HC Deb 11 March 1919 vol 113 cc1077-8
46. Mr. DOYLE

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now make a statement of the measures adopted by His Majesty's Ministers for the adequate protection of the future of British trade in the Balkans; whether, seeing that Italy claims the ports of Trieste, Pola, Zara, Sebenico, and Valona, that in addition Italy has now considerable armed forces at Fiume, that Valona is the only important outlet of Albania, and that Fiume is essential as an outlet for Hungary and Croatia-Slavonica, in the interests of British trade inter course through the ports of Valona and Fiume to the hinterland, will not be obstructed; whether Greece desires to secure the whole coast from Salonika to the Dardanelles; and whether those claims tend to establish a two-fold customs barrier between Western sea-borne commerce and the interior?


I regret that, until a decision shall have been reached by the Peace Conference with regard to the final status of the various places referred to by the hon. Member, I can make no statement on the subject. The hon. Member may, however, rest assured that the British Delegates will give careful and constant consideration to British commercial interests in this connection.


Can the hon. Gentleman give a definite assurance to the House that when the final adjustment of these territories takes place British trade interests will not be lost sight of?


I must ask my hon. Friend for notice of that.