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which she tries to protect herself. The action of Hellenism in the East cannot be checked either by menaces or by a sudden attack. An unjust attack on Greece would arouse the whole Greek nationality. Such a national struggle would not be decided by pitched battles. It is difficult to define beforehand the duration and the magnitude of the disasters of such a struggle; but it is not so difficult to weigh exactly the greatness of the respon sibility which would fall on the Power that dared to attack, and on those who urged it to engage in this struggle, of which the English Government will not fail to point out the dangers and injustice. Be good enough to read this note to Her Majesty's Minister for Foreign Affairs, and give him a copy of it if he asks for it.
FOLLOWING telegram has been received from Mr. Layard :
[See No. 59.]
Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.-(Received September 28.)
(Extract.) Therapia, September 15, 1877. M. CONDOURIOTIS has been good enough to read to me a despatch from M. TriDOU coupi, referring to a declaration made to him by Server Pasha that Photiades Bey had been instructed to take note ("prendre acte") of a statement, attributed to the Hellenic Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the Hellenic Government had "assumed the direction" ("assumé la direction") of the Greek revolutionary Committees. M. Tricoupi states that Photiades Bey had misreported his words, which were that the Hellenic Government "exercised a legitimate control" on those Committees; his meaning being that it was able to prevent them acting in any way contrary to the law, or to the international duties of Greece. It is evident, M. Tricoupi adds, that Photiades Bey had perceived that he had misinformed his Government, as he had not carried out its instructions to "prendre acte" of the words alleged to have been used.
M. Tricoupi refers M. Condouriotis to his despatch of the 23rd August 4th September to the Greek Chargé d'Affaires in London, which is to be communicated to your Lordship, and a copy of which M. Tricoupi has sent to M. Condouriotis, for a full explanation of his views with regard to the assurances required of, and given by, Greece as to her intention not to attack Turkey, nor to promote insurrections in the border provinces.
Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.-(Received September 28.)
Therapia, September 18, 1877.
I HAVE the honour to inclose copy of a despatch from Her Majesty's Vice-Consul at Prevesa, reporting the proclamation of martial law at that place.
I have, &c.
I HAVE the honour to report to your Excellency that on the 4th instant, about an hour before sunset, martial law was proclaimed at Prevesa, and on the following morning (5th instant) I telegraphed the above to your Excellency in the following terms :
"Martial law was proclaimed here yesterday. Proclamation includes Prevesa, Arta, Radovizi, Tzumerica, Parga, Fanari, and villages."
In consequence of the above Proclamation the greatest fear prevails among the Christian inhabitants, and one or two arrests have been made. The first person who was arrested, and who is still kept under arrest, is a rayah named Dimitri Skefferi. His house was searched by the military authorities about a couple of hours after the publication of the above Proclamation.
M. Skefferi, who belongs to one of the principal families in the place, and whose eldest brother is brother-in-law of M. Apostoli Varzelli, dragoman of the late Russian Vice-Consulate at Prevesa, was arrested on the grounds of his having kept up a correspondence with the above gentleman, as well as with M. George Varzelli, late Russian Vice-Consul for Prevesa and Arta, who, since the breaking out of hostilities between Russia and Turkey, reside at Sanka Maura. He is, moreover, suspected of having aided and encouraged Rayahs to cross over to Greece and join the Greek army. The authorities also intended to arrest Dr. Garzuni, formerly in the Turkish service, but private warning having been given to him on the night of the 5th instant, he left for Santa Maura early next day. A boat from one of the gun-boats stationed in this port was sent in pursuit of Dr. Garzuni, but failed to overtake him, so that he now finds himself in perfect safety at Santa Maura.
Late on the 5th instant I received a despatch from M. Kypriotis acquainting me that martial law had been proclaimed at Janina on the 1st instant.
A second circular was sent to me by the Mutessarif inclosing copy of the Proclamation published at Janina, a copy and translation of which I have the honour to inclose.
As regards vessels attempting to enter the port of Prevesa after sunset, a gun will be fired to make them stop, after which the batteries will sink them.
Shooting has been prohibited.
A redoubt is being constructed at Punta, opposite Prevesa.
I have, &c.
C. A. BLAKENEY.
Inclosure 2 in No. 56.
Proclamation of Martial Law.
BE it known to all that, owing to the present exceptional circumstances, the first duty of the Government is to watch over the safety and tranquillity of all, and to prevent the introduction of ill advised plans and instigations tending to disturb the tranquillity of the country; the first wish of His Imperial Highness has been at all times, and especially during the present difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves, to afford to these parts as well as to the other parts of the Empire fuil and permanent enjoyment of safety. In consequence of which an Imperial Decree has been issued here, as well as in other parts where it has been found necessary, which places the provinces of Janina, Thessaly, and Prevesa, in a state of siege, in accordance with Article 113 of the Constitution, and this has been communicated wherever it has been considered necessary. Therefore, from to-day the duties of the civil authorities pass over to the military authorities; and whereas this martial law is about to be made public, those who should commit acts or make use of words injurious to the public order shall be speedily and conclusively tried before the constituted court-martial; the guilty shall be punished immediately according to the crime committed, but after it shall have been proved. The military authorities in case of need shall take away the arms and ammunition from the people. Private dwellings which it might be considered necessary to search shall be searched in night as well as in day-time. Suspected persons, persons whose past life has been bad, and those who have no fixed babitation, shall, in case of need, be expelled or sent to a distance from this. Journals shall be suppressed, all such as publish news tending to disturb the public spirit, and every meeting shall be prohibited; and the present notice has been given in order that every person should be made aware of it and conduct himself within the proper limit.
Janina, August 20, 1877.
Mr. Wyndham to the Earl of Derby.-(Received September 29.)
My Lord, Athens, September 22, 1877. WITH reference to your Lordship's despatch of the 3rd September,* which was delivered to me yesterday by Mr. Vansittart, I have the honour to report that I have brought to the knowledge of the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs the substance of Server Pasha's telegrams which were communicated to your Lordship by Musurus Pasha on the 27th August last and on the 3rd September, and that I have also impressed upon his Excellency, in compliance with your Lordship's orders, the expediency of maintaining an attitude of strict and impartial neutrality, and I have further informed him that, as one of the Powers who have guaranteed the independence of the Greek Kingdom, and who have rendered themselves responsible for the Greek debt, Great Britain has a right to expect that King George's advisers will not be inclined by the desire of national aggrandizement to involve the country in a ruinous conflict.
The telegram which was communicated to your Lordship on the 3rd of September being very lengthy and of great importance, I thought it best to embody its substance in the form of a Memorandum, and to which I have added verbatim the latter part of your Lordship's above despatch to me, in order that there should be no misapprehension in M. Tricoupi's mind as to the nature of the communications made to the Government of Her Majesty by the Porte, or of the opinion of Her Majesty's Government as to the policy Greece should pursue towards Turkey.
I have left this statement with M. Tricoupi, telling him that I had no orders to leave a written paper with him, and that he must consider the communication as a verbal one, but that I had so acted to prevent misunderstanding. I have the honour to inclose here
with a copy of my Memorandum to your Lordship.
M. Tricoupi answered that he did not think the complaints of Turkey were justly founded; that with regard to the volunteers coming to Greece, he said that was not an infraction of international law; that when Germany and France had wanted troops they had recalled their subjects from abroad; and with reference to armed bands, the Government had prevented their crossing their frontier, and was still doing so, and that the leaders of the band which had been formed in Thessaly and driven on to the Greek frontier were in the hands of justice. and he appealed to me to state if I knew of any bands at the present moment. I replied that I had just heard that a band had endeavoured to cross the frontiers near Agrynion. M. Tricoupi said it was the case, but that of the men forming that band some had deserted it, while others had been stopped; and with regard to the passage of Server Pasha's telegram which talked of striking at the root of the evil, he said he attached particular weight to it, and that he looked upon it as a menace and as a reason for increasing all the more their military forces. He said that Turkey wished to prevent Greece from exercising her just rights, and that with regard to the policy of Greece, it was as he had indicated already.
I remarked that, without going into details, I thought the general tone of public feeling in Greece, the talk of military preparations for the last year, and the increase of the military strength of the kingdom, had alarmed Turkey, and not without reason, and I expressed to him the hope that Greece would not go on augmenting her forces, and said that I felt convinced Turkey must be sincere in her wish to avoid further complications.
M. Tricoupi said that, if Turkey wished to avoid a collision with Greece, she should turn her attention to the manner in which she was now administering the Province of Thessaly, and he begged me particularly to call your Lordship's attention to this point, adding that this province was overrun with Bashi-Bazouks, who had lately made an attack upon the Greek Consulate at Larissa.
With regard to your Lordship's communication, he appeared vexed at its having been called forth at the instance of representations of the Porte.
1 called his attention to the concluding part of your Lordship's despatch, in which I said your Lordship fully acknowledged the assurances given by his Excellency to Mr. Stuart, and I concluded by saying that I felt convinced that Her Majesty's Government was actuated by friendly feelings towards Greece and towards Turkey, and was solely animated by a desire of preventing a collision between the two States.
M. Tricoupi told me he should write himself to M. Gennadius on the subject. As I saw him this afternoon, and as the mail leaves at 6 o'clock, I am afraid I have laid the
* No. 29.
subject of a long conversation with his Excellency before your Lordship in a hurried and imperfect manner.
I have, &c.
Statement placed by Mr. Wyndham in M. Tricoupi's hands on the 22nd September, 1877.
MUSURUS PASHA communicated to Lord Derby on the 27th August a telegram complaining of inroads committed from Greece across the Turkish frontier, from Server Pasha. Lord Derby shortly afterwards received a despatch from Mr. Stuart, stating that the Greek Government entirely denied these accusations. Lord Derby informed Musurus Pasha of the fact, stating that he should be glad to learn the opinion of his Government on the assurances thus received before he proceeded to make any representation such as Server Pasha desired.
On the 3rd September, a further telegram was communicated by the Turkish Ambassador in London to Lord Derby, and his Lordship, after reading that telegram, said he was ready to bring the complaints of the Porte to the notice of the Greek Government.
The telegram in question is dated the 30th August, and the substance is as follows:
"The Greek Government continues to give us assurances of its desire to cultivate friendly relations with us. The Imperial Government declares formally its sincere desire to do the same, and that it has no hostile intentions towards Greece. Unfortunately, acts do not correspond with the pacific assurances of the Greek Government. The bands which have crossed the frontiers have not yet been recalled, their leaders are unpunished, new bands are being formed, volunteers are being clandestinely recruited in large numbers amongst our populations, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law; revolutionary committees are acting with ever-increasing energy, and the authorities, who are perfectly cognizant of their proceedings, do not make use of the power which they possess to repress them; while the official press in Greece does nothing to calm public opinion, which is excited by the unofficial organs of the press.
"So long as this state of affairs continues, the Imperial Government must consider the tranquillity of the Turkish provinces bordering on Grecce as seriously menaced, and cannot close its eyes to the fact. Turkey being engaged in hostilities with a powerful enemy, she is most certainly not likely to provoke fresh complications; but when another Power is endeavouring to profit by this state of affairs, and is endeavouring to create insurrection, is it not the sacred duty of a Government to prevent the evil from increasing and to seek to stop it, not by half measures, but by striking at the very root?
"In submitting these remarks to Lord Derby, you will particularly dwell upon the latter point."
Lord Derby instructs me to impress upon you the expediency of maintaining an attitude of strict and impartial neutrality, and to state that, as one of the Powers who have guaranteed the independence of the Greek Kingdom, and who have rendered themselves responsible for the Greek Debt, Great Britain has a right to expect that King George's advisers will not be induced by the desire of national aggrandizement to involve the country in a ruinous conflict, and that Greek subjects will be restrained from provoking the Porte to measures of hostility by acts of unauthorized and private warfare. Majesty's Government have received with satisfaction the explanations and assurances on this subject offered by M. Tricoupi to Her Majesty's Ministers. They trust that there will be no want of good-will and energy on the part of the Greek Government in acting up to the liabilities which they have avowed.
Server Pasha to Musurus Pasha.-(Communicated to the Earl of Derby by Musurus Pasha,
En outre, indépendamment d'une bande partie de l'Eubée pour la Macédoine, le fameux Skaltzoyani a franchi la frontière du côté de l'Epire. Détails par courrier.
Moreover, besides a band which has left Euboea for Macedonia, the famous Skaltzoyani has crossed the frontier on the side of Epirus.
Details by messenger.
Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.*-(Received October 4.)
Therapia, September 24, 1877. SERVER PASHA informed me this afternoon that he had learnt from Photiades Bey that preparations were being again made in Greece, with the knowledge of the Hellenic Government, for sending bands of armed men across the Turkish frontiers to bring about an insurrection in the border provinces. One such band, his Excellency said, consisting of thirty men, was about to cross, or had already crossed, into Thessaly near Larissa. He had instructed the Turkish Minister at Athens to make representations on the subject to M. Tricoupi, and to ask for explanations. In the meanwhile, the Porte had ordered a vessel of war to Volo for the protection of that place and to maintain order. Unless the explanations asked for were satisfactory, aud if armed bands were thus allowed to invade Turkey by the Greek authorities, the Turkish Government would be compelled to send, without further delay, a squadron into Greek waters. His Excellency asked me whether, in my opinion, it would not be justified in doing so. I replied that it appeared to me of great importance that the Porte should not take any hasty action in the matter, and without having first obtained absolute proof that the bands in question were acting with the connivance or encouragement of the Hellenic Government. The Porte, I observed, should be especially careful not to furnish an excuse to Greece to accuse it of having first threatened or commenced hostilities against her.
Server Pasha said that he had learnt that there was a good deal of irritation at Athens against Her Majesty's Government in consequence of the representations they had addressed to the Hellenic Government with respect to the intentions of Greece to make war upon Turkey. Greece, his Excellency remarked, seemed to think that she enjoyed an altogether exceptional position; that she was not bound to listen to the remonstrances and advice of the Protecting Powers, whose aid and protection she, however, considered herself entitled to claim to save her from the results of acts committed in defiance of them.
Mr. Sandison subsequently informed me that he had learnt at the Porte that the band to which Server Pasha referred had actually crossed the Turkish frontiers under the leadership of a certain Dimitrion, and that its object was to endeavour to penetrate into Macedonia, and to raise the Greek population in that province.
I have, &c.
P.S. Since writing this despatch I have received a copy of a telegram from Photiades Bey to the Porte, dated 21st instant, in which he states that the band under Emmanuel Dimintrion has left Euboea for Macedonia. It would appear that it is the intention of this Chief to land on some part of the Macedonian coast, and the Porte is urged to take measures accordingly, which it has done.
A. H. L.
Mr. Layard to the Earl of Derby.--(Received October 4.)