HC Deb 07 August 1913 vol 56 cc1725-7
1. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware of the proposal, originally made in London, but later strongly endorsed by French financial authorities, that the Balkan States should be required, as a condition for receiving loans to re-establish government and enterprise after the war, to restrict their military expenditure for ten years; whether he has taken steps to obtain their views upon, or their adherence to, this proposal from other Powers; and, if not, whether he will inquire into the feasibility and advantages of this policy?


. I have no knowledge of any such proposal. It is for the financiers who lend money to one of the Balkan States to settle the conditions of the loan with the Government to which it is made. His Majesty's Government have no means of preventing financiers from making loans nor can we impose conditions.

2. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the three Balkan States, Bulgaria, Servia, and Greece, have an aggregate of over 100 millions sterling of loans quoted on the Paris and London markets; and whether, in order to establish the commercial prosperity, financial stability, and peaceful development of the Near East, it will be the policy of the Great Powers to discourage the issue to-the Balkan States of loans to be used for non-productive purposes?

Sir. E. GREY

I have no precise information as to the aggregate of the loans to the States in question quoted in London and Paris, and I cannot commit the Powers in advance to any particular policy with regard to this question, but I may say that in this country there are no means of exercising effective control of this nature.


Will the right hon. Gentleman indicate that he approves of the object in view which underlies this question, even if it is difficult to attain?


I do not think it would be wise to give any opinions now on this point.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any report has been received from His Majesty's Consular Agent at Rodosto in regard to the outrages lately committed by Turkish troops; if so, what were the main facts indicated; and whether he will publish the report?


I have now received several reports from the British Acting Vice-Consul at Rodosto respecting recent events there. If I publish these reports I shall be bound to publish also those which I have received tending to incriminate other nationalities in the Balkans also.


In connection with these outrages, may I ask if it the right hon. Gentleman can contradict the report that the 'presentation of a Note by the Powers to the Turkish Government has been delayed because the British Chargé d'Affaires has not received instructions?


That particular question to which the hon. Gentleman now refers has nothing whatever to do with this question, and I would ask him to give notice.

Sir J. D. REES

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very unfortunate effect on Mahomedan opinion created by questions of the character just addressed to him?


I am aware that questions which are put of this kind create an unfavourable effect on one question or another. I have, therefore, endeavoured, with all the answers I have given where I have had unfavourable reports affecting any particular nationality and also unfavourable reports affecting others to treat them all exactly alike, in order to prevent any suspicion that we are dealing differently with one Government from another.