Puslapio vaizdai

his Lordship the present despatch and leaving a copy of it with him, offer to procure for him all the information which could be useful to back the representations, which we beg him to address to the Porte, in the interests of humanity, of justice, and of peace.

Receive, &c.



No. 69.

My Lord,

Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.-(Received October 11.)

Therapia, September 29, 1877. THE Greek Minister sent his Secretary of Legation, M. Kalergi, yesterday to tell me that he feared that the relations between Greece and the Porte were "très tendues." The Turkish Government had now demanded the recall of the Greek Consul at Canea, in Crete, because he had refused to give up an Hellenic subject. Even if it were established that the person in question had no right to Greek nationality, but was an Ottoman subject, the Governor of Crete could not demand his surrender, as according to the understanding between Turkey and Greece, no person claiming Greek protection could be interfered with unless he were first clearly proved not to be a Greek subject. Consequently the Porte had no right to complain of the Greek Consul at Canea, and the Hellenic Government would certainly not comply with the demand of the Porte for his recall.

I asked M. Kalergi whether the Greek Government pretended that any person who might claim Greek protection was entitled to it until absolute proofs were produced that he was not an Hellenic subject, and whether he was aware that after the demand of the Governor-General of Crete for the surrender of the person in question, the Consul had concealed him, and had assisted him in joining a revolutionary meeting in the island, with very compromising papers?

M. Kalergi replied to the first question, that such was the agreement between the Porte and the Greek Government; with regard to the second, he said that he was not informed of the facts to which I had referred. He then went on to say that M. Coundourioti wished me to know that the Greek Government had of late serious cause of complaint against the Porte. It could not obtain the redress or satisfaction to which it was entitled in the cases he had brought to the notice of the Turkish Government. Amongst them there was that of the attempt to assault the Greek Consul at Adrianople, and the attack upon the house of the Greek Consul at Larissa. I told M. Kalergi that the affair at Adrianople appeared from the reports that I had received to have been very much exaggerated, and scarcely afforded grounds for a demand for redress or satisfaction from the Turkish Government. That as to the alleged attack on the Greek Consul's house at Larissa, nothing appeared to be known of it at the Porte, but Server Pasha had informed me that he had ordered strict inquiries to be made into the matter, and was quite ready to do all that was just and proper in it. I had not, I added, received any report in the case from the British Vice-Consul. If it had been one of the gravity assigned to it, I should most probably have heard something of it.

M. Kalergi ended by saying that M. Coundourioti hoped that I would support him in his representations to the Porte, and by asking me what answer he should return to the communication he had been instructed to make to me. I told him that I regretted to hear that the relations between Greece and Turkey were such as he had described them to be; that M. Coundourioti was aware that I had done all in my power to promote a friendly understanding between them; that I had supported M. Coundourioti in all his just demands on the Porte, but that I could not conscientiously do so when those demands were not, in my opinion, fair and reasonable; and that I would continue to do my best to smooth away any difficulties that might be apprehended between the two countries.

I have again urged upon Server Pasha the great importance of not giving cause to Greece of accusing Turkey of being unfriendly to her, and of provoking hostilities. I have further communicated to his Excellency the substance of Mr. Wyndham's telegram to your Lordship of yesterday, to the effect that Greece intended de facto to remain at peace with Turkey.

The Porte, on the other hand, complains that the Greek Government is still secretly encouraging and conniving at the invasion of Turkish territory by bands of armed men, and that such a band has recently crossed the Greek frontier into Epirus, commanded by one Skaltcho Yani, who had been arrested near Missolonghi on suspicion of being about to make this expedition, a promise having been given that he should be punished if the suspicion proved true, and was subsequently allowed to escape and to place himself at the head of it by the Greek authorities.

Photiades Bey telegraphed on the 26th ultimo to the Porte that M. Tricoupi himself had informed him that Skaltcho Yani had crossed into Epirus with an armed band, promising that an inquiry should be instituted into the conduct of the officer who had charge of Yani and had permitted him to escape.

The Porte is, however, still very much irritated against the Greek Government, and is undoubtedly making preparations in case it should be attacked, or should consider it necessary to take the first step. It is sending a large number of Albanians and other irregulars to the Greek frontiers.

I have, &c.

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Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.-(Received October 11.)

My Lord,
Therapia, October 1, 1877.
M. COUNDOURIOTI called upon me yesterday to repeat what he had directed his
Secretary of Legation, M. Kalergi, to say to me, as reported to your Lordship in my
despatch of the 29th ultimo. I replied to him in the same way that I had done to
M. Kalergi, expressing my wish and readiness to exert at all times such influence as I
might have at the Porte to prevent any misunderstanding arising between Turkey and

M. Coundourioti was good enough to say that he fully recognized the help I had already given him in settling several questions that had arisen between the two countries. He assured me that his own personal desire was to do his utmost to maintain friendly relations between them, and that with this object he had even refrained from making some remonstrances to the Porte that he had been instructed from Athens to make. M. Tricoupi, he added, was equally desirous to avoid misunderstandings with the Porte.

But, M. Coundourioti went on to say, the Turkish Government seemed determined not to listen to the just grievances and compl: nts of his Government, and thus to quarrel with Greece. It had demanded the recall of the Greek Consul at Canea; it had not yet taken any steps to punish the authors of the attack on the Greek Consulate at Larissa; it was continually accusing, without reas a, the Greek Government of conniving at the departure of armed bands for the invasion of Turkish territory; and it was now sending numbers of Bashi-Bazouks and irregulars to the Greek frontiers. It was evident, therefore, that it was not Turkey that had a right to complain of unfriendliness on the part of Greece, but Greece that had good grounds to believe that Turkey sought to quarrel with her.

I ventured to point out to M. Coundourioti that he had not fairly stated the facts of the case. The Porte could not shut its eyes to what was passing in Greece. The Greek Government was increasing its military forces, large supplies of cannon, rifles, and ammunition were being received at the Piræus and elsewhere; bands, not armed with the weapons usual to brigands, but with American and other arms, such as are supplied to regular troops, were constantly crossing the frontiers, under the command of persons who were not mere robber chiefs; every opportunity was taken to excite public opinion in Greece against Turkey by the publication of the most exaggerated, and often unfounded, reports of outrages committed upon her Greek population; and the revolutionary committees were permitted to carry on their work with the apparent sanction of the Government. Could he, I asked, be surprised that the Porte viewed these proceedings with the greatest alarm and suspicion, and as a proof that Greece was preparing the means for attacking Turkey as soon as she was ready to do so. The only assurances that the Greek Government would give were that it was not going to do so "at present."

Neither Her Majesty's Government nor the Porte had asked Greece to declare that she would never make war upon Turkey, as M. Tricoupi seemed to believe, but that she should not take part in the present struggle between Turkey and Russia, and would preserve a strict neutrality during its continuance, which was a very different thing.

I regretted, I said, as much as any one could do, that the Porte was sending BashiBazouks, Albanians, and other irregulars to the Greek frontiers. I had already reports of excesses committed by these lawless troops, and had made representations to the Turkish Government on the subject. But it must not be forgotten that Turkey was engaged in a resistance to the invasion of the armies of a powerful Empire, which demanded the whole of her military resources, and that she was compelled to have recourse to such means in her power as might enable her to meet, at the same time, an invasion from Greece, which

might have the effect of seriously embarrassing her. It was monstrous, I said, to suppose that in the circumstances in which Turkey was placed she would wantonly attack Greece, and add another enemy to those she had already to contend against. It therefore depended upon Greece, and not upon Turkey, to avoid a war between the two countries.

M. Coundourioti did not controvert what I had stated, merely observing that the armed bands which had crossed into Turkey had done so without the knowledge of the Greek Government, and that immediate steps had been taken to stop them, and to arrest and punish those who formed them. He admitted that he had received no information direct from Larissa as to the alleged attack by Bashi-Bazouks on the Greek Consulate there, and had only learnt it by a telegram from Athens. He added that he had seen the telegrams which had been sent by Server Pasha to the authorities at Larissa on the subject, and that he was perfectly satisfied with them.

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Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.-(Received October 11.)

Therapia, October 2, 1877. IN my despatch of the 26th ultimo, I mentioned that the Greek Government complained that the Porte was settling Circassian families in Macedonia contrary to its understanding with Greece. I have succeeded in obtaining copy of the note addressed by Safvet Pasha to M. Coundourioti on the 27th September of last year (copy inclosed), upon which I understand the assertion of the Greek Government that the Porte is violating its engagement on this subject is founded. Your Lordship will perceive that the declaration made by Safvet Pasha is that the Porte will not for the future establish Circassian colonies in the Vilayet of Janina, comprising Epirus and Thessaly, nor in adjoining places from which there is an easy passage into this vilayet. It can scarcely, I think, be justly contended that the whole of the Province of Macedonia is comprised within this definition, or that Circassian colonies would include Tatar refugees from the Dobrudcha.

Inclosure in No. 71.

Safvet Pasha to M. Coundouriotis.

Le 27 Septembre, 1876.

J'AI reçu la note responsive que votre Excellence à bien voulu m'adresser le 28 Août, relativement au projet attribué au Gouvernement Impérial d'établir des colonies Circassiennes le long de la frontière Hellénique.

En me référant à mes communications précédentes à ce sujet, j'ai l'honneur de vous déclarer que la Sublime Porte a décidé de n'établir à l'avenir de ces colonies ni dans le Vilayet de Janina qui comprend l'Epire et la Thessalie, ni dans les localités circonvoisines, d'où l'on pourrait aisément passer dans ce vilayet.

J'aime à espérer que le Gouvernement de Sa Majesté Hellénique voudra bien, lorsqu'il aura reçu communication de cette mesure, reconnaître combien nous tenons à faire disparaître jusqu'à l'ombre d'un doute sur notre désir de maintenir et de consolider les relations de bon voisinage qui existent si heureusement entre les deux Etats.


Veuillez, &c.

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I HAVE received the reply which your Excellency was good enough to address to me on the 28th August, relative to the supposed intention of the Imperial Government to establish Circassian Colonies along the Greek frontier.

Referring to my previous communications on this subject, I have the honour to state to you that the Sublime Porte has decided for the future not to establish any of these Colonies, either in the Vilayet of Janina, which embraces Epirus and Thessaly, or in the surrounding localities, from which it would be easy to pass into the vilayet.

I hope that the Government of His Hellenic Majesty, on hearing of this decision, will see how anxious we are to avoid even the shadow of a doubt respecting our desire to

maintain and confirm the neighbourly relations which so happily exist between the two States.

My Lord,

No. 72.

Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.-(Received October 11.)

Therapia, October 3, 1877. I INSTRUCTED Mr. Sandison, who was to see the Grand Vizier yesterday, to urge upon his Highness the great importance of maintaining a good understanding with Greece, and of avoiding any measures which might afford the Hellenic Government an excuse for accusing the Porte of hostile designs against her.

His Highness replied that though the Porte would continue to do its best, so as not to give any uncalled-for provocation to Greece, he could not help thinking that should Greek revolutionary bands continue to invade the Turkish territory it would be impossible for the Porte to persevere in its present peaceful attitude.

I have, &c.

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My Lord,

Acting Consul Barker to the Earl of Derby.—(Received October 11.)

Salonica, October 2, 1877.

I HAVE the honour to inclose herewith, for your Lordship's information, a copy of my despatch of the 1st October to Her Majesty's Ambassador at the Porte, reporting the number of irregular troops in Thessaly and the sale of 1,000 revolvers by the Government to the Mahommedan population of Salonica, and muskets to that of Larissa and Volo.

I have, &c. (Signed)



Inclosure in No. 73.

Acting Consul Barker to Mr. Layard.

Salonica, October 1, 1877.

I HAVE the honour to inform your Excellency that Mr. Vice-Consul Suter report s the arrival at Larissa of 1,200 horse and foot Albanian Bashi-Bazouks ("Gheghas"), some of whom refused to camp outside the town, and in seeking for lodgings, attempted to force an entrance into the Greek Vice-Consul's house, but the door resisted their efforts to break it open. No redress whatever was obtained from the authorities, who denied the outrage, although a Chief of Police, Hallil Agha, was with the troops, and Mulloosh Aga, Cavass of the British Vice-Consulate, happened to be present. The following is the number of the irregular troops which have come to Thessaly :

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Besides these men 1,200 "Zeibecks" (foot irregulars), landed last week at Volo' from Smyrna, and 3,000 more of the same are expected, and 1,200 Albanian "Gheghas from Debra, so that shortly there will be about 10,000 Bashi-Bazouks over-running the country, some of the very worst characters (Mr. Suter says) distinguished in Turkish annals.

In fear of their lawless doings the bazaars at Larissa remained closed all the time they were in the town, and the interruption to business at this most active scason in the retail trade is complained of as of serious import.

The Government here have received 1,000 revolvers from Constantinople, and they have all been sold at Government House to Mussulmans, at the price of 3 megeedees and a-half (15s.) a-piece, with 80 rounds of cartridges each. The sale was ostensibly to all indiscriminately, but when Christians applied they were told there were no more to sell.

The Vali has telegraphed for 2,000 more, the original stock at Constantinople having consisted of 15,000 old-fashioned revolvers from America, which the Government has got rid of by selling them to the Turkish population.

Mr. Suter has already reported, and I have transmitted to your Excellency, the distribution of 10,000 muskets and cartridges to the Mussulman population of Thessaly, and that Christian houses have been searched for arms, and, when found, forcibly taken


I have thought it my duty to remonstrate with our Vali, Nousret Pasha, against this arming of the Mussulman population, as a serious danger, since the Government declares its inability to repress excesses for want of regular troops, who are all sent to the war, and there are no effective police.

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My Lord,

No. 74.

Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.-(Received October 12.)

Athens, October 4, 1877.

WITH reference to my despatch of the 28th ultimo,* I have the honour to report to your Lordship that the Nomarch and Eparch of Acarnania have been removed from their respective offices in that province.

I have also the honour to report that I have to-day been informed upon good authority that some of the troops till now stationed on the frontier have been, or are being, withdrawn from there, with orders to go to the camp at Thebes.

These measures should, I think, be considered as satisfactory by the Ottoman Government.

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The Earl of Derby to Mr. Wyndham.

Foreign Office, October 12, 1877. YOUR despatch of the 22nd ultimo,† reporting the substance of a conversation which you had had with M. Tricoupi on the subject of the state of the relations between Turkey and Greece, has been received; and I have to state to you that Her Majesty's Government approve the language which you held to the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs upon the occasion in question.

I am, &c. (Signed)


* No. 64.

† No. 57.

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