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Correspondence respecting the Representation of Greece in

the Congress.

No. 1.

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

March 4.)

Athènes, le

Monsieur, Février, 1878. EN vous annonçant, par ma dépêche du 27 Fevrier, l'ordre donné aux troupes Royales de se retirer des provinces Grecques de la Turquie qu'elles venaient d'occuper provisoirement, je vous faisais part en même temps des assurances données au Gouvernement de Sa Majesté par la plupart des Représentants des Grandes Puissances à Athènes, qu'une question Hellénique serait posée dans le sein du Congrès prochain, et que la cause des populations Grecques de la Turquie ne manquerait point d'être l'objet de la sérieuse sollicitude des Plénipotentiaires Européens qui seraient appelés à y siéger.

Ces assurances, qui témoignaient une fois de plus, les sympathies des Grandes Puissances pour la race Hellénique et son avenir, ont encouragé le Gouvernement de Sa Majesté à formuler vis-à-vis de l'Europe la demande d'obtenir aussi une place dans le futur Congrès, en qualité de représentant naturel des aspirations nationales des populations Grecques de l'Empire Ottoman.

Quoique je vous ai déjà autorisé, par ma note précitée, de soumettre cette demande à l'appréciation du Gouvernement de Sa Majesté Britannique, et que je vous ai sommairement indiqué les arguments qui pourraient militer pour son acceptation, je crois toutefois devoir y revenir pour vous prier de répéter formellement notre demande auprès de son Excellence M. le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de la Grande Bretagne.

Nous sommes, selon toutes les apparences, à la veille de la convocation du Congrès qui sera appelé à poser les bases d'une paix durable en Orient, et à assurer à ses populations les conditions d'une existence nationale et prospère. Or cette perspective opportune fait au Gouvernement de Sa Majesté un devoir sacré d'élever encore une fois sa voix pour plaider devant le Tribunal Européen la cause des populations Helléniques de l'Empire Ottoman. Poussés à bout par les abus et les exactions inqualifiables de la domination Ottomane, elles viennent de prendre les armes un peu tard, il est vrai, mais assez tôt, toutefois, pour protester devant l'Europe civilisée contre une destinée qui fait tâche à la civilisation.

Ce n'est pas un droit de protectorat que la Grèce libre voudrait revendiquer sur les Hellènes de l'Empire Ottoman. On nous a bien des fois objecté de pareilles velléités, et nous tenons à cœur de faire envisager la question sous son véritable point

de vue.

Le Royaume Hellénique n'a fait de tout temps et ne fait encore aujourd'hui que partager l'intérêt dont l'Europe Chrétienne a tant de fois fait preuve pour l'Hellénisme esclave.

S'il se fait le champion d'une cause sacrée pour lui c'est qu'il ne saurait oublier les liens d'origine et de religion qui unissent ses enfants avec leurs frères déshérités, ni étouffer non plus le contre coup douloureux que leurs souffrances séculaires font naître dans les cœurs des Hellènes libres. Personne, assurément, ne voudrait reprocher à la Grèce libre ses souhaits pour l'émancipation des Hellènes de la Turquie, ni ses efforts pour leur procurer une existence nationale.

Si le Royaume Hellénique forme aujourd'hui des vœux de représenter dans le Congrès prochain les droits imprescriptibles et les aspirations nationales des populations Grecques de l'Empire Ottoman, et qu'il tienne à ce que ce vœu soit exaucé par les Grandes Puissances, il se fie pleinement au sentiment de justice lequel, nous en

sommes fermement convaincus, anime l'Europe pour les destinées des Hellènes de la Turquie.

Heureusement pour ces populations les Cabinets Européens paraissent disposés à s'occuper sérieusement de l'amélioration définitive de leur avenir; ils nous en ont donné l'assurance formelle. Nous ne doutons point que cette question ne soit posée et débattue dans le sein du futur Congrès. Dans ce cas ne serait-il point juste et raisonnable d'y accorder une place au Royaume Hellénique pour expliquer les droits de ces populations, leurs luttes et leurs souffrances, justifier leurs aspirations, et tâcher d'amener les suprèmes arbitres du Congrès à les réaliser ? La cause des provinces Grecques de la Turquie n'encourait-elle sans cela le risque d'être moins favorisée que ces populations ne seraient en droit d'espérer? Combattue naturellement dans le sein du Congrès par le Gouvernement Ottoman, qui aurait un intérêt capital de perpétuer un état de choses depuis longtemps réprouvé par l'humanité, cette cause ne serait-elle pas compromise, faute d'un défenseur naturel qui pût la plaider ?

Nous animons à espérer que la décision des Grandes Puissances ne sera point défavorable à notre demande. Nous le souhaitons d'autant plus qu'une pareille concession, qui serait pour les populations Helléniques une augure favorable des dispositions des Cabinets Européens en leur faveur, contribuerait aussi beaucoup à conjurer les périls, chaque jour renouvelés, dont le Royaume se voit entouré, et à éclaircir une situation épineuse et tendue, qui menace de compromettre sa propre sécurité.

En vous autorisant, Monsieur, à soumettre notre demande au Gonvernement de Sa Majesté la Reine de la Grande Bretagne, je vous prie de donner lecture de la présente à son Excellence M. le Ministre des Affaires Étrangères du Gouvernement Britannique et de solliciter sa réponse.

Je crois devoir vous informer aussi que cette Circulaire collective vient d'être adressée à toutes les Légations de Sa Majesté en Europe.

Agréez, &c.

(Signé)
(Translation.)

THEODORE P. DELYANNI.

Monsieur,

February

Athens, February 1, 1878. WHEN I informed you, in my despatch of 7, of the order given to the Royal troops to withdraw from the Greek provinces of Turkey, which they had occupied provisionally, I acquainted you at the same time with the assurances given to His Majesty's Government by the majority of the Representatives of the Great Powers at Athens, that a Hellenic question would be discussed at the approaching Congress, and that the cause of the Greek populations of Turkey would not fail to be a subject for the serious consideration of the European Plenipotentiaries who took part in it.

These assurances, which were yet another proof of the sympathy of the Great Powers towards the Hellenic race and its future, have encouraged His Majesty's Government to bring to the notice of Europe the request to obtain likewise a place in the future Congress, as being the natural representative of the national aspirations of the Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire.

Although I have already authorized you by my aforesaid note to submit this request to the appreciation of Her Britannic Majesty's Government, and have briefly pointed out to you the arguments which militate in favour of its acceptance, I nevertheless think it my duty to recur to it, and to beg you to repeat our request formally to His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Great Britain.

We are, according to all appearances, on the eve of the convocation of the Congress which will be called to lay down the bases of a lasting peace in the East, and to ensure to the populations the conditions of a national and prosperous existence. Now this opportune prospect imposes a sacred duty on His Majesty's Government of once again raising their voices to plead before the European Tribunal the cause of the Hellenic populations of the Ottoman Empire. Driven desperate by the abuses and indescribable exactions of the Ottoman rule, they have just taken up arms, somewhat late, it is true, but still in time enough to protest before civilized Europe against a destiny which is a disgrace to civilization.

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It is not a right of protectorate which free Greece would claim over the Hellenes of the Ottoman Empire. We have often been accused of such aspirations, and we greatly desire to have the question examined from its true point of view.

The Hellenic Kingdom has always but shared, and now at this present time does only share, in the interest which Christian Europe has so often manifested for enslaved Hellenism.

If it constitutes itself the champion of a cause which is sacred in its eyes, it is because it cannot forget the ties of origin and religion which unite its children with their disinherited brethren, nor can it suppress the painful feeling of sympathy which their sufferings for centuries past have produced in the hearts of the free Hellenes. No one, assuredly, would reproach free Greece for her wishes for the emancipation of the Hellenes of Turkey, nor for her efforts to procure for them a national existence.

If the Hellenic Kingdom has at present the desire to represent at the approaching Congress the undeniable rights and national aspirations of the Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire, and trusts that this desire will be favourably entertained by the Great Powers, it relies fully on the feeling of justice which, we are firmly convinced, animates Europe for the destinies of the Greeks of Turkey.

Happily for these populations the European Cabinets seem disposed to give their serious attention to the definitive improvement of their future. They have given us a formal assurance of this. We have no doubt that this question will be broached and discussed at the future Congress. In such a case would it not be just and reasonable to allow the Hellenic Kingdom a place there in order to explain the rights of these populations, their struggles and sufferings, to justify their aspirations, and to try to induce the supreme arbiters of the Congress to realise them? Without this would not the cause of the Greek provinces of Turkey run the risk of being viewed less favourably than these populations would have a right to expect? Combatted naturally at the Congress by the Ottoman Government, which would have a capital interest in perpetuating a state of things long since condemned by humanity, would not this cause be compromised for lack of a natural defender who could plead for it?

We venture to hope that the decision of the Great Powers will not be unfavourable to our request. We hope it all the more because such a concession, which would be for the Hellenic populations a favourable augury of the disposition of the European Cabinets in their favour, would contribute greatly to remove the perils, renewed every day, by which the kingdom is surrounded, and to clear up a situation, difficult and strained, which threatens to compromise its safety.

In authorizing you, Monsieur, to submit our request to the Government of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, I beg that you will read this note to his Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the British Government, and ask for a reply.

It is my duty to inform you also that this collective Circular has been addressed to all the Legations of His Majesty in Europe.

I have, &c.

THEODORE P. DELYANNI.

(Signed)

No. 2.

The Earl of Derby to M. Gennadius.

M. le Chargé d'Affaires, Foreign Office, March 9, 1878. HER Majesty's Government having considered the appeal addressed to them by the Government of Greece, in the despatch communicated by you on the 4th instant, that Greece should be represented in the Congress which has been convened to meet at Berlin, are of opinion that the Greek kingdom is fairly entitled to be represented at the Congress, and will signify this opinion without delay to the other Powers.

I am, &c. (Signed)

DERBY.

No. 3.

The Earl of Derby to Lord A. Loftus.*

My Lord,

Foreign Office, March 9, 1878.

I TRANSMIT to your Excellency herewith copies of correspondencet having reference to the wish expressed by the Greek Government to be represented at the approaching Congress, and I have to request that you will inform the Government to * A similar despatch was addressed to Her Majesty's Representatives at Paris, Rome, Berlin, and Vienna. Nos. 1 and 2.

which you are accredited that Her Majesty's Government are of opinion that the Greek Kingdom is fairly entitled to be represented at the Congress, and that they have signified this opinion to the Greek Government.

I am, &c.

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I TRANSMIT to your Excellency, herewith, copies of correspondence relative to the wish expressed by the Greek Government to be represented at the approaching Conference.t

No. 5.

I am, &c.

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My Lord,

M. Gennadius to the Earl of Derby.-(Received March 11.)

Greek Legation, London, March 10, 1878. I HAVE the honour to receive your Lordship's note of yesterday informing me that Her Majesty's Government, having considered the appeal addressed to them by the Hellenic Government, are of opinion that the Kingdom of Greece is fairly entitled to be represented at the Congress which has been convened to meet at Berlin, and that they will signify this opinion without delay to the other Powers.

I have hastened to communicate the contents of that note to the Hellenic Government at Athens, who will, I feel convinced, recognize in it all the wisdom and magnanimity which has actuated Her Majesty's Government in their decision.

I have, &c.

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(Telegraphic.)

Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.-(Received March 11.)

Athens, March 11, 1878.

THE Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs, to whom I yesterday communicated the substance of your Lordship's telegram as to the representation of Greece at the approaching Congress, has informed me that he has been charged to convey to Her Majesty's Government the thanks of the King for this fresh mark of goodwill towards Greece, and he begged me at the same time to express the thanks of the Greek Government to Her Majesty's Government.

A similar despatch was addressed to Mr. Wyndham.
† Nos. 1, 2, and 3.

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