Brits Can’t Act at This Time
Nor can French, while United States has refused to help
London, March 25 – Responding to criticism of the government’s foreign policy by Herbert H Anquith, member of the house, for ____, Premier Lloyd George this afternoon gave a detailed escalation of the Turkish situation.
The premier said it would have been a blunder to have settled the Turkish problem without having given the United States the most ample opportunity to decide whether it would accept a mandate because it would have given rise to suspicions that Great Britain and France were taking advantage of the political dissensions in the United States, to divide the whole of Turkey among themselves.
As We Refused –
“It was only when America definitely refused the mandate that we proceeded without her,” Mr. Lloyd George declared.
The premier said the proposal to oust the sultan had been rejected as inadequate because it left the question of the government of Constantinople undecided and the allies were anxious to avoid the expense and responsibility of the administration of Constantinople. With regard to Armenia, the premier continues, France would have been willing to hand Cilicia to the United States if the latter had accepted the mandate.
“Up to the present we have only received requests from America to protect Armenia, without any offer to assume responsibility,” Mr. Lloyd George said. “We hope that France will undertake the responsibility but it is too much to ask considering all the burdens France already has.”
Brits Can’t Act
The premier contended that it was impossible for Englang to send armies to keep order in Armenia and Asia Minor.
England would do her utmost to exert her sources in Constantinople to secure good treatment for the Christians, he asserted, but was unable to accept a wider responsibility.
The Armenians are an exceptionally intelligent people and must begin to depend on themselves for the protection of their independence, Mr. Lloyd George said, adding that he understood they could easily raise an army of 40,000 men. Great Britain would be willing to supply equipment and officers for their training. If that were done they could defend themselves against the Turks, the premier declared.
“Thousands Murdered by the Cruel Turks”
Massacre of Armenian is Continuing and the Rate of Slaughter has been Mounting Rapidly of late
London, March 25 – Tartars recently massacred 17,000 Armenians within the boundaries of the new Armenian state at the instigation of the Young Turks in the Azerbaijan government, according to Archbishop Kohlu an Armenian from Erivan, who has arrived in London to confer on behalf of the Armenian republic with allied authorities regarding the situation in Armenia.
Host of Captives
Three thousand persons are being herded in Tartar villages and portions of the Armenian frontier are being held by the Tartars, according to the archbishop. He says that in December the Tartars murdered 14,000 Armenians at Akoulis, in Azerbaijan, on the pretext that Tartars had been massacred in Armenian territory.
The archbishop said also that many massacres since the armistice were declared to have been due to the fact that the frontiers between Armenia and Azerbaijan were not clearly defined.
“Armenians want American Mandate”
Asked whether, if the United States took a mandate to America, meaning thereby practically a military protectorate, the Americans would not soon be tired of their rulers, who would be quite different from missionaries. Premier Khatitian said: “There is a big colony of our people in America who meet all classes,and there are none of them who do not entertain deep affection for America and regard her as a mother. I saw last winter three hundred dead per day on the streets of this city and if America had not helped feed our hungry there would have been half a million Armenians dead of starvation. After such relations it is our dream to have Americans here, and if they don’t come it will be our end.”
Asked if reconstructed Russia would not demand back any territory the Peace Conference might now set aside to form an Armenian state, he said:
“Distinctions must be made between Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Old Russia wanted an Armenia reaching to the Mediterranean sea so they might have the outlet they couldn’t get except by possessing Constantinople. New Russia might not wish to oppress a state so different in population, also she might not have an interest in troubling us, whereas she would need the Caucasus because of the railway to Batoum and also the oil riches of Baku which have their outlet at Batoum to the world markets. Besides we have assurances from Donekine that we will not be disturbed.”
Regarding the League of Nations, the premier said that, surrounded by Russians, British in Persia and Turks, the league would be a partial protection but that if America guaranteed the existence of Armenia no neighbor would dare disturb her. “If America will take the mandate for fifteen or twenty years, we are sure the republic will live: surely a race that has kept itself alive for 500 years under Turk rule is worthy of help,” said Mr. Khatitian.
Turning to immediate affairs, he continued: “There is no Bolshevism among us because of our patriotism. Under our greatest trials, our soldiers, serving in the Russian army, were not affected. The general lawlessness now prevalent throughout the Caucasus may be over within a year and if Denikine reaches Moscow it will die out of itself. The Bolsheviki may yield this winter as they will be short both of food and fuel. Denikine’s occupation of Moscow, however, is not the final solution of Russia’s difficulties since he will follow the policy of the old empire, and thereby create a new revolution. Here among us, it is astonishing to note that despite starvation we have neither Bolshevism, murder nor violence.
“Our people will need relief until next summer only, if matters are adjusted so they can return to their homes and begin working the field in April. We can grow enough because we have two harvests.”