HL Deb 21 May 1901 vol 94 c726

My Lords, I beg to ask my noble friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs a question of which I have given him private notice, namely, whether he is in a position to make any statement with reference to the dispute with the Porte in connection with the foreign post offices, and whether, in the event of an arrangement being arrived at, he will insist upon the same privileges being accorded to this country as are already enjoyed by other Powers. I have no intention of detaining the House on this question, for I have several times brought before the notice of the Foreign Secretary the case of Salonica, where the British mercantile community are placed at great disadvantage as compared with other foreigners in consequence of the difficulty experienced in regard to their post offices. In view of the recent autocratic and unexpected conduct of the Turkish Government with regard to this matter it is plain that a favourable opportunity has occurred for settling an old question, and I trust the noble Marquess will be able to give me some assurance on the subject.


The matter to which my noble friend has referred is engaging the earnest attention of the Powers concerned. His Majesty's Government are fully determined to insist upon sufficient reparation for the conduct of the Turkish officials, and upon a formal and satisfactory undertaking in regard to the future. We shall not regard any arrangement as satisfactory which fails to give to this country, in respect of postal facilities, a position equal to that enjoyed by other Powers.