HC Deb 27 November 1922 vol 159 cc266-7

asked the Prime Minister what measures His Majesty's Government is taking, in view of the present menance to the lives and property of the non-Turkish population of Constantinople and of the responsibilities of the Allies in the matter, to assist in the evacuation of the threatened population by the provision of transport facilities or otherwise?


The subject raised in this question is one of the very important points now being discussed at Lausanne, and it is not possible for me at present to make any definite statement.


Can the hon. Gentleman say whether assista7ice in removing refugees will be given as adequately as was given at Smyrna?


I cannot say. All I can say is that the matter is being carefully considered.


Have our naval authorities instructions to act in case of massacre, so that they may be able to take people away if cases similar to those which occurred in Smyrna should arise?


I cannot say definitely what instructions have been given to the naval authorities, but all possible steps with the fleet at our disposal are being taken to that end.

32. Mr. N. BUXTON

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the decision of the Angora Government to expel all non-Turkish women and children from Anatolia, while conscribing for military service all males between 18 and 45; whether he can give the House any additional information upon this subject; and what steps His Majesty's Government proposes to take both to prevent the execution of this policy and also to remove to a place of safety the many thousands of non-Turks who are gathering in the Anatolian seaports under threat of expulsion?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Bonar Law)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In regard to the second part, His Majesty's Government do not consider the present moment, while delicate negotiations are in progress, suitable for the publication of further information on this subject. In regard to the third and fourth parts, these matters are at present receiving urgent attention at Lausanne.


Would the Government approach the British Dominions with a view to finding places of destination for the refugees?