HC Deb 17 March 1920 vol 126 cc2214-5
Mr. ASQUITH (by Private Notice)

asked the Leader of the House if he can give any information on two points: first, the situation in Germany; and second, the events which are alleged to have taken place in Constantinople?


In consequence of the atrocities which have occurred in Anatolia and of the hostile attitude persisted in by the Turkish forces and authorities. His Majesty's Government, in conjunction with their Allies, have been forced to order the Allied authorities in Constantinople to proceed to the occupation of the city.

The general administration of Constantinople will not be taken over, but the Ministries of War and Marine will be occupied, the postal and telegraphic services and navigation on the Bosphorus will be placed under control, and the police will be put under Allied officers.

At the same time, the Turkish Government has been warned that the occupation will continue until the terms of peace are duly executed, and further, that if outrages against the native Christians continue, the terms of peace will be made more severe. Later information shows that the occupation of Constantinople has been effected as proposed, and that only at one point was there any fighting. Two British soldiers have been killed and an officer and three soldiers wounded. One Turkish officer and eight Turks were killed and some others wounded.

As regards Germany, Lord Kilmarnock has only been able to telegraph to us the reports which have reached him and which are to the same effect as those which appeared in the Press this morning, namely, that the Bauer-Noske has declined negotiations with the Revolutionary Government at Berlin; that the old Cabinet met yesterday in Stuttgart, and that the National Assembly is meeting this afternoon in Stuttgart. His Majesty's Government have despatched Mr. M. Arnold Robertson, C.M.G., His Majesty's Deputy-Commissioner on the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission, to Stuttgart to keep in touch with the Bauer-Noske Government.