HC Deb 04 November 1919 vol 120 cc1310-1
46. Captain ORMSBY-GORE

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether, in view of the fact that the United States of America had never been at war with Turkey, the presentation of the Peace Terms by the Allies who were at war with Turkey could be made without further delay and other admittedly temporary arrangements made in regard to the administration of those non-Turkish parts of the Ottoman Empire in which it was hoped that the United States of America would undertake the duties of mandatory of the League of Nations;

(2) Whether, in view of the growing unrest in the Near and Middle East resulting from the delay in publishing the Peace terms to be imposed by the Allies upon Turkey, he will state what steps were being taken to urge the American Government to give a definite reply as to whether they would undertake the responsibility of mandatory of the League of Nations in regard to Armenia?


I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the Government fully realise all the evils resulting from the delay in settling the peace terms with Turkey, and are doing everything in their power to hasten a settlement.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say why we have to await American consent in this matter, considering that America has not been at war with Turkey?


I do not think that is quite conclusive in the matter. After all, it was one war, and I am sure the House would not desire to do anything which seemed to undervalue the assistance that America might give in the general settlement' of this question.


In view of the vastly important British commercial, financial, and political interests in the Near East, and in view of the fact that this question has been debated in open House in the French Chamber of Deputies and the United States Congress, will the right hon. Gentleman afford an opportunity for this House to express an opinion on the extraordinary condition of affairs in the Near East at the present time?


I was not aware that it had been debated in the French Chamber. It may be so. I do not think it would be desirable—to express my own conviction—that we should have a discussion at this stage as to the terms of the Treaty to be imposed on Turkey. Of course, the Government must be in the hands of the House in a matter of this kind.