Puslapio vaizdai

No. 47.

My Lord,

Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.*—(Received September 20.)

Athens, September 11, 1877. I HAVE the honour to state that I called upon the Hellenic Minister for Foreign Affairs this afternoon with reference to your Lordship's telegram of the 10th instant, and that I have fulfilled your instructions.

M. Tricoupi requested me to inform your Lordship that Greece cannot give up the right conceded to her by the Protocol of the 3 th August, 1832, of maintaining an army or of declaring war. His Excellency went on to say that Turkey had no just cause for offence, and with respect to the Greek army, he said it was far from being ready to take the field.

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Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.*-(Received September 20.)

My Lord, Athens, September 12, 1877. I CALLED upon M. Tricoupi yesterday afternoon and informed him that your Lordship had been in communication with Iler Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople on the subject of the assurances which the Greek Government are prepared to give to the Porte, which I have had the honour to lay before your Lordship in my despatches of the 4th instant, and that both your Lordship and Mr. Layard were of opinion that, as the assurances of the Hellenic Government were not likely to be thought satisfactory by the Turkish Government, it would be better not to communicate them to the Porte, and I also told him that Her Majesty's Government thought it most important that the Hellenic Government should reassure the Sultan's Government as to their intentions.

M. Tricoupi replied that he could not recede from the position he had taken up with reference to the Protocol of the 30th of August, 1832, by which Greece, notwithstanding the opposition made at the time by the Porte, had obtained the right of maintaining land and sea forces without any limit being placed upon their number, and also the right of taking up arms.

I replied that I did not think this argument was applicable to the present occasion, as the right of Greece to have an army was not contested. M. Tricoupi answered that, on the contrary, it was to the point that Turkey wished to prevent Greece from having an army, in order that she should be unable to fulfil her obligations, but that Greece was determined not to forfeit the rights she had acquired, that Turkey, moreover, had no just cause for offence, and that he did not think that Europe or public opinion in Europe, which he much valued, would allow Turkey to attack the Hellenic Kingdom.

I said to M. Tricoupi that the sudden increase of an army which for long had only numbered 12,000 to 25,000 men, the ostentatious way in which the armaments of Greece were being effected, and the reports in the public press as to the intentions of Greece, had probably alarmed the Porte, and that it appeared that Her Majesty's Govern ment had information which led them to think it most important that the Greek Government should give assurances as to their intentions towards Turkey.

With reference to the army, M. Tricoupi said that it was far from being fit to take the field, that great difficulties were experienced in establishing the camps, and, in reply to my inquiry, he said the Krupp guns the Government had ordered had not yet arrived. In conclusion, I have the honour to state that M. Tricoupi does not appear to have recived either from M. Condouriotti or from Photiades Bey any communication of a nature to cause him anxiety.

I have, &c.


• Substance telegraphed.

No. 49.

The Earl of Derby to Mr. Layard.

Sir, Foreign Office, September 20, 1877. I HAVE received your Excellency's despatch of the 4th instant, informing me that Server Pasha had asked you whether the Greek Government had given any distinct assurances to Her Majesty's Government that Greece would not attack Turkey, and whether, if this was so, you might be authorized to make an official communication to that effect to the Porte; and I have to state to your Excellency that the language which you employed to Server Pasha on that occasion is approved of by Her Majesty's Government.

No. 50.

The Earl of Derby to Mr. Wyndham.

I am, &c.




Foreign Office, September 20, 1877. WITH reference to your despatch of the 8th instant, on the subject of the intention of Greece towards Turkey, I approve the reply which you returned to M. Tricoupi on his asking you for information as to how the question arose which was recently addressed to the Greek Government by Her Majesty's Government.

No. 51.

I am, &c.

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Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.-(Received September 22.)

Athens, September 15, 1877. I HAVE the honour to report to your Lordship that I called upon M. Tricoupi yesterday, and that I observed to him that I saw by the newspapers that 200 volunteers had lately arrived from Smyrna and Alexandria. M. Tricoupi replied that the Govern ment had now instructed all their Consuls to inform the Committees who were engaged in forwarding volunteers to Greece, and persons having the intention of coming to Greece to enlist in the army, that the services of volunteers were no longer required, and that they would not be accepted; these orders, M. Tricoupi stated, had been issued not out of deference to any remonstrances on the part of the Porte but simply because no more volunteers were wanted.

The arrival of 18,771 rifles at the Piræus is reported, and a steamer is said to have left Antwerp with arms and ammunition for Greece, and all Greek officers studying abroad are said to have been recalled.

The Greek army is now said to amount to 25,000 inen, concentrated, as far as I can learn, chiefly in the neighbourhood of Thebes, Lamia, and Agrinium.

No. 52.

M. Tricoupi to M. Gennadius.-(Communicated to the Earl of Derby by M. Gennadius,


September 25.)

4 Septembre,

8 Septembre,

Athènes, le 27 Août 1877. AYANT lu dans les télégrammes des agences de publicité que la démarche du Gouvernement Britannique relative à l'attitude de la Grèce envers la Turquie, et dont il est rendu compte dans ma dépêche du 23 ot avait été provoquée par la Porte, j'ai prié Mr. Wyndham de vouloir bien me dire ce qu'il en savait. M. le Chargé d'Affaires Britannique me répondit qu'il n'avait reçu de son Gouvernement, au sujet de cette démarche, aucune autre instruction que le télégramme dont il m'avait fait connaître le contenu dans son entrevue du 23 Août. Ce télégramme étant chiffré, Mr. Wyndham avait cru ne pas devoir en livrer le texte. Toutefois, sur l'expression de mon désir d'être édifié sur le point susénoncé, il me promit de relire le télégramme pour en vérifier le sens


4 Septembre.

et me donner le renseignement demandé. En exécution de cette promesse, Mr. Wyndham vient de m'adresser la lettre particulière, dont je vous transmets ci-joint une copie. Vous y releverez que c'était sur le désir exprimé par la Porte à Mr. Layard que le Gouvernement de Sa Majesté Britannique avait cru devoir procéder à sa démarche auprès de nous.


4th September


4th September,

Agréez, &c.

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Athens, September 89

August 27 1877.

HAVING read in the telegrams of the public newsagents that the action of Her Majesty's Government relative to the attitude of Greece towards Turkey, and of which notice is taken in my despatch of the 23rd August had been instigated by the Porte, I have begged Mr. Wyndham to be good enough to tell me what he knew about it. The British Chargé d'Affaires answered that he had received from his Government on this subject no other instruction than the telegram of which he had communicated to me the contents at his interview of the 23rd August The telegram being in cypher, Mr. Wyndham did not think himself justified in giving me the text of it. Nevertheless, on expressing a wish to be informed on the above-mentioned point, he promised me to read the telegram again, in order to make certain of its sense, and to give me the desired information. In execution of that promise, Mr. Wyndham has just addressed to me a private letter, of which I transmit herewith a copy. You will gather from it that it was in consequence of the desire expressed by the Porte to Mr. Layard that Her Britannic Majesty's Government thought it their duty to make the representation to us.

Receive, &c.

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Mr. Wyndham to M. Tricoupi.

Dear M. Tricoupi, Athens, September 8, 1877. WITH reference to our conversation of yesterday, I have referred to Lord Derby's telegram, and I find that the Porte asked Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople whether the Helienic Government had given the English Government any distinct assurances that Greece will not attack Turkey or try to create insurrection, and that, if such was the case, whether Her Majesty's Government would allow Mr. Layard to make a declaration in that sense to the Turkish Government. Lord Derby, referring to Mr. Stuart's despatches, which I had the pleasure of reading to you on the 4th instant, desired me to ask if your Government would authorize the English Government to make such a declaration in their name to Turkey.

Trusting that this explanation will be found clear and satisfactory, I remain, &c. HUGH WYNDHAM.


No. 53.

September 25.)

M. Tricoupi to M. Gennadius.-(Communicated to the Earl of Derby by M. Gennadius,


11 Septembre,

Athènes, le 30 Août 1877. Mr. Wyndham avait

4 Septembre,

AINSI que je vous l'annonçai par ma dépêche du 23 transmis à Lord Derby par le télégraphe, un sommaire des réponses que j'avais cru devoir donner aux demandes que la Porte nous adressa par le canal du Cabinet Britannique, au sujet de notre attitude à son égard. Mr. Wyndham avait fait connaître ces mêmes réponses à Mr. Lavard, et il vient de m'informer que c'est à la suite d'une correspondance télégraphique entre Lord Derby et Mr. Layard que le Principal Secrétaire d'Etat de Sa Majesté Britannique l'a chargé d'une nouvelle communication pour moi. D'après le télégramme que Mr. Wyndham a reçu aujourd'hui, mais dont il ne m'a donné que le sens, Lord Derby ne jugeait pas opportune la communication de mes réponses à la Porte, attendu qu'elles seraient considérées par elle comme insuffisantes, il s'abstiendrait donc de les porter à sa connaissance et il invitait Mr. Wyndham à demander que je supprimasse les réserves que j'avais attachées aux assurances des intentions pacifiques du Gouvernement Hellénique.

Je priai Mr. Wyndham de vouloir bien préciser le sens de la recommandation dont il

était chargé pour moi en relevant les points qui, dans mes réponses, étaient considérés par le Gouvernement Anglais comme susceptibles de modification.

Tant en ce qui concernait le libre arbitre de la Grèce dans la question de paix ou de guerre, qu'en ce qui concenait ses forces militaires, je demandai à M. le Chargé d'Affaires Britannique de m'indiquer en quoi ma déclaration ne cadrait pas avec celle de la Conférence de Londres et quelle modification pouv it y être apportée qui ne constituat pas une diminution d'état de la Grèce comme Puissance indépendante. Mr. Wyndham n'ayant rien formulé à cet égard, je lui fis observer que c'étaient là les seuls points sur lesquels nous avions fait des réserves, puisque, quant à l'engagement de ne pas susciter des troubles dans les Provinces Grecques de la Turquie, je m'étais empressé de prendre les devants sur la recommandation de Lord Derby, en déclarant que nous y étions astreints, indépendamment de tout engagement spécial, par cela même que nous entretenions avec l'Empire Ottoman des relations de paix. Demander davantage, ce serait prétendre que la Grèce fit, auprès des populations Helléniques de la Turquie, office de gendarme du Gouvernement Ottoman, c'est assez dire que ce n'est pas sur ce point que la Porte pourrait espérer que l'Angleterre trouverait notre réponse insuffisante.

C'est dans sa propre action et non dans celle de la Grèce que la Porte doit chercher les moyens de parer aux dangers que lui crée sa position vis-à-vis de l'Hellénisme en Turquie. Une étude consciencieuse des causes de la situation actuelle lui ferait reconnaître qu'il ne depend que d'elle de porter des remèdes efficaces au mal, dont on cherche, bien à tort, à rejeter ailleurs la responsabilité.

Quant à la Grèce, dans ses rapports avec ses frères de race en Turquie, elle a bien soin de respecter ses obligations internationales envers la Porte; mais, pour le reste, elle n'a en vue que les intérêts de l'Hellénisme. C'est en vue de ces intérêts qu'elle fut érigée en Etat indépendant, et elle a trop la conscience du rôle qui lui a été réservé en Orient par les Grandes Puissances de l'Europe pour renoncer à l'exercice des droits et à l'accomplissement des devoirs que ce rôle lui impose. L'éventualité de crises de la nature de celle que l'Orient traverse en ce moment n'avait pas échappé aux prévisions des hommes d'Etat et des Diplomates qui en 1832 furent appelés à répondre en conférence aux demandes, par lesquelles la Porte cherchait, dès lors, à bailloner la Grèce, et ce n'est pas au moment où ces prévisions se réalisent que la Grèce s'écartera de la voie de ses devoirs, telle qu'elle lui fut tracée par la Conférence de Londres.

Mr. Wyndham, m'ayant demandé si notre Ministre à Constantinople m'avait donné des indications sur les desseins de la Porte, je lui dis que le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de Turquie adressait parfois des questions à M. Coundouriotis au sujet du but de nos armements, mais qu'il avait toujours paru se contenter des explications qui lui étaient données avec une parfaite loyauté par notre Représentant. C'est même dans les forces militaires dont dispose aujourd'hui le Gouvernement Hellénique que le Ministre de Turquie à Athènes a déclaré, avec raison, dans une note récente, chercher des garanties contre la formation de bandes en Grèce et leur irruption en Turquie. Nous n'avons donc aucune indication directe et officielle que la Porte nourisse contre nous de projets hostiles; il est, cependant, vrai que Mr. Layard a déclaré à M. Coundouriotis qu'il avait des raisons pour croire que nos rapports avec la Porte subiraient une altération.

Mr. Wyndham m'ayant aussi demandé à quoi je croyais devoir attribuer les dispositions que la Porte venait de manifester par sa démarche auprès du Gouvernement Anglais, je ne fis pas difficulté de lui dire que, notre attitude n'y pouvant fournir aucune explication, il était à supposer qu'il aura paru à Constantinople d'une politique habile de profiter du moment où les armes Turques avait remporté des avantages pour écarter la Grèce de la scène comme Etat indépendant et ayant un rôle actif à y remplir. On aura pensé que l'on y parviendrait par l'intimidation ou même en lui portant un coup. S'il en était ainsi, les événements ne tarderont pas à prouver, j'en ai la conviction, que la Porte, en suivant de tels conseils, courrait au devant de dangers, bien autrement graves que ceux contre lesquels elle chercherait à se garantir. Ce n'est ni l'intimidation, ni un coup de main que peut supprimer l'action de l'Hellénisme en Orient. Une injuste agression contre la Grèce soulèverait infailliblement tout le peuple Helléniq, ct l'issue de la guerre de nationalité, qui s'ensuivrait, ne dépendrait pas du sort des armes dans les batailles rangées. Mais, s'il est difficile de déterminer d'avance la durée et la limite des calamités d'une pareille guerre, il n'en est pas de même de la grave responsabilité que pèserait sur l'agresseur et sur ceux qu'il encourageraient à s'engager dans une voie dont le Gouvernement Anglais ne pourra manquer de lui signaler les périls et l'iniquité.

Vous êtes autorisé à lire la présente dépêche à M. le Principal Secrétaire d'Etat et à lui en remettre une copie, s'il vous la demande.

Veuillez, &c. (Signé)




80 August Athens, September 11, 1877. AS I announced to you by my note of the 23rd August 4th September, Mr. Wyndham transmitted to Lord Derby a telegraphic summary of the answers I thought it right to give to the questions put by the Porte through the medium of the British Government on the subject of our attitude towards Turkey. Mr. Wyndham communicated these same answers to Mr. Layard; and he has just informed me that, after a telegraphic correspondence between Lord Derby and Mr. Layard, Her Britannic Majesty's Minister for Foreign Affairs has instructed him to make a further communication to me. According to the telegram which Mr. Wyndham received to-day, but of which he only communicated to me the purport, Lord Derby did not think it opportune to communicate my answers to the Porte, as they would be considered insufficient; he would therefore refrain from communicating them, and he instructed Mr. Wyndham to request me to suppress the reservations which I had attached to the assurances of the pacific intentions of the Hellenic Government.

I requested Mr. Wyndham to indicate the precise terms of the communication with which he was charged and to point out what parts of my answers were considered by the English Government to require amendment. With regard to the freedom of action of Greece in the question of war and peace, and the military forces of the country, I asked Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in what respect my declarations disagreed with the Protocols of the London Conference, and what amendment was possible without lowering the position of Greece as an independent Power. Mr. Wyndham not having given a precise answer, I remarked that these were the only points on which we placed restrictions. As regards the obligation not to excite troubles in the Turkish Hellenic provinces, I had hastened to anticipate Lord Derby's recommendation by declaring that, irrespective of all special obligations, such conduct was imposed on us by the fact that we were at peace with the Ottoman Empire. To demand more than this would be to ask Greece to fulfil the duty of a gendarme in the Hellenic provinces of Turkey. This is sufficient to prove that the Porte could not hope that England would find our answer insufficient upon this point.

The Porte must herself endeavour to find the means to avert the dangers that her position towards Hellenism in Turkey creates for her and should not appeal to Greece. A conscientious study of the causes of the present state of affairs will convince the Porte that it depends upon herself to effectually remedy the evil, the responsibility for which she unjustly tries to throw on another.

As regards Greece, in her relations with her fellow-countrymen in Turkey, she is very careful to respect her international obligations towards the Porte, but beyond this she takes as guide the interests of Hellenism only. It was for the sake of these interests that she was created an independent State. She appreciates too highly the mission which the Great Powers of Europe have entrusted to her in the East to give up the exercise of the rights and the fulfilment of the obligations which that mission imposes on her. That crises like the present were possible in the East was not unforeseen by the diplomatists and statesmen who, assembled in a Conference, were called upon in the year 1832 to answer the demands by which the Porte tried to fetter Greece even then, and now that these predictions have come to pass, Greece will not deviate from the path of duty traced for her by the London Conference.

Mr. Wyndham having asked me if the Greek Ambassador in Constantinople had communicated with me about the intentions of the Porte, I answered that the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Turkey sometimes questioned M. Coundourioutis as to the object of our armaments, but that he always seemed satisfied with the explanations that our Representative gave with great frankness. The Turkish Minister at Athens had declared very justly, in a recent despatch, that the military forces that the Greek Government disposed of at this moment were the surest guarantee against the formation of bands of brigands, and their invasion of Turkish territory. We have not, therefore, received any official or direct indication showing that the Porte meditates any hostile plans against us. It is however known that Mr. Layard told M. Coundourioutis that our relations with the Porte will undergo some change.

Mr. Wyndham having asked me besides how I explained the intentions that the Porte had shown by these representations to the British Government, I did not conceal from him that as our conduct had afforded no plausible pretext, I supposed that at Constantinople it was considered to be the best policy for the Porte to take advantage of the moment, when the Turkish arms had been successful, to dismiss Greece from the scene as an independent State, capable of playing an active role. She believed that she could arrive at her object by a menace or by a sudden attack. If it is really so, I am persuaded that the Porte, following such counsels, is exposing herself to much greater dangers than those from

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