HC Deb 21 April 1920 vol 128 cc386-8
58. Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether an Albanian Government has been elected by the people and is working well; and whether, in view of the general acceptance of the principle of self-determination by the Peace Conference, it is proposed to recognise this Government?


There is a provisional Government in Albania, nominated by the National Albanian Assembly. The information at my disposal does not enable me to form any very exact estimate of its work.

59. Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, since the French withdrawal from Albania, a Serb army has been concentrated just across the Boyana threatening Scutari, the Albanian capital; whether a Greek army is also concentrated in the South close to the Albanian town of Koritza; whether the pledge given by Great Britain in 1913 that the frontiers then drawn will not be infringed upon still holds good; and whether steps will be taken to secure the withdrawals of the Serb and Greek armies which are now causing anxiety to the Albanians?


His Majesty's Government have no very recent information with regard to the disposition of the troops in the districts referred to, but they have reason to believe that the advance of the Serbian troops on the Boyana was undertaken as a police measure before the withdrawal of the French troops and was sanctioned by the French General commanding the Inter-Allied Forces. It was clearly understood that this movement of troops could not prejudice any eventual decision of the Allies. We have no official information in regard to the position of the Greek troops in the South.

The question of the future frontiers of Albania is receiving the consideration of the Supreme Council.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

May I ask whether both the British military and diplomatic representatives are now being withdrawn from Albania; and if so, will the hon. Gentleman consider sending them back so that the presence of impartial witnesses may discourage aggression by both Serbs and Greeks?


Perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman will give me notice of the first part of the question?


How did the hon. Gentleman get his information and what is going on in Albania now that there are no British representatives there? [An HON. MEMBER: "From the Italians!"]


I should like to have notice of that question, too.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. HOARE

Is it the fact that one of our representatives here, Mr. Eden, probably knows more about Albania than any other Englishman, and would it not be a calamity if he is withdrawn? But has he been withdrawn?


That point is being considered with the other questions.

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