HC Deb 18 March 1925 vol 181 cc2242-3
8. Mr. RILEY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the British Government will use its influence to secure such action by the League of Nations as may bring about the ratification of the Greco-Bulgarian protocol regarding (he rights of minorities in Greece and Bulgaria, and which protocol was signed by the delegates representing Greece and Bulgaria at Geneva last September.


As the hon. Member is doubtless aware, the Greek Assembly refused to ratify the Protocol as signed by the delegate of (he Greek Government. In these circumstances it was decided at the meeting of the Council of the League of Nations which took place last week, to address to the Greek Government a number of questions requesting certain explanations, firstly as to what measures have already been taken for the practical application of the provisions of the Minorities Treaties, and, secondly, what measures were proposed to meet the future needs of the Slav-speaking minorities.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the great urgency of this matter, in view of the fact that, as I understand, there are at present 1,500,000 Greek refugees unsettled, and 400,000 Bulgarians and that, unless attention is given to this matter, serious trouble may arise?


What I have been trying to explain to the hon. Gentleman is that very serious attention was given to this question last week in Geneva, when it was my rather difficult duty to be rapporteur on this subject to the Council.


Will the Foreign Secretary be good enough to ask His Majesty's Consuls for special reports as to the recent exodus of refugees from Macedonia?


No, Sir, I do not think I am prepared to demand any particular reports from His Majesty's Consuls at this moment. The matter has been considered by the Council of the League, and I abide by the decision of the Council.