§ MR. BOURKE
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether there is any truth in the report that the fortress of Rustchuk has been strengthened or repaired; what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to secure the fulfilment of the Article of the Treaty of Berlin providing that all the old fortresses in Bulgaria shall be razed at the expense of the principality; and, whether the fortresses and fortifications on the banks of the Danube below the Iron Gates have been razed; if not, what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to secure the fulfilment of this provision of the Treaty of Berlin?
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
Sir, it is not true, as far as we know, that the fortress of Rustchuk has been repaired; but some of the casemates in the detached fort of Levan Tabia have been fitted with doors, and are used for the storage of dynamite and gunpowder. The information in our possession shows that the other Danubian fortresses have not been razed. Her Majesty's Government have, on more than one occasion, called the attention of the Bulgarian Government to the non-execution of the Articles of the Treaty of Berlin in regard to these fortresses, and the reply of the latter has been that most of the stonework had been removed, and that the fortresses were in a state of dilapidation, almost equivalent to demolition. They pleaded want of funds as an excuse for 1855 not having completed the destruction of the earthworks. Other Powers have also made representations on the subject, and Her Majesty's Government have been in communication with the Austrian Government as to a suggestion which has been made by the Prince of Bulgaria for the appointment of a Commission to investigate.