Oral Answers to Questions — Massacres, Asia Minor

– in the House of Commons on 30th March 1922.

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Photo of Mr T.P. O'Connor Mr T.P. O'Connor , Liverpool Scotland

(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affaire whether his attention has been called to the telegram from the Patriarch of Constantinople to the Archbishop of Canterbury in which lie states that on 25th February 20 Greek villages were destroyed by fire in the region of Kerassunde, in the Pontus, by the order of Osman Agha, Mayor of Kerassunde and Kemalist military commander, and on 1st March the villages of Beislan, Pozat, Tepekeny and Kiavour-hiki were also burned down, the inhabitants—consisting only of women and children, who were previously imprisoned in the houses—having completely perished in the flames; and whether adequate steps have been taken at the recent Paris Conference to ensure the protection of Christians in the Pontus and other regions in the Near East, and to put an end to these horrible massacres?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I much regret that, not having received my hon. Friend's notice of this question until the House had actually met, I am not in a position to give him an answer.

Photo of Lord Robert Cecil Lord Robert Cecil , Hitchin

Can the hon. Gentleman say, without notice, whether the Government contemplate taking any steps to prevent massacres of this kind, which will certainly take place in all the territories affected by the new Agreement which has been made in Paris?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

I cannot answer that. Perhaps the Noble Lord would put the question down for Monday.

Photo of Mr T.P. O'Connor Mr T.P. O'Connor , Liverpool Scotland

May I say, as a matter of personal explanation, that I cannot account for the delay, in my notice reaching the hon. Gentleman, because I sent the letter by messenger at 12 o'clock?