WHAT ALLIES PROMISE
LONDON, Oct. 8.
The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, having telegraphed to the Government announcing the anxiety of the Armenian community in Australia regarding the situation at Baku, the Government has supplied the following summary of a letter from Lord Robert Cecil (Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs) to Lord Bryce on the subject:—
The Baku Armenians were an isolated remnant, and their task was made impossible by the disorganisation, which had thrown open to the Turks the trans-Caucasian railway, leading to the gates of the city. The services of the Armenians to the common cause have assuredly not been forgotten.
There are four points which may be regarded as the charter of their rights to liberation at the hands of the Allies:—
Firstly, in 1914 the Turks sent emissaries to a national congress of Ottoman Armenians, and offered them autonomy if they would actively assist Turkey in the war. The Armenians replied: They would do their duty individually as Ottoman subjects, but that as a nation they could not work for the cause of Turkey and her allies.
Secondly, on account, in part, of this refusal, Ottoman Armenians were in 1915 systematically murdered by the Turkish Government. Two-thirds of the population were exterminated by the most cold blooded and most fiendish methods. More than 700,000 men. women, and children were slain.
Thirdly, from the beginning of the war that half of the Armenian nation which was under the sovereignty of Russia organised volunteer forces, and under their heroic leader Andranik bore the brunt of some of the heaviest fighting in the Caucasian campaigns.
Fourthly, after the breakdown of the Russian army, at the end of last year, these Armenian forces took over the Caucasian front, and for five months delayed the advance of the Turks, thus rendering important service to the British army In Mesopotamia.
Armenian soldiers are still fighting in the ranks of the Allied forces in Syria. They are to be found serving alike in the British, French, and American armies, and they have borne their part in General Allenby's great victory. The policy of the Allies towards Armenia remains unaltered. The British Government reaffirms its determination that wrongs such as Armenia has suffered shall be brought to an end, and their recurrence made impossible.