PARIS -- General Townshend, commander of the British Mesopotamian forces which surrendered at Kut-El-Amara, was the messenger who bore the Turkish request for an armistice to the allies, it was officially announced today.
Townshend was forced to lay down his arms April 29, 1916, and was sent as a prisoner to an island in the sea of Karmora.
Admiral Leygues, French minister of marine, entered the chamber of deputies this afternoon and made the following statement:
"Premier Clemenceau has been detained at Versailles. The inter-allied superior war council charged me to make in the name of the government the following declaration:
"'A few days ago General Townshend was asked to go to inform the British admiral, commanding in the Aegean Sea, that the Turkish government asked that negotiations be opened with a view to conclude an armistice between Turkey and the allies.
"'Rear Admiral Calthorpe replied that if the Turkish government sent regularly accredited plenipotentiaries, he had the necessary powers to inform them of the conditions under which the allies would consent to cease hostilities, and that he had the power to sign in behalf of the allies an armistice based on these conditions.
"The Turkish plenipotentiaries arrived at Mudros at the beginning of this week. The armistice was signed last night by Rear Admiral Calthorpe on behalf of the allies, and it became effective this noon.
"' It is impossible to publish the complete terms, but they include"
"'Free passage of the allied fleets through the Dardanelles to the Black Sea.
"'Occupation of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles forts as necessary to guarantee the security of this passage.
"'The immediate release and return of all allied prisoners of war.'"