53-The place for the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies

The place for the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies

The Agenda was confined to these three questions :

1. The place for the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies.

2. The position of the Representative Committee and the procedure of the national organisations after the Chamber had met.

3. What attitude would have to be taken up by each of these after the Peace Conference in Paris had come to a decision, whether favourable or unfavourable to us.

Gentlemen, the answers which had reached us to these questions which we had addressed to the general committees of our union may be divided into four groups, arranged according to the several points of view expressed in them.

1. According to the first, it was decided that it was advisable that the Chamber should not meet in Constantinople.

2. The second view was that the meeting should take place in Constantinople. The chief supporters of this opinion were the Com mittees of Erzerum, Trebizond, Balikesri, and the whole of the districts of Karassi and Sarukan. We know that the most important personalities in Stambul were nearly all of this opinion. The Padishah himself desired it and the Government supported the idea.

3. The third point of view, which was represented by the Committee of the “Thrace and Pasha-Eli” Society, advocated some place in the neighbourhood of Constantinople.

4. Lastly, a certain number of the general Committees deferred to the personal view of Salih Pasha and saw no reason why Parliament should not meet outside Constantinople if the Government consented.

You will easily see from these differences of opinion pronounced by the nation to what extent the Government and their creatures had succeeded in producing confusion and anarchy in the public mind. On that account, it was not difficult to feel that stronger pressure on our part would lead to disaster.

a long discussion on this question, that took place between the 16 th and 29 th November

I will now read you from the minutes the resolutions arrived at after a long discussion on this question, that took place between the 16 th and 29 th November.

1. Notwithstanding the doubts and dangers attending the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies in Constantinople and considering the fact that the Imperial Government had not yet consented to the meeting taking place elsewhere, it was agreed, in order that a crisis in the country should be avoided, that the meeting should take place in Constantinople. It was resolved, however, that care should be taken about the following:

a) To inform all deputies about the situation and to ask them individually to express their opinion on it;

b) Before going to Constantinople the deputies should meet in groups in such centres as Trebizond, Samsoon, Ineboli, EsM-Shehr, Adrianople in case the Assembly meets in Constantinople for the purpose of forming strong parties that would decide upon the steps to be taken to secure their protection in Constantinople as well as in places outside it, and that should be delegated to defend the principles laid down in our programme;

c) Through the mediation of the commandants in the different districts and the principal recruiting offices, it would be the duty of all Corps commanders to make preparations without delay for the extension and reinforcement of our organisations.

d) In anticipation of any promises being held out to them, inquiries should be instituted among all the high civil officials for the purpose of ascertaining whether they will remain true and faithful to the national movement; their own personal energetic co-operation shall be solicited to strengthen and spread our organisations with all the means at their disposal.

2. The Representative Committee shall continue to perform their duty by keeping in the background until the National Assembly has met in Constantinople, when the deputies will be assured that they can exercise their legislative duties in perfect security and freedom. It is, however, requested that one representative shall be selected from the deputies for every Sanjak and two for every Vilayet and every autonomous Sanjak according to Art. 8 of the regulations, and will meet as members of the Representative Committee near Eski- Shehr. They will discuss the situation and settle what they will be called* upon to do in the Assembly. To facilitate this, the Represent ative Committee will also be transferred to that place. When the Representative Committee will be consolidated in this way, the re maining deputies will join the Assembly in Constantinople. So long as the Representative Committee is holding office, the constitution and procedure of the national organisations shaU be the same as is laid down in the regulations referred to.

When the Chamber of Deputies have felt assured that they are in complete security, the Representative Committee, by virtue of the fall powers accorded to them by the regulations, shall convene the General Congress and shall, according to Art. n of these regulations, leave it to the Congress to settle the form and policy which ^the union shall adopt in future. The place and manner of the meeting of the Congress will then be governed by circumstances.

In the meantime, between the date of the Congress being convened and the actual meeting of it, the Representative Committee shall abstain from all official relations with the Government and the Pre sident of the Assembly, unless it should become absolutely necessary.

3. In the event of the Peace Conference in Paris deciding un favourably towards us, and should such a decision be accepted and approved of by the Government and the Chamber, an effort shall be made to realise the aims clearly laid down and expressed in the regulations, by consulting the will of the nation in the speediest and most practicable manner.

Mustapha Kemal, Kiasim Kara Bekir, Hussein Rauf, Hussref, Ali Fuad, Mashar Mufid, Bessim, Omar Mumtaz, Bekir Sami, Ibrahim Sureya, Hassan Selaheddin, Hakki Behidsh, Shemseddin (C. 0. S. XII tt Army Corps), Wassif.

The information and instructions which we transmitted to the deputies in terms of these resolutions

This is an accurate copy of the information and instructions which we transmitted to the deputies in terms of these resolutions.

Article I.

It is well known that Constantinople is occupied by the land forces and blockaded by the naval forces of the Allied Powers, in particular those of Great Britain; that the police and gendarmerie are in the hands of foreigners and have come under a mixed administration.

Moreover, it is confirmed that the Greeks have elected forty men as delegates in Constantinople ; that they have organised secret police and revolutionary corps under the leadership of Greeks and officers who have come from Athens, and that they are ready to rise in revolt against the Government at a given moment.

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