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Smyrna (Greek Massacre)

Volume 117: debated on Thursday 26 June 1919

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any official information to the effect that the Greeks massacred their prisoners in Smyrna in full sight of the Allied warships; and, if not, will he consider the advisability of investigating the actual facts?

I regret to say that, in view of official information that has reached us, there can be no doubt that a number of Turkish officers and men lost their lives in the circumstances indicated in the hon. and gallant Member's question. The matter is engaging the earnest attention of the British Delegation in Paris.

I have every reason to believe that the Greek Government deplore these excesses, and are taking all steps to prevent a recurrence.

Is it not the fact that the policy of the Allies in having sent the Greeks to Smyrna is a direct blow to the elements favourable to us in Turkey, and a direct encouragement to our enemies, who are the Committee of Union and Progress?

Is it not the fact that part of our Navy was at Smyrna at that time, and could it not have done something towards preventing this occurrence?

As I said, the whole matter is being investigated; I should not like to venture an opinion of what the Navy should do in this or that circumstance.