Puslapio vaizdai

tion of May, 1920, and by speeches of President Harding) refused to continue her credits. In spite of this discouragement King Constantine continued the aggressive Venizelist policy whilst purging the expeditionary force of many capable Venizelist officers. The other Allies, roused by the clamour for modification of the Treaty raised in India, Morocco and other Islamic countries, speedily came to the conclusion that the Treaty would have to be remodelled. At the beginning of 1921 the Allies proffered themselves as mediators between Turkey and Greece and in March put forward concrete proposals for a compromise. A month was given to both sides to make their decision. But on March 23 before the month had elapsed, the Greeks treacherously launched a new offensive. In the military operations of the spring and summer Greece gained signal successes and actually fought their way to within forty miles of the Nationalist capital, Angora itself. The Turk was hard pressed and had to transfer his seat of government to Sivas, 200 miles farther east. But the Turk with his back to the wall has always been a dangerous fighter. A great pitched battle took place on the Sakharia River, which lasted weeks on end. Ultimately the Greeks gave way and in September had to retire to the Afium-Eskishehr line-although this line was in advance of that assigned by the Sèvres Treaty. The audacious gamble of the Greeks had failed, and they found themselves bankrupt in resources and prestige. Meanwhile the Nationalists were receiving external support. An Alliance had been concluded with the Soviet Governments of Russia, Azerbardjan, Armenia and Georgia. France now

dissociated herself from Britain and in October negotiated a separated agreement with the Nationalists through M. Franklin-Bouillon, whereby Cilicia was restored in return for valuable commercial concessions in Eastern Anatolia. Perhaps the old Napoleonic expedient of currying favour with the Moslems in order to poison the springs of British power may have helped to give point and piquancy to the French policy of supporting Turkey, as also because of the belief that Turkey was more in the right than Greece. If Mr. Lloyd George chose to back the wrong horse, the broken-winded Greece, with her inordinate appetite for land, let him do so; for their part

the French declared their intention of siding with Turkey. Italy also concluded a separate agreement with the Nationalists in return for concessions in Western Anatolia. Thus a disgraceful state of affairs arose in which the Allies took sides. with the opponents and allowed British armament firms to supply Greece with guns and tanks whilst the French and Italians fed the Turkish Nationalists with "75s', aircraft and other supplies. In March of this present year the Allies proposed definite schemes for agreement: Smyrna and half of Eastern Thrace (not however including Adrianople) were to be ceded to the Turks, whilst a Straits area was to be internationalized and demilitarized. But these proposals were rejected; Turkey, however, anxious for an accommodation with England, sent their Minister of the Interior, Fethi Bey, to London. The Nationalist representative offered concessions as to the frontiers and also as regards the crucial control of the Straits. A zone on either side of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus was to be neutralized and demilitarized under the supervision of the League of Nations, Turkey being allowed only a small garrison in Constantinople itself. Although this was not so extensive as that delimited in the Sèvres Treaty when the 'Zone of the Straits' included the shores of the Sea of Marmora, it was wider than that proposed by the Allies themselves in March when the Dardanelles only was specified. But Fethi Bey was treated in London with studied discourtesy, being refused an interview with any member of the Government. Meanwhile Mr. Lloyd George in a provocative speech on August 4 praised the Greeks immoderately and denounced the Turks severely. Greece relying on British backing had just ventured on a rash design. Not content with her disastrous commitments in Smyrna she resolved to mass her forces and take possession of Constantinople, presenting it as a fait accompli to the Powers. This treacherous project alienated much of the Phil-hellenic sympathy still floating about in European circles. The Allies, however, warned the Greeks against crossing the Straits neutral zone delimited in May, 1921. But the startling answer to this Greek move really came from the Turks. On August 26, Mustapha Kemal and his army fell like a thunderbolt upon the weakened Greek

line in Asia Minor. The defeat became a rout, the rout a débâcle. The Greek forces scattered like chaff. In their retreat they devastated the countryside, spitefully burning numerous Turkish villages, such as Ushak (at Aidin Moslems congregated in a mosque being roasted alive). The ghastly fire of Smyrna followed which gutted well nigh the whole of the modern commercial quarters. Whether the conflagration was started by Greeks or by Turks or by both is uncertain. As for the wider responsibility for this terrible disaster and the war-swept condition of Asia Minor that will probably have to be shared not only by Greece and Turkey but also by the Allied statesmen whose peace brought no reconciliation, who encouraged and egged on Greece in her imperialistic designs in Asia Minor and then split themselves up into rival partisan groups.

It is unnecessary here to dwell in detail on those critical crowded days in September and October whilst Kemal's army was marching towards Constantinople and threatening the passage of the Straits; how the Allied troops lined the neutral zone; how on September 16 Mr. Lloyd George issued that curious dubious manifesto to the Dominions, Greece and the Little Entente; how both Italy and France immediately withdrew their troops from the Chanak side leaving the tiny British force alone in that area and Britain isolated in the world— to face the victorious armies of Mustapha Kemal, the spearhead of militant Mahomedanism. Hour after hour a collision seemed inevitable between Britain, the greatest Mahometan Power in the world, and Kemal, the 'Sword of Islam'—and all, it seemed, for the sake of Greece, for the selfish control of the Straits and the oil deposits of the Black Sea littoral countries! But the clash was averted by the working of various influences whose weight and significance are as yet difficult to estimate, the tact of General Sir Charles Harington, the diplomatic ability at Paris of Lord Curzon in restoring the Entente, the restraining and restrained influence of France and Italy, the display of force majeure by Britain and the moderation of Mustapha Kemal who had (and indeed still has) the 'Kaiser choice' of peace or war. At all events an armistice was agreed upon at Mudania on October 10, pre

paratory to a fuller conference in November at which definitive peace terms were to be drawn up. The site of the Conference was later fixed for Lausanne.

Minor developments have been and are taking place day by day. Russia is clamouring, not without reason, for a share in the peace negotiations. The report is current that the Turkish Kemalists have deposed Mahomet VI from his office as Sultan whilst leaving him his spiritual functions as Capiph -an interesting indication of the fact that patriotic nationalist fervour rather than religious zeal is the prime motive source of energy behind the Turk of to-day. An event of much greater immediate significance is the dramatic fall of Mr. Lloyd George from power. It is hardly a matter of controversy that internationally it has immeasurably eased the situation, because Turks, French and even Italians have lately manifested a deep distrust of the British Prime Minister and his 'secretariat' foreign policy. Many of his countrymen too who acclaim him as the man who did more than any other British statesman to win the war are forced to the conclusion that he has been losing the peace in the Near East and risking an inequitable war-after-the-war. It is impossible to prophesy about the future of Mr. Lloyd George. If after the General Elections he had come back to supreme power, he might have continued his Phil-hellenic anti-Turk policy. Mustapha Kemal would hardly stay his uplifted sword a second time. The peace of the Near East and indeed of the whole world is hanging in the balance and maybe a political election in far remote Britain has turned the scale. In any case the circumstances of the last few years have wrought irreparable damage to the moral and physical ascendancy of the European peoples and European civilization in the other parts of the globe. There is an awakening of Asia, an awakening of Africa. There may be new and strange phases of the Near Eastern problem.



RELAND is indeed a distressful country to visit in these days. On my arrival in the early part of last summer I drove down O'Connell Street just as it was recovering from the ruin wrought in 1916. The new Clery's, the great departmental store, was rising white and splendid, although the old General Post-office was still a hollow-eyed ghost. When I left in the autumn the part of this same thoroughfare which had been spared in 1916 had been blown to smithereens by Irish troops firing on Irish rebels. Big hotels like the Gresham were levelled so that you could see the kitchens through the space of living rooms and public rooms. The second post-office had gone the way of the first. Windows still looked as if they had been exposed to a lateral hailstorm. On my first visit the Four Courts had just been occupied by Rory O'Connorapparently he thought he must live up to his name and I saw irregulars walking cat-like along party walls to stretch barbed wire across areas and round scaleable corners. When I visited the Zoo (in company) at Phoenix Park, British whippets were still taking exercise in the park. In fact they were still practising firing down the road to judge by the reports, but no one seemed to mind.

All this time the parties were silently ranging themselves for the struggle. De Valera had apparently tried to raise the standard of revolt on the anniversary of Easter week. He had issued a proclamation inviting enough: 'Young men and women of Ireland. The country is yours for the taking. Take it!' but the response to the invitation had only been sporadic. A relative of mine had suffered requisitions to help supply the Four Courts. A neighbouring firm had had its lorries taken away. People were helping themselves to bankmoney rather freely, but the new Government had apparently taken no decided action. The reason seemed to be that Collins, who all the while was growing in statesmanship, found it hard to act against his old associates for whom he had a sneaking sympathy: he had not yet counted heads to decide who was for him and who for Jeroboam. The army was obviously

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