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of influences, we must bear in mind pacification, are matters for which as a cardinal point of high policy it would be mere affectation not to that “unless the great body of the hold the Russian Government repeople find that they are under a sponsible. We have witnessed their Government which studies their wel general, Tchernayeff, at one time a fare and is proud of their prosperity general of a combined Servian and even the independence and integ- Russian force, temporarily obliter. rity of a country must themselves ate the existence of Servia, and convanish.” If the Conference shall stitute himself an independent potencome to a general understanding tate, forcing kingly dignity on Prince that the soil of Turkey shall be Milan as a mere nominee and puppet respected, and no sinister designs of his own. All this was within of political ambition shall be prose- the limits of an empire whose terricuted, Great Britain would gladly torial integrity Europe is bound to exercise all its great influence with preserve.
For a time the governthe Ottoman Government to secure ment of Servia was destroyed, and such constitutional changes as may the dangers of that autonomy in conduce to good government; and which many wise and prudent men the name of Midhat Pasha is as have seen a solution of Eastern strong an assurance as Turkey can troubles have been fully exposed. give that concession will not be ob- And besides this, and besides the stinately withheld.
evident opinion of her Majesty's The chief difficulty lies in regard Government, whose only interest to the designs of Russia; and these and object it has been to obtain a are by no means clear. That they speedy and durable pacification, that are aggressive is perfectly obvious; their efforts in that direction have the degree to which they shall be been unnecessarily, and it would pressed is another matter. How far seem designedly, frustrated by RusRussia was responsible for the ori- sia, the Emperor Alexander was ginal disturbances in the autumn of the first to pronounce the ugly word 1875 has never been cleared up; ultimatum, in a wholly unnecessary how far at the present moment and superfluous manner, emphasthere is a tacit understanding, or ising the menace by his speech at even a definite agreement, between Moscow. And in that speech he her and Germany, is equally mys- identified the cause of Russia with terious. We know, at least, that that of Servia and Montenegro ; the Triple Alliance of the Imperial declared that his wish for peace Powers originally and ostensibly arose simply from the desire to presought to take the conduct, or at vent the effusion of Russian blood, least the initiative, of this business thereby indirectly adopting as his into their own exclusive hands; we own the irregular warfare which know that the Berlin Memorandum was caused ; and asserted his rights meant military occupation; we know and demands against the Porte, that Servia declared and continued for which he was determined to war, and at a critical moment re- have guarantees. It was distinctly fused peace, in reliance upon Rus- a warlike manifesto-a proclamation sian support. The influx of Rus- of an aggressive policy. The whole sian volunteers into Servia, the course of these proceedings, the contemptuous disregard of Rouma- testimony of travellers and correnian neutrality, the impediments spondents
, and the knowledge of persistently thrown in the way of Russian policy in the past, must convince every one that, whatever hatred does not appear to be conmay be the case with the Russian fined to the Servians—it has spread people, the Russian Government have rapidly amongst the southern Slavs; very little sympathy with Slavonic and it is shared not merely by sufferers, and are now, as hereto- the common people, but by the fore, bent upon making the misrule educated classes, who see in the dull of Turkey their own political op- despotism of Russia a worse alterportunity, secretly opposed to any native, a stronger barrier against an plans which might deprive them of effectual improvement of their lot, all pretext for intervention. In than is to be found in Turkish rule, seizing upon their opportunity, if tempered as it may not improbably they should finally decide that it be by the wise decrees of the aphas arrived, they would, no doubt, proaching Conference. It is clear, have the enthusiastic support of from the accounts which reach us, their subjects, whose race and re- that however much during the ligious sympathies are so largely apathy of the Western nations the enlisted.
Slavs may turn to Russia for proOn the other hand, it may well tection, the Russian in their midst be that Russian statesmen conclude is an odious and hateful personage, that that opportunity has still to brutal and overbearing. Let this come. For the present, the Turk feeling grow, and a Panslavic emis triumphant; he holds a strong pire carved out of northern Turkey position, and his armies are flushed would be as hateful to the Slavs with success and hardened to war. themselves as it would be to Austria; Russia, moreover, has not improved and even the formation of tributary her moral position within the con- States, opening, as experience has fines of the Ottoman empire, and shown, the door to Russia, will lose amongst its subject races. How- in favour as their consequences unever little the southern Slavs may, fold themselves. The Servians, and from the experience of the last not merely the Servians, are sick twenty years, be inclined of them- of this war. The Roumanians, by selves to look to England for pro- their persistent endeavours to maintection, it is undeniable that their tain neutrality, their obvious disrecent experience of the Russians trust of Russia, their obvious desire has placed them in anything but a to maintain their independence of welcome light. It is not all coward- the Czar, are an example of what ice which prevented the Servians would happen if security against from fighting. They found the Turkish oppression were insured. harsh, tyrannical, and intolerant The one object would be to mainCossack quite as unbearable as the tain independence of Russia ; their cruel and relentless Mussulman. whole energies would be directed to The Servian Government were set prevent the irruption of the Cossack at nought and derided ; and on the south of the Danube. It is said other hand, Servian bullets were that so far from the Russians being extracted from their Russian auxil- reckoned as a protection, even Bul. iaries—Servian bayonets were deli- garian refugees fled in terror from berately pointed at Russian breasts Russians when it appeared that a —and the whole relations between Russian occupation was imminent. the two races were those of dis- If, as Lord Beaconsfield observed, trustful and embittered jealousies the fatal fault of the Andrassy and hatred. This jealousy and Note was that it was inopportune, it may nevertheless prove to be the govina last spring, from the Anbasis of a final settlement, welcome drassy Note, and from Lord Derby's to southern Slavs, not more for despatch relating to the Bulgarian the prospect of better government atrocities. There are eleven points which it offers, than for the check in all, of varying importance. Those which their contentment and pros- which reiterate the demands of the perity would offer to the aggressions Herzegovinian insurgents relate to of their barbarous and uncivilised the general disarmament of both invaders.
Christians and Mussulmans in BosAnother reason for thinking that nia, Herzegovina, and Bulgaria, the times are not ripe for imme- which it is said must be strictly diate Muscovite aggression, is the carried through ; to the withdrawal circumstance that although occupa- of the Turkish troops to certain tion was strongly hinted at in the prescribed places, so as to prevent Berlin Memorandum, and at a later all collision between the troops and date formally proposed by Count the population; to the introduction Schouvaloff to Lord Derby and to of a direct control by a consular Austria, yet in the demands recently commission. No doubt these promade by General Ignatieff for the posals pave the way for military Conference to discuss the project occupation, and indeed can scarcely of military occupation, it is prac- be carried into effect to their fuil tically withdrawn, and the pur- extent without it. But, nevertheposed interference of the Powers is less, the inadmissible project is not minimised as much as possible. brought forward ; and so long as However exaggerated the demands that alternative is avoided, there is may be, there are none of them of still a fair chance of peace, a reasonsuch a character that to discuss able ground for hoping that the them would be inadmissible. The object in not proposing it is a question is mainly as to the guar- pacific one. It is true that the antees—that is, as to the words in Russian newspapers point in the which it shall be provided that direction of war; that six corps the reforms instituted shall not be, d'armée have been ordered to be to use Lord Beaconsfield's expres- mobilised; that Kissenoff and Odessa sion, secured by mere pen-and-ink are the centres of military preparawords, but shall be effectively car- tion; and that the military enthusiried out. If the discussion is lim- asm is being aroused. While, howited to that, and the Powers are ever, the proposals are such as convinced that aggression is laid a Conference can discuss, there is aside, the work of ameliorating the still hope that these terrible appeals condition of the empire will prob- to war may be avoided. The deably advance far more satisfactorily mands taken from the Andrassy under the guidance of England than Note include the abolition of taxof Russia, both as far as influence farming and the reform of the assesswith the Ottoman Government is ment; the institution of a militia concerned, and also, as now appears, and local police, composed of Christhe sympathies and goodwill of the tians and Mussulmans, in the prosubject peoples.
portion of the respective populaThe demands which Russia has tions; the employment of natives, made in lieu of occupation are and the election of various functionmostly borrowed from the Memor. aries. The Syrian precedent of andum of the insurgents of Herze- the Porte nominating Christian governors with the approval of the be perverted to the furtherance of Powers is relied upon; and there sinister designs, next to press upon are various smaller measures. The the Ottoman Government not to disbandment of the Circassians and render useless the efforts of their the punishment of the authors of powerful friend to save them from the Bulgarian massacres complete destruction. It is absurd to supthe programme.
pose that, if the integrity and indeOf all these, the most important pendence of the Ottoman empire are those which are taken from the is to be maintained and unless it demands of the Herzegovinian in- is maintained, there will undoubtsurgents; and it is by them and edly be war—the relations of the their fate that the result of the Porte to its subjects will not unConference will be shown. If Russia dergo a thorough revision at the determines for war, it will be easy to hands of this Conference. It must expand these proposals till a pacific first be settled that there shall be no solution is impossible. On the other aggression, no invasion, and no ochand, if Russia determines for peace, cupation; and when that point is means will be found of squaring once clearly settled, Turkey will those demands with the proposal for stand face to face with united Euinstituting a local police and militia, rope, with Great Britain at its head. in which Christian and Mussul- In such a position her wisest course man can be enrolled. To what ex- will be to trust herself and her fortent the Porte can be brought to tunes in the hands of that Power agree to this, and to the establish- which, in respect of its Indian emment of a consular commission, still pire, has its vital and permanent remains to be seen. It seems to interests involved with her conbe generally understood that the tinued existence—her virtual indeTurks will fight to the last against pendence of foreign States. At the the establishment of a foreign force crisis of destiny it is the statesman in the heart of their dominions; who rules India, and is chiefly bound even if the French were willing to to watch the security of our comundertake it at the invitation of munications with the East, who is Europe, they would encounter a specially sent to watch our English resistance only less virulent than interests at Constantinople. So far the Russians. It seems to be gen- as they are identical with those of erally conceded that such an occu- the Ottoman Government, the latter pation would be a violation of the has a powerful protector; so far as independence and integrity of the Ottoman statesmen think that either Ottoman empire within the mean- their dignity or their interests reing of the treaty of Paris. But so quire that the terrible misrule at long as the territory is preserved which all Europe stands aghast inviolate, there are plenty of pre- should be perpetuated, they will cedents for putting a most liberal dissociate their interests from ours; elastic interpretation upon the word for even in the very lowest estimate independence as applied to the of this question, it is for the interest Ottoman Government. All the of England, and, as Lord BeaconsPowers are agreed that there shall field pointed out, for the security of be reforms and that there shall be Turkey herself, that this misrule guarantees. England's duty at this should finally cease. The Ottoman Conference will be first to see that Government, if it is to continue its neither the one nor the other shall existence, must learn to study the welfare of its people, and be proud the Porte will be respected, at least of their prosperity. If this Confer- to the extent that the proposed reence should result in laying the forms will be granted by the Sultan foundation of improved administra- to the three provinces. Their gention, social order, and greater se- eral character seems to be agreed curity for life and property with-upon-namely, that they are to conin Ottoman territory, it will have sist of local institutions, under which averted ruin from those who, for the exercise of a certain extent of generations, have done their best to self-government will be guaranteed deserve it.
to the population. It has been conThe whole question appears to be ceded, in deference to Austria, that reduced to one of detail respecting no autonomous tributary State, like the nature and efficacy of the pro- Servia or Roumania, is to be carved posed guarantees. Considering all out of northern Turkey. As far as that has passed, that both Sultan Servia and Montenegroare concerned, and subjects have tried the fortunes that experiment has not answered; of war, and learnt by experience how it apparently has not pacified the little influence the fortunes of a populations, and it certainly has not localised strife have to alter their secured the peace of Europe. The relative positions, how utterly use- question, therefore, is by general less has been the bloodshed and consent reduced to one of effectively misery already occasioned, how dis- guaranteeing to the provinces the proportioned are the risk and effort exercise of self-government under to any probable gain by Russia from the central administration of the a general war, one cannot accept Porte. Turkey confers upon this the idea of this Conference proving question, pledged, as we underuseless for the purposes of pacification. stand, to submit it entirely to the There may have been threats by the judgment and equitable consideraCzar, and military preparations in tion of the mediating Powers. He the vicinity of the disturbed dis- cannot be allowed to retreat from tricts; but on the other hand, Russia that position; and so long as Russia has accepted, as bases of deliberation, shows any disposition towards an not merely the principle of the in- equitable consideration, within the dependence and territorial integrity meaning of the very terms under of the Ottoman empire, which even which she enters the Conference, English newspapers of a particular there ought not to be any insuperacharacter deride as impossible, but ble impediment in the way of peace. also puts her hand to a declaration Under these circumstances, Eng. that she does not intend to seek for lishmen, of whatever party, will exany territorial advantages, any ex- pect that the influence of their clusive influence, or any concession country will be thrown into the with regard to the commerce of her scale in favour of the extremest subjects which those of every other concessions which Turkey can be nation may not equally obtain. She brought to adopt. The present is also accepts as terms which may undoubtedly a favourable moment form the basis of negotiation, the for adopting them; and if efficacious very stipulations which Servia prac- guarantees are a possibility, it is for tically rejected at the close of Sep- the permanent interest of Europe tember, when she thought that Eng- and of England that they should be land had finally abandoned her tra- provided. The Conference will be ditional policy. The sovereignty of altogether mismanaged and useless