HC Deb 05 November 1912 vol 43 cc999-1000
4. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he has received any applications for information and advice from any financiers concerning making advances to any of the combatant parties in the Balkan war; and whether he is prepared to give to such financiers the information and counsel, but not the support, of the Foreign Office.


The attitude of His Majesty's Government towards all loans to any belligerent is that financiers must decide in such matters for themselves and that, whatever decision is reached by such financiers, is taken at their own risk. My reply to any inquiries of this nature has been limited to this statement and I have no knowledge of whether loans have been made to any combatants since the war broke out. During the Russo-Japanese war loans to one or both combatants were brought out at London, Paris and Berlin.

5. Mr. FELL

asked if it is proposed to send any men-of-war to Salonika or to Beyrout for the protection of the lives and property of British or other subjects which may be endangered by the course of events?


One of His Majesty's vessels arrived at Salonika on 1st November, where the situation was, in the opinion of His Majesty's Consul-General, such as to render its presence desirable. No such report has been received from His Majesty's Consul-General at Beyrout, and, consequently, no war vessel has been sent by His Majesty's Government to that port.

6. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received intimation that the allied Balkan States are ready to negotiate terms of peace with Turkey, but are not prepared to accept negotiations for peace through the great Powers; and whether, in view of the victories of the allies, Their right to make terms with Turkey will be fully recognised?


I have not received such an intimation from the Balkan States as the hon. Member describes; but, so far as I am aware, no one, in view of the results of the war up to date, will be disposed to dispute the right of the Balkan States to formulate when they please the terms on which they would be prepared to conclude peace; and I do not think that the great Powers have been, or will be, more slow than other people to adjust their own views to the inarch of events.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether there is any prospect of any of the great Powers being in a position to offer mediation in order to bring the parties together, following the precedent set by the United States of America at the close of the war between Russia and Japan?


I have private notice of a question on that point, and I will answer this question with it later.


May I ask the right lion. Gentleman now whether it is true, as stated in the "Times" newspaper yesterday, that the Porte has telegraphed to its Ambassadors to inform the Governments of the great Powers that it would welcome assistance in bringing about a suspension of hostilites, and whether the right hon. Gentleman can now make a statement with regard to the position in the Near East?


I only got the notice of the hon. Member's question as I entered the House. In answer to it, and to the supplementary question put by the hon. Member (Mr. Morrell), I must point out it is the case that the Porte has made an appeal to the Powers, but though views are being exchanged between the Powers on the subject, it is, and must be, a very delicate matter for the Powers to interfere between two belligerents unless they do so at the request of both.

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