§ 1. Mr. MORRELL
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether negotiations for an adequate loan to the 974 Persian Government, so as to enable it to restore order, are still in progress; and whether there is any prospect of restoring the Constitution, which was suspended a year ago, by again summoning the Mejliss?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir E. Grey)
It is improbable that financiers will be willing to make advances in the absence of a strong and stable Persian Government, and therefore it is towards the formation of such a Government that the British and Russian Governments are mainly directing their attention. Till this has been-accomplished I can say nothing definite about the second question.
§ 2. Mr. MORRELL
asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, whether he has any information showing that the re-call to Persia of the exiled Saad-ed-Dowleh, which had the encouragement of His Majesty at Teheran, has produced or seems likely to produce the results, which were anticipated.; whether the return of Saad-ed-Dowleh has been followed by the return to Persia of the wife of Mohammed Ali, the ex-Shah, this being presumably intended to prepare the ground for the return of the ex-Shah himself; whether attempts are still being made, though at present without any prospect of success, to place Saad-ed-Dowleh in power; and whether these attempts have the encouragement of His Majesty's Minister at Teheran?
§ Sir E. GREY
I understand that the return of Saad-ed-Dowleh to Persia has not, up to the present, led to any marked improvement in the situation. I am not aware that the wife of the ex-Shah has returned to Persia. I am not aware that attempts are now being made with a view to the formation of a Government by Saad-ed-Dowleh, and if there are they are not being encouraged.
§ 4. Colonel YATE
asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, whether his attention has been drawn to the list lately published of 10 British subjects killed, 20 wounded, and 14 badly used, in Persia, in addition to the various minor outrages and acts of plunder of British property, and the damage that is constantly being done to the Indo-European telegraph line by the destruction of insulators, the smashing of poles, the 975 carrying away of wire, and the robbery and ill-treatment of the telegraph employés repairing the line; and whether he will now take steps to secure the formation of a strong body of Persian levies, under British and Indian officers, to assist the Swedish gendarmerie in the protection of the telegraph line and the safeguarding of travellers and merchandise along the trade routes?
§ Sir E. GREY
I have seen the statement to which the hon. and gallant Member refers. I can only say that His Majesty's Government fully realise the unsatisfactory state of affairs, and I can assure him that they are considering what steps can be taken to remedy it, though there are difficulties, financial and otherwise, in adopting at this moment the particular method that he suggests.
§ Mr. MORRELL
Is there any reason to doubt that the Swedish gendarmerie would be quite competent for the work if properly paid?