HL Deb 08 March 1878 vol 238 cc950-1

said, he likewise desired to ask a Question of the noble Earl of which he had given him private Notice. It was this—Whether the statement was correct which had appeared in one of the morning journals of that day—The Daily Telegraph —in the form of a telegram dated from Pera? — That certain negotiations are proceeding between the Russians and Persians for the cession to the latter of part of the Bayazid district, in exchange for sundry places on the Caspian Sea. He had nothing to say as to the relative value of the two districts; but it seemed to him that the principle involved in the exchange was of some importance. Private arrangements between Russia and Turkey were not to be considered as accomplished facts until they were submitted to the Powers in European Conference; but if Russia were allowed to enter into possession of the territories which she claimed from Persia by exchange or otherwise, matters might be a good deal complicated at the Congress.


My Lords, I am aware that rumours have been floating about of some transactions of the nature referred to by the noble Earl. There was a rumour lately of a secret understanding between Persia and Russia for a cession to Russia of a dig- trict on the Caspian coast. I thought it worth while to ascertain by telegraph what truth there might be in that report; and the Persian Government have absolutely denied that there is any truth in it. I am not in a position to afford information as to any other arrangements for the cession by Persia of any portion of its territory.