Oral Answers to Questions — Greece and Turkey.

– in the House of Commons at on 29 June 1921.

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Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

4.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is intended to continue to permit Greek warships and troopships to use the waters of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmora, and the Bosphorus for operations against the Turkish armies, in view of the neutralisation of those waters and the reply of Greece to the recent Allied representations?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

The status of the Straits was explained by the Leader of the House on the 21st instant, and is not affected by the Greek reply.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Having sent a letter to the Greek Government saying that we would give no further support in the event of an unfavourable reply, are we not going against the spirit of that letter in allowing them to use these neutral waters for their operations?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I do not agree with the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee , Finsbury

(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can give the House any information with reference to the situation on the Ismid Peninsula?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

The situation in the Ismid Peninsula is obscure, but according to information received this morning the town of Ismid was evacuated by the Greek forces on the evening of 27th June. It is further reported that the town is in flames and that great panic prevails in the district. Numbers of Armenians and neutral Turks are fleeing towards Constantinople. Having regard to the general confusion, there appears to be considerable danger of massacres, and Mr. Rattigan, in concurrence with the Allied High Commissioners, is taking all possible steps to prevent such outrages by one side or the other.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee , Finsbury

Can my hon. Friend tell me whether there are any British ships in the vicinity to protect British interests on the Peninsula? Are there any troops there?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I understand that British interests are not in any danger. Questions relating to naval or military affairs should be addressed to the Departments concerned.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Has Mr. Rattigan any British troops at his disposal?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

He is acting with the Allied Commissioners in Constantinople, and has no concern, as such, with military policy.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Then none of our troops are likely to be involved in the next few days?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I do not think that arises out of the question?