§ Sir DONALD MACLEAN (by private notice)
asked the Leader of the House 718 whether he can give any information with regard to the alarming statement which appeared in the "Times" this morning as to whether the Armenian population of Cilicia is confronted with a terrible crisis, that some 50,000 troops belonging to the forces of Mustapha Khamil, consisting both of Turks and Kurds, have taken advantage of the unprotected condition of the mountain districts of Cilicia to massacre the Armenians at Zeitun, Fundunjak, Furnus, and in the vicinity, and that it is reported that the total number of victims is 7,000?
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
I beg to ask your ruling, Sir, whether it is in Order to quote the name of a newspaper when asking a question in the House?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It has always been the rule of this House not to quote newspapers, but to ask whether any statement published is true. But I was unfortunately not shown the question.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
My hon. Friend (Mr. A. Williams) has given notice of a similar question, with the addition whether there is any reason to suppose that the agents of the Lord Mayor's Relief Fund are in danger. I am sorry to say that we have no information which would enable us either to contradict or to confirm the statement which has been made. I need not say that we are in communication both with the French Government and with our representative at Constantinople, and in addition our representative there is taking every stop to make it plain to the Turkish Government that if this kind of thing goes on it will have a serious effect on the relations between the Allies and that country.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
Can my right hon. Friend say whether we have any representatives in these districts? Are there any Consuls or anything of that kind?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I am afraid not. The House knows that this particular district is at a great distance from any of the Allied troops; but I can assure the House that whatever can be done will be done.
§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that it is only fifty or sixty miles from the great port of 719 Alexandretta, and not, therefore, a very long distance from the French troops?