HC Deb 14 August 1919 vol 119 cc1676-7W

asked the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British forces in Trans-Caucasia, or part of them, are to be withdrawn; if so, whether any arrangements have been, or can be, made to prevent bloodshed among the different races inhabiting that region; whether he has information that the Kurds, Tartars, and Georgians are attacking, or preparing to attack, the Armenian Republic of Erivan; and, if so, whether the Armenians, having been our friends in the late War, will be rendered any assistance or left to their fate?


The British forces are being entirely evacuated from Trans-Caucasia immediately. At the same time a political mission under the charge of a gentleman specially qualified for the post is on its way to Trans-Caucasia, and will, it is hoped, be in a position to exercise a restraining influence on the local Governments of the various Republics, both as regards their relations with each other and with the Russian Volunteer Army to the north. As I indicated, in my reply to the hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. Cairns) on Tuesday, His Majesty's Government regard the position of the Armenians in the Caucasus as extremely unsatisfactory and they earnestly trust that it may be possible to appoint a mandatory Power in the near future. In the meantime, the Peace Conference in Paris have appointed an Allied High Commissioner for Armenia.

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