Greece and Constantinople.

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Near Eastern Question. – in the House of Commons on 31st July 1922.

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Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

(in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Clackmannan):

On the 29th July the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs handed to His Majesty's representative at Athens a Note stating that the Greek Government had come to the conclusion that only the occupation of Constantinople by the Greek army would bring about peace. The Greek Government, therefore, asked the Allies to give the necessary orders to their occupying troops. On the same day as this Note was received, His Majesty's representative at Athens, in compliance with instructions from London, warned the Greek Government of the serious consequences that would ensue from such a step. In reply the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs gave positive assurances that there was no cause for alarm, and that the Greek forces would on no account enter the neutral zone without Allied consent. These assurances he has since re-affirmed.

The action of the Greek Government is apparently due to a desire to expedite a settlement of the Near Eastern question.

I cannot make the statement asked for in the third part of the question, since no such Conference is at present contemplated.

As regards the fourth part of the question, the necessary instructions have just been issued to ask the Governments of Athens and Angora for facilities for the commissions of inquiry.