close attention to what is the nature of the Turkish Government. Our attitude towards the Turkish Government, which has been so happily expressed by the Foreign Secretary to-day, coincides, I think, now with our duty towards the subject population, and therefore I think the Government is justified in holding towards the Turkish Government cordial language of approval such as we have heard in some measure today. I am very glad that the Government has come to this conclusion. I think during the last year or two the attitude of the Government has been rather too cold towards the Turkish Government. I think this is not justified by the defects and mistakes which have occurred during the past year. There was a time in the past when many of us felt compelled to express the strongest disapproval of cordial relations with Turkey. That was a time when in the words of a Turkish historian, using somewhat grim and entirely unconscious humour, the Turks were accustomed to give to the Christians, as he expressed it, "the treatment which they were in any case to expect at the judgment day." Those days are happily passed, I believe, for ever. Therefore, I think it is a time when we may be somewhat more cordial in our attitude to those politicians, for the most part young politicians, who have achieved the extraordinary miracle, of the Turkish Revolution. Let us give credit where credit is due, and not be loth to praise as well as to blame. This is a calculation of the psychological qualities of the Turks. We want to exercise influence with them, and we want to look after our interests, which are in many cases joint interests with other countries, and I think that we are entitled to express an opinion slightly critical of that too English coldness which the Government has shewn towards the Turk. I will quote an opinion, not to rely upon my own opinion, of the eminent leader of the Consular Bar in Constantinople, a man who has been distinguished with the honour of knighthood, and who has a strong opinion on the point, which may interest the House—I mean Sir Edwin Pears. He writes:— There is an increasing number who believe that the young Turks should be backed up whilst they are also told of their blunders. My experience is that they listen and attend when complaint is made by those in whose friendship they have confidence. So I am sure it is the wish of all parties in the House that they should have confidence in our friendship when it is based upon right conduct on their part. I think, to a slight extent the Government has failed to convince them that they could, in proper circumstances, earn that cordial friendship of ours. It is a very happy thing that within the last few days the Foreign Secretary made a statement expressing his desire for the prosperity of Turkey and a very happy comment has been made upon his expression of goodwill in the Turkish Press. One paper expressed it, I think, in a manner which should give us gratification, contrasting our conduct (rather tardily friendly) with the conduct of other Powers, and it quoted a Turkish proverb, which runs: "The friend admonishes sincerely, the enemy laughs in his sleeves." The policy of coldness and of rebuffs, I think, has not been a success, and if it has now been abandoned I trust the Foreign Secretary will push his cordial attitude in a vigorous way. In Turkey, I think, we should be rather more active than we have been. I am not suggesting a policy of insane philanthropic adventure of any kind at all, but I would recall the English precedent, which is one of the chief features of the history of English politics in Turkey, the precedent of one of our great Ambassadors, Stratford Canning. The British Ambassador at Constantinople may very well make himself a great local influence. I hope that that idea will be carried out in the future. I suggest one or two samples of the manner in which that policy might be carried out The hon. Member for Staffordshire (Mr. Lloyd), whose knowledge and definition of views on these and other foreign questions readily entitle him to great influence upon his side of the House, shares with me, I believe, the idea that Great Britain has neglected an opportunity in Turkey in regard to the British school. Other Powers spend many times as much money as we do upon our British school. The Turks are very quick to, notice that we neglect our educational duties in their capital. I myself visited the school the other day, and I saw that by comparison with the German and the French school it has a mere handful of Turkish scholars acquiring the English education which many Turks are very anxious to give to their sons. I suggest a sample of what might be done and what I trust before long will be done in a larger measure. I welcome the declaration of the Foreign Secretary that he is inquiring further from the Ambassador on that point.

There is another thing which I think we might have done. The French Government is very forward in making facilities for Turkish students to take advantage in Paris of the medical and the engineering schools, and I think, considering the immense influence of the English in Turkey, we might also do something of that kind-There is in Turkey an immense underlying: current of pro-English feeling, and, considering the long course of British policy in favour of Turkey, it is not wonderful that there is an ineradicable preference for the English. It should not be beyond the power of skilled diplomacy to take great advantage of that. Everyone in the House will recognise the skill which will be brought to bear upon that subject by our present Ambassador, Sir Gerard Lowther. I hope that his orders and instructions are in that sense. What are the instructions of the German Ambassador is very evident to anyone acquainted with him and to anyone who has closely followed the activity which he displays, and the very frequent attentions which are showered upon Turkish politicians by the German and also the Austrian Embassy. It is very fortunate that our policy in Turkey need not in any sense at all be anti-German. A great statesman said that in Asia there is room for us all. I trust it may prove to be so, because it is perfectly true that, in a legitimate, commercial sense, in the Near East there is room for all the energies which all the Great Powers can put forward. We in the course of the last ten or twelve years have been not only complacent lookers on at German industry, but positively the backers and instigators of German enterprise. It will be a great disaster if, in connection with this most delicate question of the Baghdad Railway, we should be influenced in the smallest degree by any sort of fear, blind or otherwise, of Germany. We have in the past been influenced by blind fear of Russia, and what advantage did we ever derive from giving way to it? I will say no more on the Baghdad Railway question, because, as we all hope, it is the subject of negotiation, and in my judgment it is better to be silent. Though I share the hatred he expressed the other night, of kilometric guarantees, I do think we may assure the Government that they will find very cordial support if they avoid any needless difficulties in the way of a general settlement of the Baghdad Railway question. We desire that it should be pushed on.

That brings us by obvious sequence to the relations in which this question involves us with Germany. You cannot separate the Persian question, the Turkish question, and the German question. They are the same, and the same principle should be applied to them all. I venture to think that the friendly policy laid down by the Foreign Secretary would find even more support than it has done up to the present if discussion were invited and encouraged in the country. What we want to see is a policy of sympathetic activity—sympathy and activity in regard to Turkey and Persia. And if there is to be any sort of greater vigour in that regard it must be expressed by the diplomatists who represent England in those countries. It is a policy which I think justifies even greater activity. In regard to Germany it implies greater activity on the part of the Foreign Secretary himself in educating public opinion. It is a policy for which I believe there exists a cordial feeling on both sides of the House which would justify him in exercising more activity. This whole field of difficulties requires, as we all see, a circle of agreements which would form the bases of better relations. You cannot improve our relations with Germany until matters are set straight in regard to Turkey and Persia, and conversely you cannot set things straight in Turkey and Persia unless you are on good relations with Germany. This is the policy avowed by the Government, but I venture to think that it is not perfectly well understood abroad. Everyone is glad that there is talk now of bringing these long-drawn negotiations and discussions to an Agreement. Everyone is delighted to think that there will be a specific Agreement come to at no very distant date, but the Foreign Secretary will have the public at his back, I venture to say, if he pushed on the negotiations towards an Agreement, because the public hope not only for improvement, but for perfection, in regard to Anglo-German relations.

One trouble which exists in regard to these questions of strained relations, which are matters of notoriety, is that they are not only a disaster to the two countries concerned, but that they are a disaster in other countries, and especially in Turkey. My point is this: The state of irritation and the fear of conceivable conflict is a disturbing factor in very many countries besides the two main factors in the situation. It is a disturbing factor in Turkey. There is a division of Turkish opinion between those of a more conciliatory disposition and the military section. The military section exists in every country. It derives the main part of its force from the fact that there might conceivably be a great conflict and that a conflict is frequently talked about. It is that which encourages militarism in many a country. But the business I am concerned with is rather the discouragement of it in Turkey. We are all anxious to support the more conciliatory party in Turkey. In order that it may come to the top it is necessary that the disturbance I have alluded to should be removed from the list of factors which govern political forces in that country. I trust that Agreements will be announced in the not very distant future which will constitute what I remember not very long ago the Foreign Secretary described as a sedative to a somewhat inflamed situation. It seems to me that this is really the Navy question, for this might be brought about by an improvement of feeling with an immense economy in the naval expenditure of all parties, and yet maintain what I myself desire to see, what the Prime Minister has called a supremacy intact, unassailable, and unchallengable.

There is a general difficulty, I think, arising to some extent from the English type of mind. There are some habits of English diplomacy which in my judgment are too English. I will not, at this hour, encroach on your time by going into details of what I mean. It is in any case a very difficult matter to explain. But there are habits of mind of the English which to some extent interfere with what we all professedly avow in our foreign policy—the practice of sympathetic activity towards both the weak races and towards the great power which is the subject of discussion. There is a school which depreciates the power of words and ideas, and therefore reduces the whole of its national valuation to a matter of mathematical calculation, which says that A is able to beat B, and C is not able or willing to come to the rescue of B, and therefore it is inevitable that there will be a conflict. But everyone knows that in fact nothing is more untrue. If it were true there would be perpetual war. That school of thought which denies the power of words and ideas is condemned by the whole trend of modern science as unscientific and ignorant. At all events, that is a school to which the Leader of the Opposition does not belong, and I do not think that we need despair of finding that he places it in his philosophy to go on utilising the forces of opinion which we know in the long run govern the relations of Europe. I shall be asked for practical proposals. I want to suggest that there is a case for a definite propaganda. This Government has earned very great credit by its establishment, for instance, of the international entertainment fund and by the international exhibition committee. These are things which I am sure all sides cordially welcome. If money is spent upon them nothing in the end is a greater economy than the spending of that money. We have made great progress in social life. I think a corresponding progress has not been made in international life in the positive construction of peaceful ideas which Foreign Secretaries and Ministers might set themselves to carry out. This is not a sentimental idea. I think we have gone back to some extent from the level which had been reached half a century ago. I would like to appeal to a precedent to show that the new fact is not in the propaganda of peace, but in the decay of these propaganda. Let me give an example to indicate the sort of view which Foreign Secretaries took fifty or sixty years ago. In 1845 Sir Robert Peel was writing M. Guizot, the great French Minister, and he said:— Our united labours for the last few years have established foundations of accord strong enough to bear the shock of all ordinary casualities. We have succeeded in elevating the tone and spirit of the nations; have taught them to regard something higher than paltry jealousies and hostile rivalries, and to esteem and feel fully all that moral and social influence which cordial relations between the countries give to each for every good and beneficent purpose. Is there to-day any activity in progress which corresponds with the activity expressed in those words? Ministers deny themselves support that might be gained from more publicity and from an expression of opinion on their part.

We all welcomed with the utmost cordiality the expressions of the Prime Minister at the Guildhall last autumn; but I do not know that even on that occasion we attained to quite the level which has been reached by the German Minister (Dr. von Bothmann-Hollweg), and I do think that is a thing which requires seeing to very much and very urgently. If there is in Germany a feeling that England is a danger, though we are to some extent ourselves to blame for the misapprehension which exists, it is a misapprehension of the deepest die, and we hope the Foreign Secretary will see that expression is given by every possible means to what is the feeling of this country, and that feeling, I think I may say, is one of cordial appreciation for all genuine progress in any legitimate way in any nation, especially that one which is perhaps, of all others, most akin to ourselves. It is a feeling which would regard an attack upon an ostensibly friendly nation as an execrable, and in the strictest sense, a damnable act, an act which must be condemned by the conscience that guides not only educated men but guides the man in the street. A workman does not kill his rival who gets the job, even when there is no other job to obtain. That is the feeling which I think actuates the working classes, and I believe the feeling of the working classes could be brought in with international advantage. They agree that war is all very well for the swells, but poor men must help each other. I have alluded to exhibitions and I do think that every opportunity should be taken of showing the cordial co-operation we wish to manifest in German affairs when occasion arises to join in exhibitions in Germany. I regret very much that action has not been taken this year to join in the exhibition on hygiene at Dresden. That is a small point, but it is an illustration. There is one other idea. This necessity for agreement has long been felt. Is it not a case for a Special Mission, such as in the past has not been unheard of in the course of international negotiations? Is it not possible now, when things are dragging so very long, to have a Special Mission to Berlin, or a special conference in London, if ordinary diplomatic machinery is not adequate? No one has greater gifts for such a mission than the Foreign Secretary all sides of the House agree. There is a precedent for such a mission in the visit of Lord Beaconsfield to Berlin. There is another and more closely similar precedent in the mission of the Duke of Wellington to Petersburg in 1827. He was not Foreign Secretary, but he was a member of Lord Liverpool's Government If such a precedent were followed, and there was an attempt to accomplish a general agreement with Germany, who could more perfectly perform the task than the Minister so renowned for his intimacy with German life and German people, the Minister for War? There is an answer, I know, to the proposals of greater activity, and that is that Ministers are overworked. So they are, but how can help be given them to make up for the overwhelming situation in which they find themselves. I venture to think that the solution lies in greater publicity and greater positive invitation to public feeling on the part of Ministers, lies in fuller discussion in this House, which has been so severely curtailed by comparison with the past in recent times. Why not call in the new world to redress the balance of the old? There is a new world represented in this House, as we all think most happily represented, by the Labour party. The Labour party is the only party which, during the last few months has set itself to make a point of peace education. This is a matter of public education, and unless you totally deny that there is any force controlling the world except material force we all agree it is a matter of education, and how is education carried out unless by positive effort. Diplomacy has a very old tradition and a very rigid tradition. It is represented in our case by a very small service, a very tiny number of men compared with other Services. They lead a life isolated, they are underpaid, they are extremely able and extremely charming, but what have they to help them in their work by way of the influence of public opinion. I think if public opinion expressed its real feeling it would be an immense assistance to diplomatists in every part of the world and to the Foreign Secretary. We all know that public opinion if it had had its, way in time past would have saved us very great blunders. For instance, it would undoubtedly have saved us from the Crimean War.

We are dealing to-day with hard facts. We are dealing with Estimates, and we are asked this year to spend no less a sum than £628,000 upon our communications, with other States, quite apart from any war expenditure. Sir Robert Peel, in his speech in the Debate in 1850 said:— Diplomacy is a costly engine for maintaining peace, a remarkable instrument used by civilised Nations for the purpose of preventing war. Unless it be used to appease the angry passions of individual men, and to check the feeling which arises out of national resentment, it is an instrument not only costly but mischievous.


I hope the House will allow me in the short time at our disposal to pass from the atmosphere of inoffensive amiability into which we have been plunged during the last twenty minutes or half an hour, and to refer to some-matters of concrete importance with regard to the Baghdad Railway. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Noel Buxton) declared that in Asia there was room for all of us. If that statement included the Persian Gulf, we on this side should give it an emphatic denial, because in the Persian Gulf, politically speaking, there is no room for any two competing nations at all. It is from that point of view that I welcome the statement that we have elicited from the Foreign Secretary, reaffirming the view which has been held by British statesmen for a long time as to our exclusive and paramount position in the Persian Gulf. I welcome that statement especially, because the other day the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs was good enough to inform me that there was no need whatever to make any reaffirmation of our policy, because no changes whatever had taken place to make such a reaffirmation necessary. At the time at which I spoke we had recently heard from the Press that certain negotiations between Russia and Germany were actually in progress. I do not know if he suggested then that those negotiations in no way altered the position; if he did, I can only say that his statement met with considerable criticism in the Press of France and Germany, which in leading articles deplored his silence as being "designed, abnormal, and very re grettable." I do not know if he would consider the Russo-German negotiations, which vitally affect our position on the Baghdad Line, to be of no interest to this country. I am glad to think that to-night the Foreign Secretary has given us some undertaking, if not a completely satisfactory one, that the matter is having some attention.

I had hoped to-night to give some history of the present situation with regard to the Baghdad Railway. Unfortunately, there is no time to do so, and I will pass directly to the main point which affects this country commercially, and that is the Khanikin line, which the Leader of the Opposition introduced to our notice this afternoon. Before doing so, I will just remind the Committee that there is one other branch of the Baghdad Railway which is of some considerable importance to this country, from quite a different point of view, namely, the branch which will in a short time connect Aleppo, by a branch from Killis, with the main trunk line between Constantinople and Baghdad. This perhaps is not a matter of very immediate concern, but in reference to it I will call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to a very interesting monograph recently published in its second edition by an eminent German economomist. From that monograph it is very clear that in Germany the Germans themselves attributed great importance to linking-up the Syrian line with the main Baghdad line, because they conceived that England was most vulnerable in two places—one in Egypt and one on the Persian Gulf, and the Syrian connection would be useful to Turkey, and through Turkey to Germany, if at any time such a line were needed for strategic purposes. I do not want to dwell upon that. I think those who remember the negotiations regarding the Akaba incident as well as I do, and remember what took place with respect to the Egyptian frontier, may, without any offence to any foreign nation, well pause to consider what aspect strategically such Syrian connection may have in the future for England. On the strictly and purely commercial question regarding the Khanikin line I would ask the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the answer he gave to a question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Melton, as to what he was going to do to safeguard our interests on the Baghdad-Khanikin line. The substance of the right hon. Gentleman's answer lay in the fact that be considered that in Article 24 of the "Cahier des Charges" there was ample security against discriminatory tariffs.

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition made the point that the right hon. Gentleman had not quoted in full this 24th Article and had missed out a very important part. The Foreign Secretary told us that the Article provided that these tariffs, whether they be differential or not, admitted the principle of differential tariffs and were applicable to all nations; but he forgot to tell us that in case of urgency the assent of the Imperial Ottoman Government was not necessary, nor was a notification to the Imperial Commissioners. If the right hon. Gentleman is going to base the whole million pounds' worth of British trade on the reading of Article 24 of the "Cahier des Charges," which in cases of urgency do not have to be referred to the Ottoman Government at all, I think it is a very slender scheme. I think Manchester merchants, tradespeople, and workpeople will have a good deal to say if that is all the right hon. Gentleman has to say as to safeguarding their trade. There is nothing in that particular Article that can possibly safeguard our trade. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition pointed out clearly that it was perfectly possible for a German railway which may be constructed there to keep within the terms of this Article 24 and yet impose a tariff which can be completely discriminatory against British goods.

Let us take the case of articles going up by that line. The main goods from Manchester and India that go up the Persian Gulf and by the British steamship line to Baghdad, and by the Baghdad-Khanikin route to Persia, are cotton goods. The main German goods that go are of very small value, and are generally known as fancy, or cheap, goods. I put it to hon. Gentlemen opposite: What on earth is there to prevent on that German railway a very low nominal tariff being put on those goods in which Germany is interested, and a prohibitory tariff on those goods in which Britain is interested? There is absolutely nothing.

It is the old most-favoured-nation clause illusion! I shall be very interested to hear from the Foreign Secretary in what way he thinks we can safeguard our trade. The Foreign Secretary twitted the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition for having given him no suggestion as to what he could possbly do to alter the status quo with regard to the Baghdad Railway, with regard to the safeguarding of our trade on the Khanikin line. I can give him an answer. I would ask him whether he thinks, to use a slang phrase, that "the game is quite up" on the Khanikin line? I do not. I think there is a great deal to be done in negotiation in regard to getting equal terms in the control of the Khanikin line. I am quite prepared, as I have done before, to show him the means by which I think it can be brought about.


What means?


By building from Kut-el-Amara, below Baghdad, which would give our trade free entry from the Persian Gulf.


The hon. Gentleman says I twitted the Leader of the Opposition for not having made a suggestion, but I went on to make a suggestion of my own. He omitted to say that I stated we should seek considerable concessions of our own, which would be under our control for British trade.


The right hon. Gentleman is quite prepared to base his whole case upon getting such concessions as will safeguard our own trade. I suggest one for Kut-el-Amara to Baghdad. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give us an assurance that the claim will be pressed for an alternative railway to the Persian Gulf, a railway that would safeguard our trade from any discriminatory tariff on the Khanikin line. So far we have no safeguard for over one million of trade.


I attach great importance to the suggestion which I did make in general terms as to the possibility of other routes, which I think the hon. Member ought not to ignore, but I do not propose to prejudice in advance the success of any steps we may take in that direction by specifying beforehand the particular applications we may make.


I quite understand that, and I should not like to press the right hon. Gentleman in any matter of foreign policy to specify in detail what he is going to do in the future, but he deliberately challenged us to give him an answer as to what we should do. We should not have ourselves have brought up this question.


I am not in the least complaining of the hon. Member's suggestion. I make no complaint of his suggestion.


The right hon. Gentleman challenged us absolutely and categorically to provide a solution and he twitted the Leader of the Opposition for not having made any suggestion. I provide a sugge- stion, and when I do so the right hon. Gentleman says we do not propose to prejudice in advance the negotiations we are carrying on. From that point of view it is not a tolerable position. I have given an answer and I hope such a line will be negotiated, as I believe the right hon. Gentleman is concerned to see that British trade is properly safeguarded down the main route to the Persian Gulf. When we were considering this only ten years ago, before the Anglo-Russian Convention, which many of us criticised so bitterly, and which we still deplore in its terms, not on it main object, we held the whole of the route from Baghdad to Kermanshah. There is every prospect to-day, and has been in the last five years since the present Government came into office, that the Persian section of the route will be given to the Russian Government, and in practice to the German Government. To many of us that is an intolerable position for British trade, and we see no justification whatever for it. I remember the arguments put forward in connection with the Anglo-Russian Concession, when we were told there was no reason why in neutral zones we should not have equal rights with Russia. The right hon. Gentleman has forgotten he has allowed all the termini to be included in the Russian sphere; you cannot build a railway to a spot in the desert, and that is all what you have left in the neutral zone at the present time. I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider one other point in regard to the Baghdad-Khanikin route. I want him to take his mind back to the days of Stratford Canning, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, and to his correspondence with regard to another great trade route which he created, and which has been of great value to British trade—I refer to the route through Trebizond, Erzeroum Tabiz, and Teheran, from the Black Sea into Northern Persia. If the right hon. Baronet takes the trouble to read the correspondence that passed in those days and the pains taken to form that route for the benefit of British trade, and if he will look at that route to-day, and see what has happened to it by following the policy of natural channels, he will see that, year by year, while the trade of Trebizond increases, our trade decreases annually owing to Russian subsidies and our own apathy with regard to this particular route. The trade there is measured by transport capacity, and only fourteen years ago some 40,000 camels a year were being loaded up with British goods to take into Persia. Only three years ago that total of 40,000 had sunk to about 22,000, and now that total has sunk to under 20,000 camel loads. Now that route has practically been abandoned in regard to British trade, and if the right hon. Gentleman will read the report of his own Consul for Persia he will see in the opening lines that he has a very unsatisfactory year to record, because British trade has sunk while Russian trade has increased. According to the right hon. Gentleman's own report, British trade has decreased by 11.1 per cent. last year, while Russian trade has increased by 3.75 per cent. If the right hon. Gentleman finds any satisfaction in that state of things in Persia with regard to our trade, then I cannot agree with him. I think it most deplorable, and I hope measures to secure our trade interests will be taken in connection with the Baghdad-Khanikin line, or any other subsidiary line, by the Foreign Office.

Lastly, I wish to refer to the political situation that obtains below Baghdad. I think the Leader of the Opposition has stated the case very plainly to-night. We all agree that, so far as the Baghdad Railway is within Turkish territory we can have no real decisive claims upon it, but we may negotiate in respect of our old privileges and the old historic character of our relations with Turkey below Baghdad on the Tigris River, and any other portions. But once we come to negotiate with regard to Koweit itself the matter is entirely different. The right hon. Baronet has given us a very satisfactory statement with regard to Koweit. I regret it was not given earlier. When the Foreign Secretary asks us whether there is anything which can be done to stop those measures which have been taken against us in that part of the world, I would reply that if he would occasionally treat this House with a little more candour, if he would make some open statement of the continuity of foreign policy when it is called for by those who care very deeply about foreign affairs (and who do not wish to get details of an embarrassing nature from the right hon. Gentleman, as he knows very well), as I have on one or two occasions and failed to get it, he would do a service to this country, by stopping the machinations of other foreign nations with regard to our diplomacy in the East. I remember very well when I made a speech last summer on the question of Crete I was met by the right hon. Gentleman opposite with criticisms, and it was with great reluctance he made any statement at all. What was the result of the statement he made? The result of the statement, which, if I may use the word with all courtesy, he was compelled to make by my speech in the House, was that in all the main newspapers in Europe it was said the right hon. Gentleman's speech had allayed anxiety in the East and largely conduced to a peaceful settlement of that very difficult question. I adduce that as a proof that, if occasionally when we call, as we have every right to do, for a statement of the continuity of foreign policy in this House, the right hon. Gentleman could meet us with a little more candour than he has in the past it would be an advantage. In conclusion, with regard to Koweit, I would ask the House to remember that when once we leave Turkish territory just below Bussora, Turkish claims do not hold good, and Turkish sovereignty can claim absolutely nothing. It has been independent territory and avowed as such in this House and in England for many a long year past; and the sooner that is understood by our friends the Turks, with whom I have the deepest sympathy, and for whose policy I have worked very hard for many a long year past as they know, the sooner shall we clear up the many difficulties that lie in the way of the Baghdad Railway. The sooner that is done, and it can only be done by the most firm attitude on our part, the sooner we shall have better relations with Germany, and not until then.


Last year we had no Foreign Office Vote put down at all, and no proper discussion on foreign affairs. To-day the discussion has been interrupted by other business, both in the afternoon and in the evening, and I would ask the right hon. Baronet to use his influence with the Prime Minister, so that the Foreign Office Vote shall be put down on the earliest possible Thursday.


I quite agree that the discussion has been very much interrupted. Of course, I cannot undertake to say when the Foreign Office Vote will be taken, but I understand that the general convenience of the House is consulted through the usual channel, and it will be so in this case. The fact that the discussion has been interrupted to-night will no doubt be taken into consideration.


Will the right hon. Baronet do his best?

Question put, "That Item Class 2, Vote 5 (Foreign Office), be reduced by £100."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 89; Noes, 232.

Division No. 41.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Archer-Shee, Major M. Foster, Philip staveley Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (M'tgom'y B'ghs.)
Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J. Gastreil, Major W. H. Remnant, James Farquharson
Baird, J. L. Grant, J. A. Roileston, Sir John
Balcarres, Lord Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.) Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hickman, Colonel Thomas E. Sanders, Robert A.
Barlow, Montague (Salford, S.) Hills, J. W. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Hohler, G. F. Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Hope, James Fitzaian (Sheffield) Stanier, Beville
Beckett, Hon. W. Gervase Hunt, Rowland Starkey, John R.
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Ingleby, Holcombe Stewart, Gershom
Benn, I. H. (Greenwich) Kebty-Fletcher, J. R. Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Kerry, Earl of S wilt, Rigby
Bird, A. Knight, Capt. E. A Sykes, Alan John
Bridgeman, W. Clive Lee, Arthur H. Thynne, Lord Alexander
Burn, Colonel C. R. Lewisham, Viscount Touche, George Alexander
Campion, W. R. Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Tuillbardine, Marquess of
Carlile, E. Hildred Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.) Valentia, Viscount
Cassel, Felix Mackinder, H. J. Walker, Col. William Hall
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Malcolm, Ian Weigail, Capt. A. G.
Clyde, J. Avon Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas Wheler, Granville C. H.
Courthope, G. Loyd Morpeth, Viscount Wolmer, Viscount
Dairymple, Viscount Mount, William Arthur Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Dixon, C. H. Neville, Reginald J. N. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Ormsby-Gore, Hon William Yate, Col. C. E. (Leics., Melton)
Eyres-Monsell, B. M. Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Younger, George
Faile, B. G. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Fell, Arthur Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)
Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue Peto, Basil Edward TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Steel-Maitland and Mr. Lloyd.
Fleming, Valentine Pole-Carew, Sir R. (Cornwall, Bodmin)
Forster, Henry William Pollock, Ernest Murray
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Guiland, John William
Acland, Francis Dyke Cowan, W. M. Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)
Agnew, Sir George William Crumley, Patrick Hackett, J.
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton) Daiziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy) Haidane, Rt. Hon Richard B.
Armitage, R. Davies, E. William (Elfion) Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Atherley-Jones, Llewelyn A. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hardie, J. Keir
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Dawes, J. A. Harvey, A. G. C (Rochdale)
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Deiany, William Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.) Devlin, Joseph Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Barran, Sir J. (Hawick) Dewar, Sir J. A. Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry
Barry, Redmond John Dillon, John Hayden, John Patrick
Barton, W. Doris, W. Hayward, Evan
Beale, W. P. Duffy, William J. Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.) Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Higham, John Sharp
Bentham, G. J. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Hudson, Walter
Boland, John Plus Eiverston, H. Hughes, S. L.
Booth, Frederick Handel Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel
Bowerman, C. W. Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Johnson, W.
Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North) Essex, Richard Walter Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Brace, William Essiemont, George Birnie Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)
Brady, P. J. Falconer, J. Jowett, F. W.
Brigg, Sir John Farrell, James Patrick Joyce, Michael
Brocklehurst, W. B. Fenwick, Charles Keating, M.
Bryce, J. Annan Ffrench, Peter Kilbride, Denis
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Field, William King, J. (Somerset, N.)
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.) Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Lambert, George (Devon, Molton)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar) Flavin, Michael Joseph Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Byies, William Pollard Furness, Stephen Lansbury, George
Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood) Gelder, Sir W. A. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Gill, A H. Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'ri'nd., Cockerm'th)
Chancellor, H. G. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Levy, Sir Maurice
Chapple, Dr. W. A. Goldstone, Frank Lewis, John Herbert
Clancy, John Joseph Gordon, J. Low, Sir F. (Norwich)
Clough, William Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Lyeil, Charles Henry
Clynes, J. R. Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) Lynch, A. A.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Macdonald, J. Ramsa (Leicester)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke) MacGhee, Richard
Corbett, A. Cameron Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Maciean, Donald
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Summers, James Woolley
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Pollard, Sir George H. Sutton, John E.
MacVeagh, Jeremiah Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Taylor, John W. (Durham)
M'Callum, John M. Power, Patrick Joseph Tennant, Harold John
M'Laren, Walter S. B. (Ches., Crewe) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Thomas, James Henry (Derby)
M'Micking, Major Gilbert Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Mason, David M. (Coventry) Radford, G. H. Toulmin, George
Masterman, C. F. G. Rattan, Peter Wilson Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Mathias, Richard Reddy, M. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Meagher, Michael Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Wadsworth, John
Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) Walton, Sir Joseph
Molloy, M. Rendail, Atheistan Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Money, L. G. Chiozza Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Montagu, Hon. E. S. Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs) Wardie, George J.
Mooney, J. J. Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradfora) Waring, V'alter
Morrell, Philip Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Robinson, Sidney Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Munro, R. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Watt, Henry A.
Murray, Captain Hon. A. C. Roche, John Webb, H.
Nellson, Francis Roe, Sir Thomas White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Nolan, Joseph Rose, Sir Charles Day White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Norman, Sir Henry Rowlands, James Wiles, Thomas
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) St. Maur, Harold Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)
O'Dowd, John Samuel, J. (Stockton) Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Ogden, Fred Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
O'Grady, James Scanian, Thomas Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wick low, W.) Scott, A. M'Callum (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
O'Kelly. James (Roscommon, N.) Seely, Col., Right Hon. J. E. B. Winfrey, Richard
O'Neill. Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Sheehy, David Wood, T. M'Kinnon (Glasgow)
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Sherwell, Arthur James Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
O'Sullivan, Timothy Shortt, Edward Young, W. (Perth, East)
Palmer, Godfrey Simon, Sir John Alisebrook-
Parker, James (Halifax) Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) Smyth, Thomas F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Master of Elibank and Mr. Illingworth.
Pease, Rt Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Soares, Ernest J.
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)

Question put, and agreed to.

And, it being after Eleven of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the Vote.

Whereupon the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Resolution to be reported to-morrow; Committee to sit again to-morrow.