HC Deb 08 March 1926 vol 192 cc1925-6

(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the attention of His Majesty's Government has been called to the action of Turkish officials in Constantinople on 2nd, 3rd and 4th March in threatening to close the English High School for Girls in Pera on 4th March unless a Turkish ex-officer was installed as Turkish teacher in the school forthwith; whether the school authorities refused to admit him to the premises on the ground of intoxication; whether the Turkish authorities have sought to justify their nomination of this ex-officer and his offence of intoxication by pro- ducing a medical certificate describing him as a chronic epileptic; whether Turkish officials are interfering in any other way with the right of the school to give a liberal English education as it is defined in the Schools Foundation Charter; what steps, if any, have been taken to protect the school from procedure which would destroy the school and is, in any case, contrary to the provisions of the residents' section of the Lausanne Treaty?


The answers to the first and second parts of the right hon. Gentleman's question are in the affirmative. I have no official confirmation of the statements contained in the third part, that is about the medical certificate. The answer to the fourth part is in the affirmative, Turkish interference having principally taken the form of forcing unqualified Turkish teachers on the school, insisting on a disproportionate amount of time being devoted to the teaching of Turkish, constantly demanding unnecessary returns, etc., in Turkish, and prohibiting the bulk of the school's correspondence from being carried on, and of the school's accounts from being kept, in any language but Turkish. As regards the last part of the question, His Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople has proceeded to Angora in order to take up this, and certain other similar cases of violations of the Lausanne settlement, with the Turkish Government.


Would it not be more useful if His Majesty's Ambassador were permanently settled at Angora?


That question does not now arise.