§ MR. F. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the attention of the Foreign Office has been called to the despatch contained in The Daily Telegraph of the 27th inst., from the special correspondent of that journal at Mush, confirming from trustworthy evidence, in their essential features, the accounts of the outrages committed in the Sasun district; whether note has been taken of the statements that long before the delegates arrived, and when Consul Hallward was endeavouring to reach Sassoon, efforts were made by the authorities, especially by the responsible military commander, Zekki Pasha, to conceal all traces of the massacre, the very occurrence of which Zekki persistently denied; that an attempt was made to obliterate the pit dug behind the house of a village chief of Djellyegoozan, in which hundreds of mutilated bodies lay piled on each other, and that numerous witnesses have been on various pretexts imprisoned or conveyed to distant places under Turkish supervision; whether it is true that the inquiry is expected in official quarters to last at least two months yet; and whether in view of the urgent necessity for securing the safety of the Christian population, having regard especially to the threats of an impending massacre during the month of Ramazan, which begins at the end of February, and on the strength of the information already in possession of the Foreign Office on the subject of the prevailing misgovernment and oppression in Armenia, Her Majesty's Government will forthwith take steps, in concert with such of the Powers as are chiefly concerned, to bring such pressure to bear upon the Porte as will lead to the immediate introduction of reforms under European supervision, in accordance with Treaty obligations?
§ SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
wished, before the hon. Baronet answered, to ask whether it was a fact that the telegram in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph purporting to have been sent from Mush on February 23, via Kars, was received in England on February 26; whether Kars was 345 kilométres from Mush, and eight days' journey in good weather by rapid courier from Mush; and whether, under those circumstances, the telegram 37 could possibly have been received in the way stated.
§ SIR E. GREY
A copy of this article has been sent to Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople, but I cannot express any opinion upon the statements contained in it pending the progress of the inquiry. It is not probable, considering the difficulties of travelling, that the work of the Commission can be finished before the period mentioned. Her Majesty's Government will, in the meanwhile, do all that is possible, in conjunction with other Governments, who may be ready to assist, to urge upon the Porte the adoption of proper measures whenever necessary for the protection of the Christian population. The question of the introduction of reforms is fully kept in mind, but it cannot be treated with advantage except upon complete and authentic information.