HC Deb 17 December 1919 vol 123 cc406-7
65. Mr. R. McNEILL

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any steps have been taken, or are in contemplation by the Allied and Associated Powers, to save the Christian community of Chaldeans in Mesopotamia from extinction; whether he has any information to the effect that, owing to lack of seed for next harvest and lack of food to meet present necessities, the economic condition of the Chaldeans is almost desperate; and whether, if the Governments of the Allied and Associated Powers are not in a position to give immediate relief to this ancient Christian community, he will undertake to provide facilities for the transport and distribution of any supplies that may be furnished for the purpose of unofficial organisation of relief?

Mr. PARKER (Lord of the Treasury)

I understand that only a minority of the Christian community of Chaldeans live within the area of Mesopotamia under British occupation, and I have no information leading me to think that their condition is such as is suggested by my hon. Friend, but I am making special inquiries.


Has not information been sent to this country by the heads of the Chaldean community that, while they are being butchered and deported as much as other Christian populations under Turkey, they have, largely owing to geographical conditions and other circumstances, got. very little of the relief which has been given to other Christians in the East?


I will convey the question which the hon. Gentleman has put to me to the Minister who has the matter in hand. I cannot answer it.


When will more definite information be forthcoming?


The hon. Gentleman had better put that question to the Leader of the House or the Secretary of State for India.


Will the hon. Gentleman convey to the Minister that the information given in the answer to the question is entirely inaccurate?


I would ask the Leader of the House can he give any information on the subject?


No. I do not think that my hon. Friend will expect me to give any information at present, but I will promise that inquiries will be made.


As most of these Chaldeans are now in Persia, should not this question be addressed to the Foreign Office?