HC Deb 07 July 1910 vol 18 c1919W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the Ottoman Government invited its creditors to register their claims with a view to payment eighteen months ago, and that a number of British firms have been put to considerable trouble and expense in proving their claims accordingly; whether any such firms have yet received payment in whole or in part; whether the Ottoman Government has yet arranged any scheme of payment or taken any serious steps in fulfilment of its proposed intentions in the matter; and, if not, whether he will cause inquiry to be made as to whether British merchants and investors have been or are being induced by the invitation above referred to to entrust the Ottoman Government with goods or money, and will consider the advisability of calling upon the Ottoman Government to act in the spirit of its invitation?


The answer to the first question is in the affirmative; that to the second is in the negative; that to the third is that the Ottoman Minister of Finance has made a statement in his Budget speech that the debts of the Ottoman Government in respect of these claims amount to about £T14,000,000, and this sum will presumably be paid in due course; the answer to the fourth question is that I do not consider the course suggested would serve any useful purpose at this moment. The registration was not, even when the speech above referred to was delivered (towards the end of April), quite complete; and it is only fair to give the Turkish Government a reasonable time in which to carry out their declared intentions.