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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 representations 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

said he would give an answer in five or six days, a period, as the General said, in which a complete mobilization could be carried out if desired. || I endeavoured to reassure his Excellency by referring to the known pacific intentions of the Sultan, and the respect of the Turks for His Majesty's authority: but while admitting the former, he doubted the extent of the latter in districts beyond immediate control. || I am inclined to doubt whether General Petroff's apprehensions are as grave as he would represent them, but that he feels some anxiety on account of the desire for war with Bulgaria which prevails in the Turkish ranks is quite certain. || The late special correspondent of the „Times“ in Macedonia, who is returning to England viâ Sophia, tells me he thinks it likely that the troops which have been sent to the Bulgarian frontier are some Albanian regiments which have been showing signs of disaffection at Monastir: if this is so, a worse destination could hardly have been found for them.

F. Elliot

Nr. 13264. GROSSBRITANNIEN. — Derselbe an Denselben. Dasselbe.

Sophia, June 29, 1903. (June 29.) (Telegraphic.) || Since the conversation reported in my despatch of the 27th June, General Petroff has informed me that if Turkish troops are concentrated on either the Macedonian or Adrianople frontiers, he will be obliged to guard against a coup de main, not by mobilizing, but by strengthening, the regiments on the frontier. || The Bulgarian Government are preparing a circular note to the Powers.

Nr. 13265. BULGARIEN. – Der Minister des Ausw. an die Ver

treter in Paris, Petersburg, Wien. Sollen sich über die türkischen Truppenansammlungen beschweren.

Le 16 (29) Juin 1903. M. l'Agent, || Guidé par les conseils bienveillants des Grandes Puissances et soucieux des intérêts de la Principauté, en présence des événements qui se sont produits dans les provinces Européennes de l'Empire Ottoman, le Gouvernement Princier a donné des preuves de son vif désir et de sa ferme résolution d'entretenir des rapports de bon voisinage avec le Gouvernement Impérial; il a pris toutes les mesures en son pouvoir pour calmer les esprits en Bulgarie et pour empêcher, sur son territoire, des actes et des entreprises de nature à encourager le mouvement révolutionnaire dans ces provinces. || Le Gouvernement Bulgare a fait plus, en ces derniers temps. S'inspirant des intérêts généraux de l'Empire et de la Principauté, il s'est adressé à la Cour suzeraine pour lui proposer de coopérer à l'oeuvre d'apaisement et de concorde qu'il poursuit en toute sincérité et loyauté; et dans ce but, il l'a priée instamment de mettre enfin un terme aux persécutions que subissent les populations Bulgares de ces provinces, et de leur assurer un sort meilleur à l'avenir par l'application de réformes qui répondent aux exigences de la situation. || Malheureusement, le Gouvernement Princier constate avec regret que, loin de prendre les mesures nécessaires pour appliquer les réformes et donner la paix et la tranquillité aux populations Chrétiennes de l’Empire, la Sublime Porte semble vouloir aboutir fatalement à une catastrophe également désastreuse pour les deux pays. || Sous prétexte de rechercher des armes chez l'habitant, de poursuivre des bandes révolutionnaires ou d'arrêter des affiliés aux Comités Macédoniens, les soldats de l'armée Impériale et les Bachi-Bozouks s'attaquent à la population paisible et, faisant irruption dans les villages, ils se livrent à des excès et à des crimes épouvantables. Des villages entiers ont été détruits, et ceux des habitants qui ont pu échapper à la mort se sont réfugiés en Bulgarie. || Sous prétexte de mieux assurer la garde de ses frontières contre les incursions des bandes armées d'un territoire dans l'autre, le Gouvernement Impérial avait depuis longtemps doublé et renforcé ses postes militaires. Et pourtant, on sait que, si des bandes ont été arrêtées, c'est grâce à la garde frontière Bulgare dont les postes sont bien moins nombreux et plus espacés que les postes Ottomans. Et voici qu'aujourd'hui le Gouvernement Impérial concentre sur plusieurs points de la frontière Bulgare des troupes considérables d'infanterie, de cavalerie, et d'artillerie. || Pourquoi donc cette recrudescence des persécutions, qui semble un mot d'ordre pour l'extermination de l'élément Bulgare des provinces de l'Empire? || Pourquoi cette concentration inattendue de troupes Impériales sur la frontière de la Principauté? || Afin de justifier ses actes et de préparer ses desseins, le Gouvernement Impérial s'est efforcé toujours à dénoncer les entreprises révolutionnaires à l'intérieur de ses provinces comme étant fomentées par la Bulgarie; il a ainsi essayé d'en rejeter la responsabilité sur le Gouvernement Princier et de provoquer dans la Principauté un mouvement populaire qui aboutit à un conflit armé entre les deux pays. Si le conflit a été évité jusqu'à présent, c'est grâce à la sagesse du peuple Bulgare et à l'attitude loyale et pacifique du Gouvernement Princier. Aujourd'hui, plus que jamais, la situation s'est aggravée. Tandis que le Gouvernement Princier, confiant dans les promesses solennelles de la Cour suzeraine et dans les résolutions des Grandes Puissances, compte sur un réglement pacifique de la question des réformes, le Gouvernement Impérial juge le moment favorable pour concentrer des troupes à la frontière Bulgare et commencer une action militaire à la suite du premier incident qui s'y produirait. || Un parail état de choses impose au Gouvernement Princier le devoir de prendre ses dispositions pour parer à l'éventualité d'une irruption des forces Impériales sur son territoire. || En conséquence, je vous charge, M. l'Agent, de communiquer ce qui précède au Gouvernement auprès duquel vous êtes accrédité, en vous recommandant de le prier, dans l'intérêt de la paix si ardemment désirée et qui nous a été tant recommandée, de vouloir bien faire des démarches pressantes et énergiques auprès de la Sublime Porte pour qu'elle rapporte les mesures de concentration militaires dont il s'agit et qu'elle applique d'urgence les réformes dans les provinces de l'Empire voisines de la Principauté. Nous croyons devoir déclarer que le Gouvernement Princier décline d'ores et déjà toute responsabilité pour le développement ultérieur des événements, au cas où le Gouvernement Impérial persisterait dans ses dispositions non-amicales à l'égard de la Bulgarie. || Je vous autorise à donner lecture de la présente dépêche à son Excellence le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et à lui en laisser copie, s'il le désire.

Veuillez agréer, &c.

Nr. 13266. GROSSBRITANNIEN. – Der Gesandte in Sofia an den

Minister des Ausw. Antworten der Mächte auf das vorige.

Sophia, July 6, 1903. (July 11.) My Lord, || On inquiry this morning at the Bulgarian Foreign Office I learnt that no confirmation had yet been received of the alleged concentration of 30 000 Turkish troops at Koumanova, which I had the honour to report in my despatch of the 4th instant, and that the opinion was gaining ground that it is not true. I told the Secretary-General last night that as soon as the Minister had satisfied himself that the report was unfounded, he ought to tell the foreign Representatives so, and not to wait for a contradiction of it to come from them to him. || I myself believed that his alarm was genuine, but there were quarters in which it would be thought to be simulated with an ulterior purpose, and it was important for the Bulgarian Government to avoid laying itself open to accusations of that kind. The Secretary-General told me this morning that he had repeated my remarks to the Minister. il The

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