HC Deb 17 October 1916 vol 86 cc348-9

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether a public reception has been given by the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Army at Salonika to M. Venizelos and other members of the Greek Provisional Government; and, if so, whether this event implies the official recognition of the Provisional Government by His Majesty's Government and the Governments of France and Russia?


I understand that on his arrival at Salonika M. Venizelos met with a cordial reception, and was greeted by the French Commander-in-Chief. My hon. Friend is at liberty to draw any inference from the incident. I am afraid I cannot at present say any more.


Can the Noble Lord say whether the King's New Cabinet has been in any way officially recognised by His Majesty's Government?


I should like to have notice of that. These questions are delicate to deal with.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the fact that events have vindicated the foresight of the right hon. Member for Dublin University, as expressed in his letter to the Prime Minister of 12th October, 1915, with respect to affairs in the Balkans, whether the Government are yet prepared to follow his advice that vigorous efforts should be made to compel Greece to fulfil her treaty obligations?


I do not wish to enter on a discussion of the political foresight of my right hon. Friend about which everyone can judge for themselves who has clearly in his mind the terms of the letter referred to. I will only observe that in time of war the most important advice is that of the military and naval advisers of the Government. I am afraid it is impossible for me to discuss at present the future action of the Allied Governments with respect to Greece. Perhaps my hon. Friend will allow me to add that His Majesty's Government cannot give effect to advice of this kind except in consultation and concert with their Allies, and it is politically desirable that this fact should be recognised in questions put upon the Paper which otherwise may give an impression abroad that the Allies are to be disregarded, which, I am sure, is far from the intention of my hon. Friend.


Does not the Noble Lord recognise that, as I think, everybody in this House takes for granted, that everything of that sort is being done in conjunction with the Allies?


I am sure that is so, but, of course, people abroad may not know as well as we do the feeling and opinion of hon. Members.

14. Mr. R. MCNEILL

asked whether constitutional government is guaranteed to Greece by England, France, and Russia; if so, whether the instrument by which it is guaranteed contains any definition of constitutional government; and whether, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, the terms of the guarantee are fulfilled by the present regime in Greece?


By Article 3 of the Treaty of 1863 Greece, under the guarantee of the three Courts, forms a monarchial, independent and constitutional State; the answer to the second question is in the negative; as to the third part I will only say that my hon. Friend may rely on the guaranteeing Powers discharging their treaty obligations.