§ 1. Mr. WALTER GUINNESS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information as to the alleged murdering by the Bulgarians of Turkish prisoners of war who were lately in their hands; and, if so, whether, in view of the danger of reprisals, he will urge the Bulgarian Government to put a stop to such atrocities?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Edward Grey)
The Turkish Government have made such a statement. The Bulgarian Government state that the prisoners were killed when attempting to escape. I have not received information from any other source, but these two statements.
§ 3. Mr. NOEL BUXTON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 2228 whether he can give any information as to the number of refugees in Bulgaria, either from Thrace or from Macedonia; and whether His Majesty's Consular staff will assist the work of the British relief funds for these refugees?
§ Sir E. GREY
I have no precise information as to the numbers of these refugees. His Majesty's Consular officers on the spot will afford all the help they properly can in connection with the distribution of relief so far as is consistent with the due performance of their ordinary ditties.
§ 4. Mr. NOEL BUXTON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the recent delay in the presentation of a Note from the Powers regarding the infraction of the Treaty of London by Turkey was caused by the fact that the British Charge d'Affaires at Constantinople had not received instructions; and whether His Majesty's Government is in favour of forcible and early action by the Concert, acting through one or more mandatories, and compel respect for its decision expressed in the recent identical Notes?
§ Sir E. GREY
As regards the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question, the delay was due to a slight misunderstanding as to the exact terms in which the communication was to be made. As regards the second part, I propose to make a general statement on Balkan affairs this afternoon, and I should prefer not to anticipate this by explanation on particular points like that which the hon. Gentleman has raised.
§ 5. Mr. WHITEHOUSE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in regard to the question of supporting the Russian and other Governments as to allotting the port of Kavala to Greece, he will take into account the fact that Kavala is the only possible seaport for Bulgaria proper, as distinguished from Thrace; and that a settlement which subjects the bulk of the Macedonian population to Governments alien to itself is likely to lead to renewed war and to danger to the peace of Europe?
§ Sir E. GREY
The consideration advanced by my hon. Friend is one of several all of which have to be borne in mind, and I can only deal with the question of possible modifications of the Treaty of Bucharest in the general statement that I propose to make this afternoon.
§ 6. Sir JOHN BARRAN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether proposals have recently been made voluntarily by Turkey to the Powers for administrative reform in Armenia; whether objection has been taken by any Power to these proposals; what is the present position of negotiations between the Powers with a view to general reform in Asiatic Turkey; and whether it is accepted, as a basis of such negotiations, that their object is not to establish different spheres of interest but to secure for Turkey the co-operation and support of all the Powers in preserving her Asiatic dominions by the establishment of good government?
§ Sir E. GREY
The answer to the first point is in the affirmative. As regards the second and third points, the position is that the representatives of the six Great Powers at Constantinople are engaged in discussing a scheme of reforms, but at this early stage of the question I cannot usefully make any statement with regard to the nature of the scheme except to say that the object of all the Powers is correctly described in the last words of the hon. Gentleman's question, and that they have not in view the establishment of different spheres of interest in the Turkish Empire.