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an improvement in the existing relations between the two Governments. || It was impossible that the present condition of affairs could continue without compromising the security, and, possibly, the very existence of Bulgaria. There were about 150000 Macedonians settled and living in Bulgaria, of whom 500 were serving as officers in the army. This large Macedonian element was closely affiliated and connected with the general population, so that practically nearly the whole of Bulgaria was kept in a perpetual state of political unrest by the events which were passing across the frontier, where the Government was practically in the hands of the gendarmes. || Unless, therefore, some means could be found to put an end to this state of things, and concessions made to satisfy the reasonable demands and aspirations of the Macedonians, the insurrectionary movement was certain, even if suppressed this year, to break out again next spring, and to lead eventually to more serious complications. It was with the object of trying to prevent, by every possibly means, this eventuality that he had come here. || M. Natchovits then went on to say that he had approached the Grand Vizier by reminding him that the Imperial Government had already agreed to give the Macedonians a certain measure of autonomy. Unfortunately, the Austro-Russian reforms did not go far enough to meet the just requirements of the situation, and without a more liberal policy it was impossible to expect the restoration of public order. He therefore came here to submit certain proposals to the Imperial Government namely, to accord to the Macedonians the right to elect their own local authorities, such as the mayors, municipal and rural Councils, who would in their turn have the right of appointing the „gardes champêtres," tax collectors, and other subordinate officials, and, at the same time, to alter the present abusive and vexatious system of collecting the tithes. The ,,communes" would be collectively responsible for the taxes due to the Imperial Government, and as the military authority remained in the hands of the Central Government, they would always have the power of enforcing, if necessary, their dues. || This was the full extent of the proposals he had made so far, though he hoped later on to add a few more, such as that some, at least, of the Judges and administrative officials should be chosen from the Macedonians who had graduated with distinction at a Bulgarian University, and who, although residing within the Principality, were at heart more Macedonian that Bulgarian. || The Grand Vizier had, M. Natchovits said, received his proposals courteously, promised to consider them carefully and give him an answer without delay. His Highness had added, however, that as they were based on the electoral system, he was afraid they

would not find favour in high quarters. || M. Natchovits next referred to the inadequate and limited character of the Austro-Russian scheme of reforms, which he considered did not secure even the absolutely indispensable amount of personal freedom and security, without which there could be no general tranquillity, or Bulgaria cease to be made the centre of a dangerous political agitation. His proposal, on the other hand, would meet the legitimate demands of all parties, whether Bulgarian or Macedonian, they would guarantee the restoration of public order, reestablish friendly relations with Turkey, and secure to Bulgaria the satisfaction of feeling that their co-religionists and compatriots across the frontier had, under the supremacy of Turkey, obtained more valuable concessions than those which might be given to them by the AustroRussian entente. I asked M. Natchovits whether he had informed the Russian and Austrian Ambassadors of the purport of his mission, and what they had said. He replied that he had done so, but that he had not got much encouragement, as they had both told him that it was very unlikely the Imperial Government would accept his proposals, while it was more than probable they would make them an excuse for delaying the execution of their scheme of reforms. || In conclusion, M. Natchovits said he earnestly requested me to support his proposals with the Grand Vizier and thus increase the debt of gratitude which Bulgaria and other races struggling for freedom and liberty already owed to Great Britain. He learnt from the Grand Vizier that I had already advised him to meet the friendly overtures of the Bulgarian Government in a reciprocal spirit, and while grateful for this advice he hoped I would not fail to assist him in the present negotiations. || I replied that the remarks I had made to the Grand Vizier were based on the assurance that His Majesty's Government would regard very favourably an improvement in the existing relations between the Principality and the Suzerain Power. But I reminded his Excellency that His Majesty's Government had promised, and were giving, their earnest support to the Austro-Hungarian scheme of reforms, that they could not at the present moment, and without consultation with the two Powers more immediately concerned, support any proposals which might jeopardize their success, and least of all would they be inclined to separate themselves from the other Powers in a question of such great difficulty and complexity. || His proposals, if accepted by Turkey, might be of inestimable value in bringing about the reestablishment of order and tranquillity throughout Macedonia, and if put forward as a supplement and addition to the scheme of reforms, they might gain a support which they could certainly not hope for otherwise.

I thought it very improbable, however, that the Sultan would be willing or ready to attempt to enforce these further concessions upon his Mussulman subjects, who were already greatly irritated against the Christians in consequence of the Salonica and other outrages; but in any case his best chance of success consisted in his obtaining, if he could, the support of Austria and Russia, and I advised him to direct his efforts to this end. || On rising to take leave M. Natchovits said that he was preparing a Memorandum for the Grand Vizier embodying the substance of his demands, and that he would call upon me after he had again seen his Highness. I have not yet had an opportunity of speaking to M. Zincview about M. Natchovits' mission; but the Austrian Ambassador, with whom I have exchanged views on the subject, assures me that he does not think there is any chance of the Sultan acceding to the demands of Bulgaria, and that he fears the failure of M. Natchovits' mission may only make the relations between the two countries still worse. || Baron de Calice said that his language to M. Natchovits was very much as he related it to me, and that he told him he could not, at all events without instructions from his Government, support his demands, which he considered would be unacceptable to the Sultan. His Excellency added that he understood the Russian Ambassador had confined himself mostly to listening to what M. Natchovits had to say, but the few remarks he made were much to the same effect as his own.

Nr. 13262. GROSSBRITANNIEN. - Derselbe an Denselben. Die türkisch-bulgarische Verhandlung hat zu nichts


Therapia, June 14, 1903. (June 20.)

(Extract.) || In continuation of my despatch of the 5th instant, I have the honour to report that M. Natchovits called to-day to take leave before returning to Sophia. || In reply to my inquiries as to what success had attended his negotiations with the Grand Vizier, M. Natchovits said that, after some days' consideration, his Highness had informed him that the first duty of the Imperial Government was to put into execution the Austro-Russian reforms, that even these reforms were extremely difficult under present circumstances, and that the condition of Macedonia rendered the acceptance of his proposals impracticable just now. His Highness' general remarks, however, in regard to his desire to improve the relations between the two countries were, on the whole, satisfactory. || M. Natchovits then said that he had been received by the Sultan on Friday, and had explained to His Majesty the object of his visit and the

proposals which he had made to the Grand Vizier. The Sultan replied that he welcomed any indication of a more friendly feeling on the part of the Bulgarian Government, and that he trusted its first result would be some effectual measures to prevent armed insurrectionary bands from crossing the frontier and an end to the encouragement which was given to the Committees throughout Bulgaria. || His Majesty's chief desire was to carry through the programme of reforms. This programme was less radical than those which he had himself prepared, but he had encountered serious difficulties with the Albanians. He hoped, nevertheless, gradually to extend the reforms in a way to satisfy the inhabitants, both Mussulman and Christian, and later on to have an opportunity of embodying M. Natchovits' proposals in a general scheme applicable to all the vilayets of Roumelia. || If any reliance could be placed on promises and expressions of sympathy and goodwill M. Natchovits considered the Sultan's language encouraging, but, as to any practical result, he said he regarded his mission as a failure. He hoped, however, that the seed would fructify in the future, and that his Government would not be deterred from following the policy which had caused him to come here. This policy was based on better relations with the Imperial Government, condemnation of the criminal acts of the Macedonian Committees, and careful abstention from support to the insurgents. It was his own policy, and, what was far more important, that of the Exearch, who expressed his strong disapproval of the violent action of the Revolutionary Committees. He attached the greatest importance to the Exarch's declaration, and he asked him to address a letter in this sense to Prince Ferdinand and the Bulgarian Government in order to strengthen their action. His Beatitude agreed to do so, and he hoped to be the bearer of the letters on Monday. M. Natchovits further remarked that he had been received in so friendly a manner by the Sultan that he was inclined to think that, altthough he had in point of fact so far received only vague promises, the road was opened for further negotiations on the same lines. He desired particularly to see a Mixed Commission, composed of Turks and Bulgarian Macedonians, constituted to determine the reforms that were absolutely essential, and he trusted that this Commission would ultimately be invested with some control and authority, without which he feared much would not be done in the way of effective reform. He had, he said, spoken to the Grand Vizier of the harsh treatment to which the Bulgarians were subjected, resulting in a large emigration into the Principality. He implored his Highness to stop the proceedings, and not to allow people to be arrested on mere suspicion, or simply because they

had given aid to the insurgents when refusal would be punished by death. || His Majesty replied that the Imperial Government were desirous to be as clement as possible, but that the examples of the hundreds of persons who had been lately amnestied, and a great part of whom had rejoined the revolutionary bands, was not encouraging.

Nr. 13263. GROSSBRITANNIEN. Der Gesandte in Sofia an den Minister des Ausw. Türkische Grenzverletzungen. Besorgnisse der bulgarischen Regierung.

Sophia, June 27, 1903. (June 29.)

My Lord, || In my despatch of the 24th instant I had the honour to report the occupation of the heights of Sultantepe and Ruen, close to the Bulgarian frontier near Küstendil, by Turkish troops. The composition of the force, as I was told this morning by General Petroff, the Bulgarian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, is as follows, and not as stated in my despatch: four battalions of infantry, four squadrons of cavalry, and twelve mountain guns. His Excellency said he learnt that this force was only an advanced guard of a larger one consisting of the troops that were being brought away from Albania, and which was to be employed partly in strengthening the frontier cordon, partly in gathering the harvest, so as to deprive the insurgent bands of their source of supplies in the villages. For neither of these operations, he remarked, were guns wanted. || I remarked that if the frontier guards were reinforced, it was only giving effect to the long-standing represen tations of the Bulgarian Government that the whole burden of stopping the passage of bands fell upon them. General Petroff replied that he had nothing to say against the strengthening of the cordon - although he feared that a mere increase of numbers would not improve their efficiency, of the absence of which he gave me a recent flagrant instance except that there might be more frequent affrays such as that at Gültepe (reported in my above-mentioned despatch), and that some day one of them might lead to serious consequences. But he feared that the policy of starving the bands into submission might lead to the increase of the number of desperate men in Macedonia, and of that of the refugees coming into Bulgaria, by which public opinion here would be dangerously affected. He heard also that a concentration of Turkish troops was also in contemplation on the Bulgarian frontier of the Vilayet of Adrianople. He had telegraphed to the Agent at Constantinople about it, and the latter had seen the Grand Vizier, who professed to know nothing, but

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