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Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.-(Received September 12.)
Therapia, September 4, 1877. THE Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs informs me that he again asked the Greek Minister, yesterday, whether the Greek Government was prepared to give the guarantee asked for by the Porte that Greece would not attack Turkey. M. Condouriotis, his Excellency said, had replied that he was authorized to renew the assurances of his Government that Greece had no such intention, and that, as the Greek Government was now acting with the revolutionary Committees, nothing need be apprehended from them. Server Pasha thereupon stated to M. Condouriotis that, as he could obtain no other guarantee from Greece, it only remained for him to prendre acte of the declaration that the Greek Government was acting with the Committees, and to hold them responsible for anything the Committees might do.
M. Condouriotis further said that he had asked for explanations from Server Pasha as to the concentration of troops at Punta on the Greek frontier, in violation of the VIth Article of the Treaty of 1832, and that his Excellency had answered that he was ready to give the required explanations at once. The Porte had done so because the Greek Government was forming bands on its side of the frontier for the invasion of Turkey.
Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.*-(Received September 12.)
My Lord, Therapia, September 4, 1877. THE Turkish Government are at a loss to understand the attitude of Greece. Whilst they receive distinct assurances from the Greek Minister here, and through the Turkish Representative at Athens, that the Hellenic Government has no intention of attacking Turkey, they learn, from sources which they consider perfectly trustworthy, that the Greek Government is making preparations for an aggression upon the border provinces; that the Greek army is being put on a war footing; and that bands of armed men are being collected on the Greek frontiers ready to invade Turkish territory, and to excite the Christian population to rise against the Sultan.. Under these circumstances, Server Pasha asked me whether the Hellenic Government had given any distinct assurances to that of Her Majesty that Greece would not attack Turkey, or endeavour to cause her embarrassment in the present war by conniving at attempts to raise the Greek population of Thessaly, Epirus, and Macedonia. If such assurances had been given to Her Majesty's Government, his Excellency wished to know whether your Lordship would authorize me to make an official communication to that effect to the Porte.
I informed Server Pasha that I could not answer the question, but that I would telegraph to your Lordship on the subject.
As I had received, that morning, a letter from Mr. Stuart, in which he informed me that there was much less danger at the present moment than there had been a short time ago of an aggression by Greece on Turkey, I mentioned Mr. Stuart's opinion to Server Pasha, who seemed to be much irritated against the Greek Government.
Acting Consul Barker to Mr. Layard.-(Received at the Foreign Office, September 12.) (Extract.) Salonica, September 1, 1877.
MR. SUTER states that "great complaints are made of the misconduct of the regular troops who were on duty recently in the villages about Ayah (Campo). They maltreated and robbed the Christians, entered and carried off from the churches some articles of value; and, although such acts were undeniable and apparent from the fact of the public sale of many of the stolen articles, no redress whatever is afforded for any of them."
*Substance telegraphed on September 1.
Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.*~(Received September 13.)
My Lord, Athens, September 4, 1877. WITH reference to your Lordship's telegram of the 3rd instant, M. Tricoupi, Hellenic Minister for Foreign Affairs, has stated to me, firstly, that the Government of Her Majesty may assure the Porte that the Hellenic Government will not attack Turkey at present, but that, by such a declaration, the Government of His Majesty does not mean to give a pledge for the future; for Greece, like every independent State, must always reserve her freedom of action according to circumstances. Secondly, that the Hellenic Government will pledge not to connive at, but will not pledge to discourage, insurrectionary movements, although they are doing so, and intend to do so, so long as it is in the interest of the Greek Government to follow that policy.
I have, &c.
Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.*—(Received September 13.)
Athens, September 4, 1877. WITH reference to your Lordship's telegram of yesterday's date, I have the honour to inform your Lordship that I had an interview this morning with M. Tricoupi.
1 commenced by stating to his Excellency that, judging from information recently received by Her Majesty's Government from Mr. Layard, there appeared to be a great deal of irritation at the Porte at the present attitude of Greece. I then communicated to him the substance of your Lordship's telegram, and I also read him Mr. Stuart's despatches of the 24th and 25th August, to which reference is therein made; and I asked him whether Her Majesty's Government might assure the Porte that Greece would not attack Turkey or connive at endeavours to promote insurrections in the Turkish Provinces bordering on Greece.
M. Tricoupi stated that what Mr. Stuart had reported in his despatches of the 24th and 25th August was perfectly correct, that there is no intention on the part of the Hellenic Government to attack Turkey at present, and that Her Majesty's Government might assure the Porte that the Greek Government does not intend to attack Turkey at present, but that the Government of Greece cannot give any pledge for the future, for, as an independent State, Greece has the right to make war if she chose, and that if Turkey were to give her cause for offence, she might find it necessary to resort to force in defence of her dignity or of her interests.
With regard to the Greek Provinces in Turkey, M. Tricoupi stated that the Greek Government was not conniving at promoting insurrections there, and that they would pledge themselves not to do so, for such an act on the part of Greece would be in violation of her international duties and engagements; but that the Greek Government could not picdge themselves to discourage insurrection, although they were actually doing so, and intended to do so, so long as it was in their opinion in their interest to follow that policy.
I then asked M. Tricoupi if he thought the statements he had made would be deemed quite satisfactory; that the reservation "at present" had already been commented upon by Mr. Layard in one of his recently published despatches, and that there was evidently very much irritation at the Porte; that the Porte had suffered from hostile attacks from Servia, Montenegro, and Roumania, neighbouring States, and that it was not unnatural that she should therefore take umbrage at the presence of a large body of Greek troops on the northern frontiers of Greece; and that I should be very glad indeed if I could say something on his part to allay the irritation.
M. Tricoupi replied that he could not admit that his present statement should be considered as unsatisfactory by the Porte, as Greece could not be required to take engagements beyond her international duties, and that he did not consider the Turkish Government had any reason to take exception to the formation of an army of 30,000 men, which was not in point of numbers out of proportion to the amount of the population.
In conclusion, I think I may say that the Greek Government is, under present circumstances, desirous of living at peace with that of His Majesty the Sultan.
* Substance telegraphed.
I have shown the draft of this despatch to M. Tricoupi, and he tells me that it rightly. interprets his ideas and policy.
I have, &c.
Server Pasha to Musurus Pasha.-(Communicated to the Earl of Derby by Musurus Pasha,
Sublime Porte, le 5 Septembre, 1877. EN me référant à mes communications télégraphiques concernant la situation en Grèce, j'ai l'honneur de vous transmettre, ci-joint pour votre information, les télégrammes échangés à ce sujet entre mon Département et la Légation Impériale à Athènes.
M. l'Ambassadeur, Sublime Porte, September 5, 1877. WITH reference to my telegraphic communications respecting the state of affairs in Greece, I have the honour to transmit herewith, for your information, the telegrams exchanged on the subject between my Department and the Imperial Legation at Athens.
Inclosure 1 in No. 42.
Server Pasha to Photiades Bey.
Le 22 Août, 1877.
ENVIRON 120 brigands Hellènes venus de Grèce ont attaqué le village Musulman de Pachali en Thessalie, qu'ils ont tout entier réduit en cendres après y avoir massacré bon nombre d'habitants, hommes et femmes.
Dans la journée de Dimanche dernier neuf barques venues également de la Grèce ont débarqué dans un village Chrétien, non-loin de Larisse, une forte bande de malfaiteurs. D'autres bandits se préparent. d'après nos informations, à envahir notre territoire du côté d'Armyros et de Domeka, ainsi que le littoral situé en face des îles Ioniennes. Déjà quatre-vingts brigands ont fait leur apparition à Daoutlou, localité sise à proximité de Domeka.
Nos autorités ont immédiatement pris toutes les mesures dictées par les circonstances; mais l'impression que ces faits ont produit sur le Gouvernement Impérial n'en a pas moins été des plus pénibles. Il s'en préoccupe d'autant plus qu'un des motifs mis tour à tour en avant par le Cabinet d'Athènes et par son Ministre à Constantinople pour expliquer la concentration des forces Helléniques sur nos frontières consiste dans la nécessité où se trouverait la Grèce d'empêcher l'incursion des bandes de malfaiteurs d'un territoire à l'autre.
Assurément le Gouvernement Hellénique ne voudra pas alléguer qu'il se trouve aujourd'hui, malgré ses préparatifs militaires, dans l'impossibilité de réprimer des incursions et des déprédations de ce genre, et dès lors la gravité de pareils faits n'eu devient pas plus évidente. Je prie donc votre Excellence de demander à M. Tricoupi comment il considère ce qui arrive sur nos frontières, ct quelles mesures le Gouvernement Hellénique compte adopter pour prévenir un état de choses dont la responsabilité retombe incontestablement sur le Gouvernement Hellénique.
August 22, 1877. ABOUT 120 Greek brigands from Greece have attacked the Mussulman village of Pachali in Thessaly, which they entirely reduced to ashes, after having massacred a large number of the inhabitants, both men and women.
Last Sunday nine ships also from Greece disembarked at a Christian village not far from Larissa a strong band of marauders. Other bandits are preparing, according to our information, to invade our territory on the side of Armyros and Domeka, as well as on the line of coast facing the Ionian Islands. Eighty brigands have already made their appearance at Daoutlou, a place near Domeka.
Our authorities immediately took all the steps which the circumstances dictated, but the impression produced by these facts on the Imperial Government has been none the less painful on that account. The Government is all the more uneasy from the fact that one of the motives in turn put forward by the Cabinet of Athens and its Minister at Athens to explain the concentration of Greek forces on our frontiers consisted in the necessity in which Greece finds herself placed of stopping the incursion of bands of marauders from one territory to the other.
The Greek Government will hardly ailege that it now finds itself, in spite of its military preparations, unable to repress incursions and depredations of this nature, and consequently the serious character of such acts becomes all the more evident. I therefore beg your Excellency to ask M. Tricoupi what his view is of what is occurring on our frontiers, and what measures the Greek Government propose to adopt to meet a state of affairs the responsibility for which will undeniably fall upon the Greek Government.
Inclosure 2 in No. 42.
Photiades Bey to Server Pasha.
Athènes, le 24 Août, 1877.
RECU télégramme du 22 Août. Les démarches que j'avais faites auprès du Cabinet d'Athènes au sujet de l'incursion des bandes en Thessalie sont conformes aux instructions y contenues. Le Gouvernement de Tricala m'ayant fourni de plus amples détails sur la bande qui a commis des cruautés à Pachali, j'ai fait auprès de M. Tricoupi une nouvelle démarche qui, suivant un télégramme de notre Consul à Lamie, a abouti à l'arrestation par les autorités Helléniques d'une vingtaine de ces malfaiteurs et à la restitution à un officier Ottoman du bétail enlevé.
M. Tricoupi soutient que le Gouvernement Hellénique a donné en cette circonstance des preuves de la sincérité de son désir d'entretenir des rapports de bon voisinage avec l'Empire.
Athens, August 24, 1877. RECEIVED telegram of August 22. The representations I had made to the Cabinet of Athens on the subject of the incursions of the bands into Thessaly are in conformity with the instructions contained in it. The Government of Tricala having furnished me with more ample details respecting the band which committed cruelties at Pachali, I made a further representation to M. Tricoupi, which, following upon a telegram from our Consul at Lamia, has resulted in the arrest by the Greek authorities of about twenty of these marauders, and in the restoration to an Ottoman officer of the cattle that had been carried off.
M. Tricoupi maintains that the Greek Government has given on this occasion proofs of the sincerity of its desire to maintain the relations of a friendly neighbour with the Empire.
Inclosure 3 in No. 42.
Server Pasha to Photiades Bey.
Le 28 Août, 1877.
PAR votre télégramme du 24 Août, vous m'avez fait part des assurances que M. Tricoupi vous a données sur le désir de son Gouvernement d'entretenir des rapports de bon voisinage avec nous. La Sublime Porte est, de son côté, non moins désireuse de conserver à ces rapports le caractère le plus cordial; mais les faits ne répondent malheureusement pas aux déclarations du Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de Sa Majesté Hellénique: en effet, les bandes qui ont franchi la frontière n'ont pas encore été rappelées ; leurs chefs restent impunis; de nouvelles bandes s'organisent et se forment librement; dęs volontaires continuent à être clandestinement recrutés en masse parmi nos populations, ce qui constitue une violation flagrante du droit international; les Comités Révolutionnaires s'agitent avec une activité toujours croissante sans que l'autorité use du droit que lui confère la Constitution même du pays pour sévir contre des menées qui touchent directement aux intérêts communs des deux Etats; et, enfin, bien que la liberté de la presse en Grèce assure aux journaux une indépendance complète, les organes officieux du Cabinet laissent parler ccs feuilles sans rien dire contre leurs écarts de langage qui surexcitent profondément l'esprit public.
Tant que cet état de choses durera, le Gouvernement Impérial considérera le repos de ses provinces limitrophes comme sérieusement menacé.
Je vous prie d'entretenir de ce qui précède M. Tricoupi, qui voudra bien, je n'en doute pas, prendre des mesures en conséquence.
August 28, 1877.
IN your telegram of August 24, you informed me of the assurances which M. Tricoupi has given you of the desire of his Government to maintain the relations of a friendly neighbour with us. The Sublime Porte is, on its side, no less desirous of maintaining the most cordial relations, but the facts of the case unhappily do not correspond with the declarations of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of His Hellenic Majesty; for, as a matter of fact, the bands which have crossed the frontier have not yet been recalled; their ringleaders are still unpunished; new bands are allowed to be organized and formed; volunteers in great numbers continue to be secretly recruited from among our population, which constitutes a flagrant breach of international law; the Revolutionary Committees are agitating with an ever-increasing activity, and yet the authorities make no use of the right which the very constitution of the country confers upon them to deal rigorously with intrigues which directly affect the common interests of the two States; and finally, although the liberty of the press in Greece secures a complete independence for the newspapers, the official organs of the Cabinet take no notice of utterances in these publications which by their flights of language deeply excite public feeling.
As long as this state of affairs lasts, the Imperial Government will consider the tranquillity of its border provinces to be seriously threatened.
I beg you to speak on the above subject to M. Tricoupi, who will, I doubt not, take steps in consequence.
Inclosure 4 in No. 42.
Photiades Bey to Server Pasha.
Athènes, le 29 Août, 1877.
Dans un entretien que je viens d'avoir avec le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de Grèce, celui-ci m'a donné les explications suivantes sur les points y relatés:-II n'admet pas que des bandes soient parties de la Grèce pour nos provinces limitrophes, à l'exception des dix individus débarqués clandestinement à Aghia malgré les mesures prises par le Gouvernement Hellénique. Il établit, de l'aveu du Gouverneur de Tricala, que les événements regrettables de Pachali étaient l'effet de la vengeance des habitants du village voisin, et affirme que les auteurs de ces événements continuent à être arrêtés et poursuivis à leur entrée sur le territoire Hellénique. Il déclare qu'aucun recrutement de volontaires ne se fait parmi nos populations, le Gouvernement Hellénique ayant décidé de ne pas admettre dans son armée les sujets Ottomans qui demanderaient à s'enrôler. M. Tricoupi m'a renouvelé ses assurances au sujet de l'attitude des Comités en me confirmant qu'ils demeuraient inactifs sous la surveillance du Gouvernement. Quant à la presse Hellénique, il m'a fait observer que son langage, à l'exception de quelques feuilles stipendiées, était assez correct à notre égard.
RECEIVED telegram No. 167, Special.
Athens, August 29, 1877.
In a conversation which I have just had with the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs, he has given me the following explanation on the points set out in it:-He does not admit that bands have left Greece for our border provinces, with the exception of ten individuals who landed secretly at Aghia, in spite of the steps taken by the Greek Government. He maintains, on the evidence of the Governor of Tricala, that the sad occurrences at Pachali were the result of the vengeance of the inhabitants of the neighbouring village, and affirms that the authors of these occurrences continue to be arrested and pursued on their entering the Greek territory. He declares that no volunteers are being recruited from among our populations, as the Greek Government has decided not to admit into its army the Ottoman subjects who desired to be enrolled. M. Tricoupi has repeated his assurances on the subject of the attitude of the Committees, assuring me that they are remaining inactive and are under the supervision of the Government, As to the Greek press, he pointed out