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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH. HOUSE OF LORDS. LORD Salisbury made a statement, in reply to a question by Lord Dunraven, upon the policy of Great Britain and the other Powers in refer- ence to Crete. The Government felt, he said, that it was not convenient or desirable that they should abstain from informing the House so far as they could do, of the policy which they were anxious to press, and which they thought our allies agreed with us in pursuing. As the best form of placing the House in possession of the actual facts of the moment, his Lordship read the following telegram, which was sent on Wednesday night to the Powers through our Ambassadors Inform the Government to which you are accredited that Her Majesty's Government propose to make the following public declaration of the policy which they are prepared to pursue, which they believe would be in accordance with the views of their allies :—1. That the esta- blishment of administrative automony in Crete is, in their judgment, a necessary condi- tion to the termination of the international occupation. 2. That, subject to the above pro- vision, Crete ought, in their judgment, to remain a portion of the Turkish Empire. 3. That Turkey and Greece ought to be informed by the Powers of this resolution. 4 That if either Turkey or Greece persistently refuses, when required, to withdraw their uaval and military forces from the island, the Powers should impose their decision by force upon the State so refusing.' Lord Salisbury drew attention to the words 'when required,' and said it did not followcertainly in the case of Turkey—that all the troops could be with drawn immediately. Mere questions of police would prevent such a result as that. On the other hand, it was evident that eventually the withdrawal of the Turkish troops was a neces- sary condition of administrative automony, and therefore the Turkish troops would ultimately be withdrawn, except so far as they might be kept-as in the case of Samos, and for many years in the case of Servia-simply as an indication of sovereignty. The Greek troops, he imagined, would be required by the Powers to withdraw at an earlier date. He L believed, after much intercommunication, that this was the course that the Powers desired to take, but he could not go further until it was known npon each point of detail what their position was. But if these principles, which he had ventured to lay down, were recognised by the Powers, as he believed they would be, as the principles animating their policy, it was not possible that the present state of things in Crete could indefinitely continue. The Earl of Kimberley, having regard so the gravity of the subject, said he preferred to re- serve his observations until he had had time to consider the matter. HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. Balfour made a statement identical in terms with that made in the other House by Lord Salisbury. Sir W. Harcourt said he was sure the Hoase would feel the extreme gravity of the announce- ment, affecting as it did the relations of this country, not only in the present but in the future, with all the Powers of Europe, and with the Governments of Turkey and Greece. He asked for facilities to discuss the proposals, and suggested that they should be considered the following day. Mr. Balfour thought that the Supply rule ought not to be interfered with, seeing chat there had already been two motions for the adjournment of the House to discuss the Cretan question. Sir W. Harcourt then suggested Monday, and Mr. Balfour promised to communicate with him on the subject. Asked by Mr. Channing if it was true that Turkish troops sallied from Canea last Sunday to attack the advanced positions of the Cretan insurgents or to defend positions held by Turks, Mr. Curzon replied that according to the information the Government had received, no sally took place. Sir H. Havelock-Allan asked the Govern- ment to take steps to stop the supply of provisions and munitions of war to the Greek forces and Cretan insurgents. Mr. Curzon replied that the British admiral having instructions to act in concert with other naval commanders, no separate' orders could be sent to him to act independently of ;his colleagues. Mr. Channing asked who gave the signal for the bombardment of the Cretan position. Mr. Curzon replied that the signal was always given by the senior naval officer, and he was the Italian admiral. In answer to Mr. H. Roberts and Mr. H. J. Wilson, who asked whether the Turks, en. couraged by the action of the allied squadron, had been firing on the Cretans, who had not replied, fearing that they might be again shelled by the fleet, Mr. Curzon said the only information the Government possessed on this point was that throughout Monday desultory tiring continued from the south of the town, and that on Tuesday fighting was going on on both sides of Suda Bay. It was clear that this information applied to both combatants. Mr. Goddard asked the Under Secretary whether his attention had been called to the statement that the Turks opened fire on the Cretans while they were picking up their dead and wounded. Mr. Curzon replied that so far as his infor- mation went the statement was incorrect. No wounded were seen. The admirals, he added in reply to Mr. Dillon, offered to send ashore medical assistance to tend the wounded, but the Cretan commander would not allow them. In answer to Mr. Labouchere, Mr. Curzon said that, so far as the Government could gather, the position taken up by the insur- gents on the heights commanding Canea must have been between one and two miles from the walls of the town. Asked by Mr. Channing if the insurgents had artillery, Mr. Curzon said he thought so. It was from the fear that they were going to plant that artillery in a position which would command the town that the action of the fleets the other day took place. Answering Mr. Dillon, Mr. Curzon said the insurgents had taken up a position at the Convent of the Prophet Elias, and the fire ot the squadron obliged them to haul down their tag, He did not know how many were killed or wounded. He did not think it was at -111 cer- tain that the Convent of the Prophet Elias was fired on, or that any of the nuns were killed. Mr. Curzon informed Sir G. Baden-Powell that the Governor of Sierra Leone recently visited Monrovia and discussed the question of increased trading facilities with the Republic of Liberia. Steps had since been taken with regard to the issue of licenses to trade with ports Ðf non-entry. He also received assuran- ces that British vessels should not be fired upon. Answering Sir E. A. Bartlett, Mr. Chamber- lain said a law had been introduced into the Volksraad, but he had no information that, it had been passed. In any case the British sub- jects in the South Africa Republic were secured by the Convention, which Her Majesty's Government had declared their intention to maintain in its integrity. Mr. Curzon, replying to questions by Mr. Dillon and Mr. Maclean, said the object of the special mission which the Government had decided to send to King Menelik was to assure the. King of the frieadly intentions of Her Majesty's Government, to endeavour to pro- mote amicable political relations, and to settle certain questions which had arisen between the British authorities in the Somali Coast Protec- torate and the Abyssinian Governor of Harrar. Mr. Brodrick, in reply to Sir W. H. Houlds- worth, said the Manchester volunteers would be supplied with the Lee-Metford rifle during the next financial year, and as soon as possible after the 1st of November next. On the order for Committee on the Volun- tary Schools Bill; the Speaker stated that a number of the proposed instructions to the Committee were out of order. The only one that was in oyder at this stage was one by Mr. Lloyd-George. Mr. Lloyd-George then rose before the House went into Committee to move—" That it be an instruction to the Com- mittee that they have power to insert clauses in the bill with a view to making provision for ensuring adequate representation of local authorities or parents on the management of the schools in receipt of the aid grant." 11 Mr. Courtenay Warner seconded the motion. Mr. Balfour opposed the instruction, as be did not think the House could touch with advantage the management of Voluntary schools without being in the greatest danger of destroying their voluntary character. Mr. Acland expressed regret that Mr. Balfour had not seen his way to accept the instruction. After a prolonged discussion, in which the instruction was supported by many Liberal LTaionist and Conservative members, Mr. J. Morley moved the adjournment of the debate, Mr. Balfour moved the closure, and after several divisions the instruction was rejected by 270 votes to 134.








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