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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH. HOUSE OF LORDS. Lord Salisbury, replying to a question by Lord Kimberley, made a brief statement upon the Cretan crisis. Reforms in the island had been arranged, he said, and were being carried into effect when the Hellenic Government, ap- parently forced by the opinion of its subjects, intervened. It had sent ships and troops to Cretan waters. The Powers all, without any exception,' the Prime Minister continued, were of opinion that this wasamostilladvised act. As soon as there was any indication that it was in meditation they protested against it, and they have since expressed their opinion in very earnest language to the Greek Govern- ment- The Powers retain their opinion of the utter unwisdom of the acts that have taken place, and, I think, have no disposition in any degree to sanction it. Her Majesty's Govern- ment retain the attitude which they have observed of keeping in concert with the other Powers of Europe and acting together with them. Our naval officers have received instructions to take no isolated action, but" to concert with the naval officers of the other Powers.' Lord Salisbury added that the 'con- certed sympathy of the Powers' remained complete, and he had no ground for thinking it would be diminished, or that the Powers had any intention of departing from the policy they had hitherto pursued. Lord Onslow, replying to Lord Reay, made a statement with reference to experiments in protective inoculation against the plague in India.. HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. Curzon, answering Sir H. Vincent, said the Government were not of opinion that any reason existed to press forward negotiations for a new treaty of commerce with Turkey. Previous negotiations had shown clearly that such a treaty could only be concluded on the basis of some increase in the Customs duties at present levied on British goods in the Ottoman dominions. Answering questions put by Mr. Perks and Sir C. Dilke, Sir. M. White Ridley said there could be no question of a railway company adopting or declining to adopt the Truck Act. He understood that some railway companies hail preferred to relinquish altogether the right to impose fines rather than carry out the e, stringent conditions which the Act imposed. I Mr. Ritchie, replying to Mr. James O'Con- nor, said that up to the present his communica- tions with the Railway Association with a view to bringing about some alteration in the structure of railway carriages, so as to dimi- nish the facilities for murder and outrage which the existing railway carriages afforded, had been without effect. Several questions were put to Mr. Curzon with respect to the position in Crete. In reply he stated that on Saturday the Government heard that many native Christian families had left Hcrkalion without hindrance, under the protection of the foreign ships of war; that pillage in the town had ceased, and that British subjects were not molested. On Sunday they heard that the Greek Vice Consul had embar- ked, and requested the British Vice Consul to take charge of his archives, and to protect Greek subjects. The Great Powers, who were acting in complete harmony, were taking every step that lay in their power to chfCk the spread of disorder in Crete but in the present state of the island it was almost impossible for them to communicate with the interior The British naval officers had received instructions to take no isolated action, but it would not be proper for the Government to publish at this stage the communications they had had with other Powers without the consent of those Powers. He was not prepared to state whether the British fleet would interfere if the Greek troops attempted to land, nor could he consent to have inferences drawn one way or the other. The Note from the Greek Government pre- sented to the Foreign Officer on the 11th inst. by the Greek Charge d'Affaires contained allegations which would be much disputed, and could not properly be laid on the table of the House except in conjunction with other papers on the same subject. Asked by Sir W. Harcourt whether he was in a position to make a statement as to the present state of affairs in Crete, Mr. A. J. Balfour said that in the opinion of the Govern- ment it would not be at all expedient in the public interest that at the present moment any statement should be made with regard to affairs in Crete beyond the statement already made by the Under Secretary, to the effeet that the Government were working in most cordial co-operation with the representatives of other Great Powers. The Under Secretary hoped to lay a Blue book on Crete on the table of the House in a few days, and that Blue-book would contain the programme of reforms decided upon by the Great Powers. Sir W. Harcourt asked whether it would contain recent correspondences. Mr. Curzon said the papers to be presented were those ordered to be printed at the end of August last. Sir W. Harcourt said the House had been informed that certain arrangements were made by the Great Powers for a reform in the administration of Crete so far back as August of last year. No papers had been laid on the table; and what he wished to have was a state- ment of those arrangements. Mr. Curzon said the Blue book would con- tain full information as to the arrangements made last August. The delay in the publica- tion had arisen through entirely unavoidable causes. Mr. A. J. Balfour informed Mr. James O'Connor that there was no probability of the Government, as a result of the tranquil state of Ireland, bringing in a bill to repeal the Criminal Law Amendment (Ireland) Act, 1887. He also informed Mr. Brookfield that Military Manoeuvres Bill would not be proceeded with this session. The debate was resumed on Mr. M'Kenna's amendment to the motion for the second read- ing of the Voluntary Schools Bill, to the effect that no bill would be satisfactory which did not provide for Board schools as well as Voluntary schools. Mr. Channing was the first speaker. The Solicitor General, replying to Mr. Mor- ley's speech last Thursday, said Mr. Morley admitted that his view was that the State should not recognise any educational institu- tion which to any extent partook of a sectarian character, but as the country had declared against that view, he must accept the fact. The country had indeed declared against that view, but while accepting the coir try's decision with sombre acquiescence, Mr. Morley had no policy of his own to propound. It would be mere pe- dantry because the opinion of the country was not ripe for a final settlement of the question not to do what was wanted now, and not to take those steps which the Government believed would solve the difficulty for many years to come. The real ground of opposition to the bill was that the enemies of Voluntary schools desired that the process of painless extinction of those schools should go on. But this mea- sure, though it could not be considered as final in its character, would enable Voluntary schools to keep up the light for many years to come. In the course of the debate, Sir E. Lockwood remarked upon the fact that the House had not heard a word from Sir J. Gorst, who represen ted the department responsible for the bill; and said he hoped, before the debate was finished, to hear the Vice-President give the House the views of his department. Sir J. Gorst subsequently said that if the House had any interest in the views of the Com- mittee of Council on the bill, he would endea- vour to make them known. He went on to give the Committee of Council's explanation of the different portions of the bill. The dabate was again adjourned.



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