HC Deb 31 October 1916 vol 86 cc1547-8

(by Private Notice): I beg to ask the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether the Greek Foreign Office has issued to the Press in Athens a statement which the enemies of the Allies have interpreted as an announcement that His Majesty's Government, in concert with our Allies, has refused to give official recognition to the Government established by M. Venizelos; whether this statment has caused discouragement and dismay to the pro-Ally party in Greece, and jubilation to the pro-German party supporting the King; and whether, in order to avert disastrous consequences, he will announce that His Majesty's Government will immediately urge upon the Allied Governments the importance of promptly recognising and supporting M. Venizelos and his Government?


I regret very much that I only received notice of my hon. Friend's question at one o'clock to-day, and I am sure that the House and he will see it is the kind of question which I could not properly reply to without longer notice. If he will repeat it to-morrow, I will try to give him an answer.


With reference to the answer of my right hon. Friend, would it not be a good thing for the Government to give us some' opportunity to discuss the whole question of the conduct of affairs in Greece and in the Balkans?


I will certainly convey that question to the Prime Minister.

Mr. R. McNeill

As this is a matter—if I may employ a phrase of the Prime Minister—that brooks no delay, I propose to call attention to it on the Motion for the Adjournment this evening, and the right hon. Gentleman will no doubt be able to say whether any arrangement to meet the request of my right hon. and learned Friend has been arrived at.


Might I ask your ruling, Mr. Speaker, on this question? As far back as Saturday last I gave notice to the Prime Minister of a question contained in that just put by my hon. Friend, and your ruling was that that should be put down in the ordinary way. It was a question relating to the recognition by His Majesty's Government of the Ministry of M. Venizelos. Might I put that question now, or might I have your ruling as to why it was not allowed as a question by private notice?


I do not remember having received the hon. Member's question. I was not here on Saturday, and I do not recollect anything about it.