HL Deb 18 May 1876 vol 229 cc914-5

asked, If Her Majesty's Government have any objection to communicate such information as they may have received respecting the outrage at Salonica; and, whether it is correct that British ships of war, as well as those of other countries, have been despatched to Salonica and Besika Bay?


in answer to the first part of my noble Friend's Question, I have to say that I have received official communications on the subject of the unfortunate occurrence of the murder of the two Consuls at Salonica; but these communications have reached me by telegraph, and they are necessarily brief. The information they contain is in substance identical with that which has appeared in the newspapers. I am therefore not in a position to throw light on the details of the occurrence. I am, however, happy to be able to state that the Turkish Government has shown a very proper feeling in the matter, and that nothing has been left undone by it to secure the punishment of the offenders and afford reparation to the relatives of the sufferers. In answer to the second part of my noble Friends Question, I have to say that it is a fact that in consequence of communications received from our Ambassador at Constantinople Her Majesty's Government have thought it desirable that the Admiral commanding in the Mediterranean should bring up the vessels under his command to Besika Bay. One ship has been despatched to Salonica; and, in addition, orders have been given for a gunboat to go up to Constantinople. I may mention that undoubtedly there has been a great deal of excitement among the Mahommedan population at Constantinople, and considerable apprehension among the Christian population; but the latest accounts state that the agitation has been much allayed, and I hope, therefore, there is no further danger.