HC Deb 08 May 1922 vol 153 cc1784-5
35. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the fact that Allied Powers are concluding separate treaties with Turkey providing for concessions calculated to prejudice British trade, steps can be taken to accelerate the evacuation of Asia Minor by the Greeks and the completion of the peace negotiations with the Turks?


I presume that my hon. Friend is referring to the agreement recently concluded between the Italian Government and the Government of Constantinople. This agreement was made exclusively with the Government of Constantinople and not as alleged in some quarters with the Angora Government. Its contents which I outlined on Wednesday last are not likely to prejudice British trade. The signature of the agreement will not prevent the continued intimate co-operation of the two Allies in endeavouring to bring about an early settlement in the East; nor will it impair the cordiality of their relations. The question of the evacuation of Asia Minor does not therefore arise in this connection, but it may be added that evacuation is one of the Allied peace proposals and that the Angora, Constantinople and Athens Governments have hitherto failed to signify acceptance of these proposals.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

If these concessions are given to the French and Italian Governments, will any steps be taken to safeguard British interests in the areas conceded?


I do not think there is any reason to anticipate serious injury to our interests by the agreement which was made the other day between the Italian and Constantinople Governments. That agreement, as I said on Wednesday, was an undertaking by the present Turkish Government to view favourably, applications by Italians, for concessions in a district of Asia Minor. I should prefer not to answer further questions about it until we actually have the terms of the agreement.

55. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Greek Government owes the Ottoman Railway from Smyrna to Aidin £40,000 for current services rendered during the Greek occupation of Ionia; and, if so, whether diplomatic representations will be made, in view of the fact that efforts have been, are being, and probably will be, made to raise a Greek loan in London?


The outstanding debt due to the Smyrna-Aidin Railway Company by the Greek Government for services rendered has been stated to amount to about £45,000. His Majesty's Minister at Athens was instructed on the 27th March to make urgent representations to the Greek Government for the early payment to the company of the amounts due and for the immediate despatch of instructions to the Greek authorities at Smyrna for the prompt settlement of all debts to the company as soon as they were incurred. His Majesty's Minister has again been requested to press for an early settlement and to report the steps which the Greek Government are taking with a view to satisfying the company.