MR. H. ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Embassy at Constantinople has 1150 yet sent a reply to the note received from the Porte repudiating all responsibility for the demand's made on behalf of British subjects for losses sustained by them during the Armenian massacres; whether he is aware that the reply recently given by the British Government to the representatives of these British subjects on this subject has caused much dissatisfaction; and in view of the serious interests involved, the British Government will insist upon the settlement by the Porte of the demands made?
§ MR. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Government will consider the desirability of obtaining satisfaction in the claims of British subjects in respect of the losses sustained during the Constantinople massacres of 1896, either by laying an embargo on the Greek Indemnity money, as France is doing, or by deducting the sum required from the money which will accrue to the Ottoman Treasury from the conversion of the Guaranteed Loan of 1855?
The reply from the Porte has only arrived to-day, and I have not yet had an opportunity of considering its contents. The assurance given by Her Majesty's Government to the claimants was to the effect that they would use their best endeavours to obtain for British claims as favourable a treatment as is accorded to those of other nationalities. It is not possible to go beyond that statement at the present moment. But I cannot see why it should have caused much, or, indeed, am' dissatisfaction. In reply to the honourable Member for Eye I have to say I am unable to make any statement as to the particular method which may be adopted by Her Majesty's Government to procure satisfaction from the Turkish Government for the claims in question.
MR. J. LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)
Do I understand that the British or any other Government have any right to interfere with the Greek Indemnity or the Guaranteed Loan of 1855?