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House of Commons Hansard
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Affairs Of Crete—Question
20 June 1867
Volume 188
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said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that Omar Pasha, having been defeated at Heraclion in Candia, had burnt all the villages that had not been defended by the Insurgents, and murdered the inhabitants, and that the Consuls had reported these atrocities to their respective Governments; and, whether means cannot be found during the approaching visit of the Sultan to Europe, to obtain the cessation of a conflict continuing so long, and producing results so shocking to humanity?

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said, he wished, before the noble Lord answered the Question, to inquire whether there was any official confirmation of the statements contained in the Protest addressed by the Candian Committee to the Foreign Consuls on the 24th of May, according to which Omar Pasha had burnt twenty - three villages, destroyed the churches, set fire to the olive and other fruit trees, pulled down the mills, destroyed the crops, and burnt some women alive?

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Sir, the hon. Gentleman opposite the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Monk) not having given me notice of his Question, I shall be glad if he will repeat it to-morrow, when I shall be prepared to answer it more precisely than I can do now. With reference to the inquiry of my hon. Friend (Mr. Darby Griffith), I have to state that I have received no official report of a defeat of Omar Pasha at Heraclion. There is a newspaper statement to that effect, but whether it is true or untrue I do not pretend to decide. I observe, however, that the telegram is dated from Athens. I am afraid that there is on both sides much exasperation, and that, as will always happen in wars of this kind, carried on in half-civilized countries and in part by irregular troops, very lamentable and vindictive acts have been committed. As to the possibility of obtaining a cessation of the conflict, that, no doubt, is what we should all desire, but I need hardly say that it, is much more easily said than done. I do not think the occasion suggested by my hon. Friend would be opportune. There is a time for all things, and I do not think that the first occasion on which the Sultan will be receiving the hospitality of this country would be the proper period to inflict upon him any remonstrance or lecture with regard to his management of his own dominions.