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armistice, he was instructed to leave Constantinople, as it would then be evident that all further exertions on the part of Her Majesty's Government to save the Porte from ruin would become useless."
It is not necessary to enlarge here on the events which followed, for they are fresh in the memory of every one. It will be sufficient to remark that up to the time at least of the acceptance of the Conference, England has no reason to be ashamed of the part she has played in the negotiations. She reluctantly joined the other Powers, on the invitation of the Porte, and anxious not to disturb the European concert, in various attempts to pacify the insurgent provinces, though anticipating that they would only lead to further complications; and her apprehensions were justified by the event. She accepted the Andrassy Note, approving of its principles, but doubting whether at the time they could practically be carried out; and her doubts proved well-founded.
She rejected the Berlin Memorandum, which was concurred in by some of the other Powers, not because they believed in its efficacy, but apparently from a disinclination to offend Russia. That document has now been consigned to the limbo of diplomatic failures, and the Powers have returned, under the guidance of England, to the principles of the Andrassy Memorandum, which by her suggestion were made the bases of discussion for a Conference. And from first to last, while holding steadfastly to the principle of the independence and integrity of the Ottoman Empire, as being stipulated by the Treaty of Paris, and essential to the preservation of her interests, she has incessantly urged the Porte to reform its Government with a view to ameliorating the condition of its Christian subjects.
I will now venture to make some suggestions as be England's Policy? to what should, in my opinion, be the policy of
this country in the present crisis. Three distinct proposals have been made on the subject : first, to ally ourselves with Russia, for what would practically be the destruction of the Turkish rule; second, to do our utmost for the maintenance of the Turkish rule; and third, to act as a police for the purpose of enforcing internal reforms in the Ottoman Empire. In considering the first of these proposals, it is necessary to inquire whether and in
what respects the relative positions of England and Russia in the East have been modified by the Crimean war. Setting aside the primary origin of that war, the ownership of the Holy Places—inasmuch as that did not affect England—the question which was fought out on the bloody fields of Alma and Inkerman, and ostensibly settled by the Treaty of Paris, remains in 1876 what it was in 1854; namely, that of transferring Constantinople from an Ottonian to a Muscovite rule. The Treaty of The proposed Paris clearly stipulated that the internal organisa- Russia. tion of the Ottoman Empire was to be left in the hands of the ruler of that Empire. Great internal reforms, we all admit, are needed in Turkey ; but that does not justify the interference of Russia in her internal organisation. Nor, because a few thousand irregular troops have committed atrocities revolting to humanity, is Russia, on the plea of civilisation, entitled to carry out her policy of twenty years ago, based as it is simply on aggressive ambition; or England obliged to stultify the course of action she adopted at the same period, and passively to allow Turkey to be dismembered. The politicans of the non-intervention or peace-at
any-price school would do well to consider what their theories, if put into practice, amount to. Let us suppose, for argument's sake, that it would be possible to exterminate the Mussulman from Europe. England might then, setting aside all considerations of the maintenance of her communications with the East, and of her supremacy as a naval power, adopt the view so ingeniously suggested by Mr. Gladstone, and ally herself with Russia, re-enacting the old part of the cat and the chestnuts in the fable. Mr. Gladstone does not say what he considers would be the ultimate results of such an alliance; he contents himself with drawing a pleasant picture of the Turk being driven by England and Russia, bag and baggage, from Europe. But, admitting that the Turk can be really expelled from his empire, who is to take his place ? Is Turkey to be merely broken up into a chaotic agglomeration of autonomous states, each endowed with enough vitality to live in perpetual discord with its neighbour, but too weak long to maintain a separate and peaceful existence of its own ? or rather may we not more rationally conclude that once those States are separated from the Empire to which they belong, Russia's motto will be divide and govern; and that the Mussulman element having been eliminated, the Turkish Slays would, by a simple process of absorption, become subjects of the Czar? The Porte may and no doubt now has become aware of the fact (if, indeed, it ever thought otherwise), that the assistance it received from England in the Crimean war, and her interference on its behalf at the present crisis, is not due to any inherent sympathy existing between Christian England and Islamite Turkey. Our policy was then what it must be now, one of interest. We wished, and we still wish to maintain the Ottoman Empire as a barrier to Russian aggrandisement, and it is simply ridiculous to represent England's intervention on behalf of Turkey as an unnatural alliance between Christian civilisation and Mussulman barbarism. Now, however, that Turkey is unquestionably aware of the true motives which justly actuate England's policy towards her, may it not be rationally assumed that if we were to leave her to the tender mercies of the Government of St. Petersburg, she might, and probably would, retaliate both upon us and upon her Christian