§ MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can state whether any steps have yet been taken by the representatives of the Great Powers towards securing the promised withdrawal of the Turkish forces from Crete?
The question of the reorganisation of Crete, including the question of the Turkish garrisons, is under the continued consideration of the Powers; but it has not been found possible to proceed with it at Constantinople pari, passu, with the negotiations for the conclusion of the peace between Turkey and Greece.
§ MR. FLYNN
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Foreign Office is in possession of any recent information concerning the condition of affairs in Crete; whether Candian refugees representing the mercantile and other classes of that town have made representations to the effect that whilst in other towns in Crete occupied by European troops efficacious measures have been taken to repress disorder in the towns and put a stop to hostilities in the country, in Candia, which is occupied by British troops, the Bashi-Bazouks plunder the houses and shops of Christians and organize raiding expeditions into the neighbouring country; and whether effective steps to cope with this dangerous condition of things will be taken, either by increasing the strength of the garrison or otherwise?
A telegram from Cretan refugees at Athens was received by Lord Salisbury on Tuesday night. Several of the statements contained in it are not in accordance with the facts as they have been reported to us, but the telegram has been referred to Colonel Chermside for his observations. The Turkish garrison at Candia has already been increased from Canea, but no request has reached us from Colonel Chermside for an increase of the British occupying force.
§ MR. J. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any attempt was made by the Turkish troops in Candia to prevent the raid on the 26th June, when upwards of a thousand Bashi-Bazouks left that town to attack Mani Kasteli; and whether Turkish troops have been sent to re-inforce the garrison of Candia with the approval of the European admirals?
No information bearing on the first part of this question has been received since the telegrams from Colonel Chermside of the 26th and 28th of June, which I have previously communicated to the House. In the latter of those telegrams it is stated that cavalry orderlies were sent to the outposts, but that nevertheless a considerable raid occurred. The two companies of Turkish troops who have gone to reinforce the garrison at Candia have no doubt been sent with the approval of the admirals.
§ MR. DILLON
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs with what object has the system of rout marching of European troops in the interior of Crete been ordered; and whether it will be carried out in spite of the Cretan insurgents?
It is believed that the march of European detachments through the interior of Crete was designed as a pacific measure to reassure the inhabitants and to acquaint them with the intentions of the Powers as regards the future of the- island. Six of the native chiefs, however, requested that the march might be for the present postponed, as they were not quite sure of their control over their own people until the election of chiefs had been finally settled.
§ MR. DILLON
I beg to ask the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs when the Cretan Papers, dealing with the events of last February, will be distributed?
§ MR. DILLON
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether it is a fact that in the town of Candia, the plundering of the houses of Christians continues daily under the eyes of the European troops?
No report as to plundering in Candia has reached us from Colonel Chermside since his telegram of 16th June, the substance of which I communicated to the House on the 2nd instant. We do not believe that the statement in the Question can be well founded, but a telegram from Athens containing allegations to the same effect has, as I have already stated in reply to a previous Question, been sent to Colonel Chermside, for his observations.