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en échec l'armée d'Omer Pacha s'élevant à 60,000 hommes. Ils allaient proclamer la réunion de la Crète à la Grèce, suivant les veux traditionnels et unanimes des Crétois, veux successivement répétés et formulés dans leurs soulèvements précédents, mais ils ont cédé aux conseils des Six Grandes Puissances de l'Europe et de la Grèce leur mère-patrie, et ont sincèrement accepté le plan de réformes débattu à Constantinople entre les Représentants de ces Puissances et imposé au Sultan.

Ils n'obtenaient là qu'une satisfaction incomplète de leurs désirs et de leurs besoins, et ils doutaient fort de l'efficacité du nouveau régime, en présence surtout de l'hostilité de l'élément Musulman et de la mauvaise foi du Divan de Constantinople ; mais, las de leurs souffrances et voulant prouver leur déférence pour les Grandes Puissances Européennes, ils se sont inclinés devant leur décision, le Gouvernement Grec y aidant, comme il vient d'être dit.

Les Crétois avaient remis la réalisation de leurs vœux patriotiques à une occasion plus favorable, et la pacification de l'ile s'annonçait de toates parts. Les différentes Commissions prévues par le nouveau régime étaient constituées et s'étaient mises à l'œuvre pour l'organisation des Tribunaux et de la gendarmerie.

Elles étaient déjà à la fin de leur euvre, les réfugiés en Grèce rentraient en foule, la population Chrétienne reprenait ses travaux dans les villes comme dans les campagnes, une Proclamation du Gouverneur-Général fixait les élections législatives à une date prochaine, et les Chrétiens se consolaient du fait que la réunion de l’ile-martyre à sa mère-patrie était encore ajournée cette fois-ci en voyant s'ouvrir devant eux une ère de paix et d'administration policée.

Mais l'élément Musulman en pensait autrement; il voulait empêcher à tout prix, comme il est dit plus haut, l'application du nouveau régime, et il a mis son dessin à exécution en courant sus aux Chrétiens et en commettant les méfaits que l'on sait.

Les Chrétiens ont dû prendre de nouveau les armes pour la défense de leurs personnes, de leurs propriétés, et de leurs droits, et un état insurrectionnel s'en est suivi.

Comme le fanatisme Musulman et la mauvaise foi du Divan en sont évidemment la cause, nous croyons être les interprètes des sentiments de pos frères en déclarant que le seul moyen de sortir de l'impasse créée par ce fanatisme en Crète, c'est de soutenir et de réaliser la réunion de l'ile à la Grèce.

Nous aurions pu avancer que les Chrétiens ne peuvent plus vivre côte à côte avec les Musulmans en Crète. Mais il est constant que dans tous les pays où il y a des populations Musulmanes et où le Gouvernement est Chrétien, ces populations sont soumises et tranquilles, contentes de jouir des mêmes droits et avantages que les Chrétiens. En effet, ce fait a été observé aux Indes, en Algérie, en Russie, en Autriche (pour la Bosnie et l'Herzégovine), et inême en Grèce dans ses provinces de Thessalie, d'Arta, de Chalcis.

Il en sera de même en Crète, où l'élément Musulman, une fois que l'annexion de l'ile à la Grèce sera proclamée et réalisée, s'empressera—à l'exception peut-être de quelques individus fanatiques qui préféreraient s'expatrier-de se soumettre et de vivre en paix avec l'élément Chrétien, d'autant plus qu'il n'en est divisé ni par la langue ni par les meurs.

Espérons que le concert Européen prenant encore en considération ce fait voudra bien imposer cette solution pour le bien des deux éléments et la pacification définitive de l'ile.

Quant aux Crétois nos frères, obligés de prendre encore une fois les armes pour s'affranchir du joug d'une minorité Musulmane, ils ne comptent les déposer qu'en voyant cette solution admise et favorisée par le concert Européen. Notre devoir à nous autres Crétois résidant en Grèce est double: voler à leur secours et implorer la bienveillance et l'assistance du Gouvernement de Sa Majesté Britannique.

En vous priant, M. le Ministre, de vouloir bien lui soumettre notre présente supplique, nous saisissons, &c.. E. H. Egerton, Esq.

M. RENIEKI. (And 9 others.)

Sir F. Lascelles to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received

February 17.) (Telegraphic.)

Berlin, February 17, 1897. I HAVE just received a visit from the Emperor, who asked whether an answer to my telegram of the 14th instant had been received.

I replied that no definite reply bad been received, but that we might consider as such the action of Her Majesty's Government; upon which His Majesty said that the proposal to blockade Athens had been accepted by Austria, by whom a naval force had been prepared to do so, if agreed to by the other Powers.

From St. Petersburgh and Paris he bad not yet received a reply; but these two Powers had instructed their Ministers to demand from King George the withdrawal from Crete of bis naval and military forces. That a grave breach of international law, which would lead to a general war, should be allowed to be committed by Greece, whose defiance of the Great Powers made them the laughing-stock of Europe, was insupportable. Her Treaty engagements were violated by any Power who countenanced Greece. He had received from St. Petersburgh a satisfactory assurance to the effect

that, if troubles broke out in the Balkan States, Russia would not interfere.

I observed that it was difficult to see how the Powers could help the Sultan if he himself declined to move. The Emperor replied that this might bave to be considered, but that it was another question, and that Greece ought to be compelled, in the meantime, to withdraw from Crete.

Sir F. Lascelles to the Marquess of Salisbury. -Received

February 17.) (Telegraphic.)

Berlin, February 17, 1897. BARON VON MARSCHALL has stated to me that the steps taken by the Powers to compel the Greeks to retire from Crete having failed, a formal proposal to blockade the Greek coast, as in 1886, would now be made to the Powers by the Imperial Government. Baron von Marschall espressed the hope that this measure would bave the active support of Her Majesty's Goverument.

The Marquess of Salisbury to Sir F. Lascelles.

(Telegraphic.)

Foreign Office, February 17, 1897. CBETE and Greece.

Her Majesty's Government have received from the German Government proposals in the direction of a policy for blockading Greece. In the view of Her Majesty's Government, it is not possible usefully to consider a proposal of this kind until the Powers have resolved upon a course of action as regards the Island of Crete, which is now occupied by them.

A strong feeling is entertained by Her Majesty's Goverument that though Crete may continue to form a part of the Ottoman Empire, it cannot continue subject to the administration of Turkey, but must be converted into a privileged province of the Empire.

Inquire of the Minister for Foreign Affairs if the Government to which you are accredited is disposed to express their views on this suggestion for dealing with the question.

* Also to Sir E. Monson (Paris), Sir Clare Ford (Rome) Sir N. O'Conor (St. Petersburgh), and Sir H. Rumbold (Vienna). [1898–99. ACI.]

K

Instructions to Commander of German Man-of-war in Cretan Waters.

(Communicated by Prince Hohenlohe, February 18, 1897.) (Translation.)

To arrive at an understanding with the Commanders of the squadrons of the other Great Powers represented off Crete, for the purpose of taking the most suitable measures to prevent or oppose any aggressive acts on the part of Greek ships. Any encouragement or advancement of the rising of the Cretans should, according to the views of the Imperial Government, be considered as an aggressive act—such as the landing of men or ammunition, and any threatening of, or hostilities against, the positions or the ships of the Turks. In case a landing is necessary in order to prevent the shedding of blood or to restore order, the Commander of His Majesty's ship Kaiserin Augusta will also come to an understanding with the Commanders of the other naval forces.

Sir F. Lascelles to the Marquess of Salisbury.—(Received

February 18.) (Telegraphic.)

Berlin, February 18, 1897. I was told this morning by the Imperial Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with reference to your Lordship’s telegram of the 17th instant, that he was able to give an immediate reply to the proposals contained therein.

When the Greeks shall have ceased their military operations, the Imperial Government will be ready to take the future condition of Crete into consideration; they must, however, decline to enter into discussion on the subject while Greece, having openly violated the law of nations and defied the orders and advice of the Great Powers, persists in her warlike action. The Imperial Government are particularly afraid of the precedent wbich would thereby be established. If a breach of international law for the satisfaction of national ambition suffices to force the acceptance of accomplished facts on the Great Powers, the example set by Greece will be followed by other States. Baron von Marschall will be ready to consider the question of the future condition of Crete as soon as Greece shall have recalled her troops; but, meanwhile, it is the belief of the Imperial Government that they had chosen the best means for the restoration of order by proposing a blockade whereby the Greeks would be forced to withdraw, and a situation would be created on which the Great Powers would be able to enter into discussion on the question which your Lordship has raised,

Sir H. Rumbold to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received

February 18.) (Telegraphic.)

Vienna, February 18, 1897. I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's telegram of yesterday.

In a conversation which I had with Count Goluchowski this afternoon, I spoke to him in the sense of the instructions sent to me.

His Excellency, after expressing his thanks for the communication, said that he was prepared to examine the question of the future fate of Crete on the understanding that the principle of the status quo should be respected, and that the ill-considered action of Greece should not contribute to benefit that country in the immediate present. He admitted that a solution of the difficulty might be obtained by constituting Crete a privileged province, like, for example, Samos; and he did not raise any objection to the point I dwelt on, namely, that Her Majesty's Government were of opinion that the island could no longer remain under direct Turkish rule.

Count Goluchowski said he would let me know his views after careful consideration of the entire question.

Sir N. OʻConor to the Marquess of Salisbury.- (Received

February 18.)

(Telegraphic.)

St. Petersburgh, February 18, 1897. I was unable to see Count Mouravieff to-day with reference to your Lordship's telegram of yesterday. I understand, however, trom one of my colleagues that Count Mouravieff, whom he saw yesterday evening, did not appear to be much in favour of the German idea of a blockade, and that no official communication on the subject had been received here.

Sir E. Monson to the Marquess of Salisbury.- (Received February 18.) (Telegraphic.)

Paris, February 18, 1897. MINISTER for Foreign Affairs says that he has not yet arrived at any opinion as to what is to be done with Crete, although he has given much consideration to the question for several days past.

There are weighty arguments both for and against the solution which every one would desire, and at the same time he

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