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cause, when, in answer to the Memorandum of th April, 1867, Phouat Pasha, Minister of Foreign Affairs then in Turkey, the Great Powers, France, Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Italy, proposed to the Sublime Porte the solving also of the Candian question, by an appeal to the Candiots for a general vote. This proposal of the Great Powers, which consecrates another additional right to our country, it clearly shows a desire to rectify the injustice of 1830. The Candiots, judging from their former actions, appeared openly to favour a union with the Greek Kingdom, and this is clearly shown, by this programme of the revolution, and by the revolutionary authorities acting in the name of George I, King of Hellenes.
Finally, we beg, Mr. Consul, of the Great Powers to act in the future energetically in order to check the Turkish Government from taking violent steps against the Christian population; the war in this case will take place against our Mussulman fellow citizens, who are now sympathizing with the Sublime Porte, and such a war will take a course of horrible and wild dimensions, and will tend also to excite the hatred between the two parties, and thus render it impossible for them to live peaceably together in the future, which we do not desire.
The Christians are desirous to live in the future in harmony and equality of rights with their fellow citizens the Mussulmans, as people of all denominations and nationalities live together in civilized parts of the world. The Candians, with arms in hand for their own safety, will wait for the decision of the Great Powers, and will not commence hostilities against the Turkish Government, nor commit any atrocities against the Mussulmans their fellow citizens.
In the meantime the General Assembly will employ all means in her power for the maintenance of peace and order in the country.
We are in hopes, Mr. Consul, that in transmitting this our humble petition to your Government, of which you are the worthy representative, you will accompany it with your favourable recommendations on behalf of the suffering Christians of Candia.
We do humbly subscribe ourselves, &c.
(Here follow 170 signatures.)
Consul Sandwith to the Earl of Derby.-(Received March 6.)
Canea, Crete, February 25, 1878. EARLY yesterday morning 2,000 armed Christians came down from the hills which inclose the Bay of Suda on the south, and began firing into the arsenal at the head of the bay, and into the fortifications of Izzedin, towards its entrance. Two battalions of regular troops and a few hundred zaptiehs and Bashi-Bazouks were ordered to drive the mountaineers back, and as they advanced in skirmishing order up the hills, which are here about 1,500 ft. high, they had no difficulty in dislodging their assailants. Two Turkish vessels meanwhile got up steam, and played with their cannon on the retreating enemy. By noon they had all disappeared, the demonstration resulting in the loss of not more than eight or ten killed and wounded on either side. This is a conjectural computation drawn from several sources. In the afternoon 1,000 men more appeared beyond the village of Galata, an hour to the west of this town, and firing was heard in that direction till the evening, but the same uncertainty prevails here also as to the loss in killed and wounded. This morning reports arrive that fighting has been renewed a few miles to the south-west of Canea.
These hostile demonstrations, enacted within a week after the drawing up by the General Assembly of the Memorial of which I had the honour of transmitting your Lordship a translation in my last despatch, a Memorial in which they formally declared that they had no intention of engaging in a struggle with the Porte, have excited no little surprise, and it is generally believed that they have occurred contrary to the wishes of the Assembly. It is well known that that body has imperfect control over the doings of the chiefs recently arrived from Greece, who are rather inclined to look for orders to the country which has supplied them with money and munitions of
Costaki Pasha called the principal Mussulman inhabitants together yesterday afternoon, and found them resolute in demanding that 1,000 of their co-religionists should be enrolled and armed as Bashi-Bazouks, in order to protect the numerous refugee families who have fled to the neighbourhood of this town. His Excellency
firmly resisted their demand, but consented reluctantly that in case of necessity he would issue arms, on the local Moslem gentry who were present engaging that they should be given up again as soon as the necessity for their use should be over. He fears lest there should be a repetition here of the scenes which lately occurred near Rethymo, where five Christian villages, and not two, as I had reported, were more or less ruined by the same class of the population. His Excellency, who has just been to see me, tells me that 300 Peabody-Martini rifles were issued, by some misunderstanding, last night, but that he was resolved to prevent a further distribution. To confirm him in this resolve, he tells me that he has just received the news that last night a number of Bashi-Bazouks, who had been previously armed for the sake of preserving order, have been robbing in several Christian villages in the promontory of Akrotiri, which forms the northern boundary of Suda Bay, that they beat several Christians, and killed one. Murders of Christians are also reported from other places near here.
Your Lordship will thus see that the situation of affairs here is far from reassuring. Although I hope that order in this town is not seriously menaced, the presence of one of Her Majesty's vessels would certainly conduce to a sense of security.
P.S.-As cyphered telegrams are not received at the telegraph station here, I am sending one to be transmitted from Syra, briefly announcing that fighting is going on between the insurgents and the Government forces.
Consul Sandwith to the Earl of Derby.-(Received March 6.)
Canea, Crete, February 25, 1878. I HAD the honour, in my last despatch, to state to your Lordship that no little surprise had been created at the outbreak of hostilities so soon after the General Assembly of the Cretans had declared in their Memorial that they had no intention of engaging in a struggle with the Porte. I am convinced, and it is a conviction shared by most, that the movement has been set on foot contrary to the wishes of the Assembly and the people generally, and that the blame attaching to it must be laid exclusively at the door of the Chiefs lately come from Greece. It occurred to me that if the General Assembly had the support of the Consular Corps in Canea, their united weight might induce the Chiefs to cease from their attacks, the futility of which, under present circumstances, is only too apparent. With this object in view, I called upon the Vali, in my character as Doyen of the Consular Corps (having previously assured myself of the concurrence of my Italian colleague, who is possessed of considerable influence with the Christians, and having little doubt of the co-operation of the rest), and asked his Excellency whether he thought that our good offices could be of any avail in stopping the further useless effusion of blood, but, I added, that we could take no steps except on his Excellency's invitation. Costaki Pasha received my suggestion very cordially, and thought that our services might be most useful, but he hesitated on his own responsibility to invite us to take the step proposed, and promised to telegraph for the necessary authority from the Porte. This morning his Excellency called upon me and said that on reflexion he thought it wiser not to request our good offices for fear of exciting the susceptibilities of the Mahometan population, who are just now in an angry mood. The subject has thus been allowed to drop.
Your Lordship having already authorized me to use my good offices, in co-operation with the authorities, in endeavouring to bring about a better understanding between the latter and their discontented subjects, I was emboldened to take the step explained above, believing it to be in conformity with the spirit of my general instructions, and I had proposed that we should write a joint letter to the General Assembly, pointing out the inopportuneness of the present movement.
The Earl of Derby to Consul Sandwith.
Foreign Office, March 8, 1878. I HAVE received your despatch of the 25th ultimo, respecting the state of affairs in Crete, and reporting the steps which you ad offered to take with a view to bring about a cessation of hostilities, and I have now to convey to you my approval of your proceedings.
I am, &c.
Consul Sandwith to the Earl of Derby.—(Received March 15.)
Canea, Crete, March 2, 1878. THE encounters which had taken place between the Christian insurgents and the Government forces on the 24th ultimo were continued on the three following days. At the end of that time the former had succeeded in capturing a large block-house at Alikiance, two hours to the south-west of this town. It was in a commanding position, the upper portion forming the residence of the Kaïmakam of the district, and the lower serving as barracks for troops, and it was defended by a band of eighty Albanians, who were obliged to retire for want of provisions. The captors immediately set fire to it, lest it should come into the hands of the enemy again.
During these days other bands of insurgents were blockading the Christian Governor of Sphakia, Nikolaki Pasha, in his head-quarters at Vamos in Apokorona, four hours to the south-east of Canea. He has two battalions of Redif, amounting to 1,400 men, and a small force of zaptiehs, to protect the place, which has no sort of natural strength. There is no danger of its being taken by assault, however, but as it is known that the troops have only food enough for a very few days, and all the roads are occupied by the Christians, the latter hope to reduce the place by starvation. There has been no fighting since the 27th ultimo, and hopes are entertained of inducing the Christians to agree to a suspension of arms. It is supposed that the Government losses in killed and wounded in the several encounters amount to about fifty in all, and the losses of the Christians are not likely to exceed that number. While the troops engaged in the skirmishes at Vamos were chiefly regulars, those who fought at Aliakianee were all irregulars, composed of Albanian zaptiehs and the newlyarmed volunteers. Costaki Pasha, as I had the honour to report in my despatch of the 25th ultimo, did what he could to oppose the arming of these men; but his better judgment was overborne by the zeal of the Mussulman public, who insisted on arms being served out to them, so that, counting the 600 armed by Samih Pasha less than a month ago, there must now be quite 2,000 men carrying the Peabody-Martini rifle. The town and all the roads leading to it are occupied by these men, and Christian peasants no longer venture near the town. Perfect order, however, continues to prevail in the town itself, nor are the Christian inhabitants at all molested.
The unexpected outbreak of hostilities and their sudden cessation have given an artificial character to the movement, which only confirms the universal belief that it was got up to order, and in opposition to the general will of the people, which had been authoritatively expressed by their representatives in the Memorial addressed to the Consular Body only a few days before.
Consul Sandwith to the Earl of Derby.-(Received March 15.)
Canea, Crete, March 2, 1878. THE arming of the native Moslem population, which had been decided on contrary to the Vali's better judgment, has already produced some of the results which his Excellency apprehended. During the last few days I have made the round of the villages in the neighbourhood of this town, which have been exposed without efficient protection to the lawless propensities of the worst class of the newly-enrolled volun
teers. The first day I visited the villages of Murunnies and Peribolio, lying an hour south of the town. They are exclusively Christian, but every soul had fled. In Peribolio there was not a house that had not be wrecked by the Bashi-Bazouks, every door, window, and cupboard being torn away; except in one instance, the rafters supporting the flat roofs were as yet intact; nor had fire been used as an agent of destruction, the destroyers preferring to drive the wood to town for sale as fire-wood. While passing by the village church I found two men bearing Peabody-Martini rifles busy in defacing the ornaments. In Murunnies there were also very few houses spared, and these were occupied by Moslem refugees. Two other villages further east, Nero Kuru and Isikellaria, I visited the next day, but found comparatively little damage done, due in one case to a guard of regular troops stationed there, and in the other to the fact of some of the inhabitants being Mohometans, who had protected the property of those of their neighbours with whom a friendship had existed. I also went to the large Christian village of Galata, an hour west of Canea, whence also all the inhabitants had fled. A few houses only had been gutted by Moslems from a neighbouring village. In the villages of the peninsula of Akratéré, north of Suda Bay, some ten in number, a perfect panic had prevailed, and as the people cannot easily escape to the mountains, from which they are shut off by the bay, they had taken refuge with their cattle in the large convent of Haghia Iriada. Confidence has to some extent been restored among them, Costaki Pasha having sent the eighty Albanians who were driven out of the block-house at Alikianee to afford them protection.
From Candia Mr. Vice-Consul Calocherinos reports that the Moslem peasantry had begun to arrive from districts where they had hitherto been induced to remain, and the crowding together in the town of so many destitute creatures is a grave subject for anxiety to the Governor-General, who informs me that he is urging the Porte to send a cargo of barley from Tripoli or Bengazi in order to distribute it gratuitously among the needy population, whose sufferings are growing intolerable. It is also said that the Christian peasants, who dare no longer venture near the towns, are enduring great hardships from the same cause.
The dismissal of the Mutessarif of Rethymo, and the imprisonment for terms varying from fourteen to ninety days of those concerned in the late riots, had restored tranquillity to that town, but again news has been received of an incursion into the surrounding country by the local Mussulmans, who overpowered the guard at the gates, robbed 480 sheep of Christian shepherds, of whom one was killed and one wounded. Order has been already re-established and most of the sheep returned to their owners.
The blockade-runner "Panhellenion" has made a second successful voyage, landing volunteers, arms, and provisions at Bali Bay, between Candia and Rethymo. I have, &c.
Consul Sandwith to the Earl of Derby.-(Received March 15.)
My Lord, Canea, Crete, March 4, 1878. THE victualling of the garrison at Vamos, in Apokorona, was becoming a matter of such urgent necessity, that the Vali, fearing lest the convoy he meditated sending should be attacked on the road, sent for Mr. Vice-Consul Moazzo, and asked him if he could obtain my sanction to use his good offices with the insurgent leaders to draw a promise from them to allow provisions to pass in safety. On M. Moazzo asking my consent to take upon himself the role of mediator, I was induced to give it, on its being clearly understood that this Consulate would be in no wise responsible for the observance of any stipulations that might be agreed on. The Vice-Consul employed two respected citizens of Canea to take a letter to a Chief in Apokorona proposing a cessation of hostilities. M. Moazzo is so highly esteemed, and possesses so great an influence over the Christian leaders, that Costaki Pasha seemed to rest all his hopes on his undertaking the task proposed. The result has been completely successful. The Chiefs in Apokorona have engaged to allow free passage to all convoys of provisions for the troops at Vamos or elsewhere, and to respect the life, honour, and property of their Mussulman compatriots.
In return for these concessions they demand:
1. That the Government allow all Christian peasants to pass freely, without molestation, between their villages and the maritime towns.
2. That the Mussulmans respect the life, honour, and property of their Christian compatriots.
3. That they undertake no hostile step without giving them previous notice. Costaki Pasha was delighted at the success of M. Moazzo's mediation, and has lost no time in sending provisions to the garrison of Vamos.
The Government will find great difficulty in restraining the lawlessness of the irregular troops who roam over this part of the country, and who have succeeded, by their violent proceedings, in terrifying the Christian peasantry of the neighbourhood. The Brigadier-General in command is a man of no energy, and the Porte ought never to have left the island without a military Commander possessing undoubted authority over the troops.
A battalion of 750 men arrived yesterday from the capital. Her Majesty's ship "Foxhound" arrived at the same time from Malta.
I have, &c.
THOMAS B. SANDWITH.
The Earl of Derby to Consul Sandwith.
Foreign Office, March 19, 1878.
Sir, I HAVE received your despatch of the 4th March, reporting that you had sanctioned Mr. Vice-Consul Moazzo's intervention between the authorities and the Insurgent Chiefs in Crete, with a view to the revictualling of the garrison at Vamos without opposition; and I have to convey to you my approval of your proceedings, and to request you to inform Mr. Vice-Consul Moazzo that I have heard with satisfaction of the success of his efforts to prevent bloodshed.
I am, &c.
Consul Sandwith to the Earl of Derby.-(Received March 21.)
Canea, Crete, March 10, 1878. THE truce between the local authorities and the insurgents, the conclusion of which I had the honour to report in my last despatch, has met with no interruption. Costaki Pasha proclaimed throughout the surrounding districts that the Christian inhabitants might enter the town without fear of molestation, and guards of soldiers have been placed on the various roads in order to insure their safety. Confidence has thus to a certain extent revived, and the Christian peasantry, who were suffering great privations, are now to be seen thronging the stores of the provision dealers and carrying away food for their families. The scarcity, amounting almost to famine, prevailing in the interior, is the secret of the readiness shown by the insurgents to agree to a suspension of hostilities, and offers the best security against their repetition.
The Vali, meanwhile, has ordered Vamos, the Government head-quarters in Apokorona, to be evacuated. It appears that the troops stationed there had desecrated the parish church, and had pillaged and wrecked some houses in the village, so that Costaki Pasha, fearing that a repetition of such scenes might provoke the Chiefs to resume hostilities, thought it prudent to withdraw the garrison, which amounted to 1,400 men, Nikolaki Pasha, the Mutessarif of Sphakia, accompanying them to town. Simultaneously there came the news that the other Christian Mutessarif in Crete, who has his head-quarters at Neapolis, in Lasethé, had abandoned that village and had retired with the handful of troops which guarded him to the fortress of Spina Longa. No reason has been assigned for his flight, as the inhabitants of that end of the island have shown no disposition to resort to violence. Costaki Pasha leaves to-day for Rethymo, Candia, and the districts further east, where he will learn the motives for the Mutessarif's departure.
There is now no place in the interior of Crete where the authority of the Govern