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War In Balkans

Volume 52: debated on Thursday 24 April 1913

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he can inform the House of the nature of the replies received by His Majesty's Government to the representations made by His Majesty's Ministers at Sofia and Belgrade regarding the outrages perpetrated upon the Mahomedans of Macedonia, Albania, and Thrace?

The Servian Government have stated that if any isolated cases did occur when soldiers in the excitement of battle committed a crime, the offenders have always been punished to the full extent of the military laws, in the same manner as all offences committed by the members of scattered indigenous committed bands, which could not be controlled by the military authorities, and that the Service authorities have severely punished all attempts at personal revenge among the inhabitants of the occupied districts. The Bulgarian Prime Minister has stated that no outrages have been committed by Bulgarian regular troops, and that any actions of Bulgarian bands have been quite irregular and directly opposed to the orders issued from headquarters. The most stringent orders have, moreover, been issued from the Bulgarian headquarters for the prevention of all excesses and for the punishment of any person guilty of them. All grades are to employ the utmost rigour for this purpose; and strong measures are to be taken for the maintenance of order and the protection of the population of the occupied districts. General Savoff further states that he has instructed the courts martial to deal with the utmost dispatch with the cases before them, and to punish ex-emplarily those guilty in the above-mentioned respects.

Are any further answers expected displaying a solicitude more suitable to the occasion?

The only answers we have received are those received when the representations were made.


asked if the Consular Reports state that the distress in Thrace, Albania, and Macedonia is decreasing?

I understand that everything possible is being done to alleviate the existing distress, which is, however, still acute in many localities.

In view of the importance of this question I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment to-night.