Page images
PDF
EPUB

happened which she pretended was And lastly, in his note of the 15th the cause of her adopting that of May, received in London June aggressive step:

1, Prince Menschikoff concludes This was clearly and forcibly — Il appartient à la sagacité de shown in a despatch from Lord votre Altesse de péser les suites Clarendon to Sir G. H. Seymour, incalculables et les grandes calaour Minister at St. Petersburg, mités qui pourraient en résulter, dated July 16, 1853; and by M. et qui retomberaient de tout leur Drouyn de Lhuys, the French poids sur la responsabilité des Minister for Foreign Affairs, in a Ministres de Sa Majesté le circular addressed to the diplo- Sultan.' matic agents of his Government, “ This succession of menaces, and dated July 15. Lord Claren- addressed to a power whose indedon said :

pendence Russia had declared her “I shall now proceed to place determination to uphold, and in on record at what time and for support of claims so much at vawhat reasons the British fleet was riance with the assurances given sent to the Turkish waters.

to Her Majesty's Government, “Prince Menschikoff, acting, it together with the vast military must be assumed, on the orders of and naval armaments which for his Government, stated in his note months had been preparing on the of the 5th of May, of which a copy very confines of Turkey, left no was received in London on the doubt on the minds of Her Ma18th of May, that any further jesty's Government of the immidelay in answering his proposals nent danger in which the Sultan respecting the Greek Church could was about to be placed. They only be considered by him as 'un deeply lamented that this danger manque de procédés envers son should arise from acts of the RusGouvernement, ce qui lui impo- sian Government, which was serait les plus pénibles obliga- party to the treaty of 1841; but, tions.

as Her Majesty's Government Again, in his note of the 11th adhere now, as firmly as in 1841, of May, a copy of which was re to the principles which that treaty ceived in London on the 30th records, and believes that the of May, Prince Menschikoff says, maintenance of European peace is that in case of an unsatisfactory involved in the maintenance of decision on the part of the Porte the Ottoman empire, they felt that

si les principes qui en forment the time had arrived when, in the la base [of the articles he was ne interests of peace, they must be gotiating] sont rejetés, si par une prepared to protect the Sultan; opposition systématique la Sub- and, upon learning the abrupt lime Porte persiste à lui fermer departure of Prince Menschikoff, jusqu'aux voies d'une entente in- it was determined that the British time et directe, il devra considérer fleet, which up to that time had sa mission comme terminée, in- not quitted Malta, should be terrompre les relations avec le placed at the disposal of Her Cabinet de Sa Majesté le Sultan, Majesty's Ambassador at Constanet rejeter sur la responsabilité de tinople. ses Ministres toutes les couse On the 1st of June a despatch quences qui pourraient en résulter.' was forwarded to Lord Stratford

[ocr errors]

de Redcliffe, authorising him in tions to Lord Stratford de Redcertain specified contingencies to cliffe left London the decision to send for the fleet, which would occupy the Principalities was taken then repair to such place as he by the Russian Government; and might point out. On the 2nd of I say that decision was taken, June instructions were seut to because the Russian Government Admiral Dundas to proceed at could never for one moment seonce to the neighbourhood of the riously have expected the submisDardanelles, and there to placesion of the Porte to the terms, himself in communication with 'sans variante,' that a regard for Her Majesty's Ambassador. its own dignity and security had a

* On the previous day we re few days before compelled it to ceived a copy of Prince Menschi- decline. Yet Count Nesselrode, koff's note of May 18, announcing in his circular despatch of July 2, the termination of his mission, affirms that the presence of the and that the refusal of the guar- English and French fleets in the antee demanded devra désormais Bay of Besika has mainly provoked imposer au Gouvernement Impe- and fully justifies the occupation rial la necessité de la chercher of the Principalities; he insists dans sa propre puissance.' that they are in sight of the ca

“On the 2nd of June I com- pital, from which they are nearly municated to Baron Brunow the 200 miles distant, and that their measure taken by Her Majesty's maritime occupation of the Turkish Government; it could not have waters and ports can only be babeen made known by him at St. lanced by a military position on Petersburg before the 7th or 8th, the part of Russia. and consequently it could in no “ But Her Majesty's Governway influence the decision taken ment must, in the strongest terms, by the Russian Government; for protest against this assertion; and Count Nesselrode's note to Reschid they deny that any resemblance Pasha, announcing that dans exists between the position of the quelques semaines ses troupes re combined fleets in Besika Bay and cevront l'ordre de passer les fron- that of the Russian armies in the tières de l'empire,' was dated the Principalities. The fleets have 31st of May; and his despatch to the same right to anchor in BeBaron Brunow, in which he said sika Bay as in any port in the that if the Porte did not sign Mediterranean.

Their presence Prince Menschikoff's note within there violates no treaty and no a week after the arrival of the territory; it infringes no internanote to Reschid Pasha, the Em- tional law; it is no menace to peror.ordonnera à ses troupes Turkish independence, and it asd'occuper les Principautés,' was suredly ought to be no cause of dated the 1st of June.

offence to Russia ; whereas by oc" It is thus clearly established cupying the Principalities Russia that the British fleet was not sent does violate the territory of the to the waters of Turkey in disre- Sultan and the special treaty which gard of considerations submitted regards that portion of his domito Her Majesty's Government by nion. It is an infraction of the the Cabinet of St. Petersburg, and law of nations, and an act of direct that on the day before the instruc- hostility against the Sultan, which

he would be justified in meeting upon the land frontier of Turkey, by a declaration of war, and by a the French Government had the requisition to the allied squadrons right and the duty to reply by the to come up to Constantinople for presence of its paval forces at his defence; and, lastly, it is an Besika, in á bay freely open to act so dangerous as a precedent, the ships of all nations, and situand so violent on the part of a ated without those limits which powerful State towards one whose treaties prohibit the passing in very weakness should be its pro- time of peace. tection, that throughout Europe it " For the rest, the Russian has created feelings of alarm and Government was soon about to reprobation.”

take upon itself to explain the M. Drouyn de Lhuys, in bis necessity for the movement of the circular, said :

two squadrons. For on the 31st " His Imperial Majesty's Go- of May, when it was impossible to vernment, in accord with that of know at St. Petersburg, where Her Britannic Majesty, thought the news only arrived on the 17th the situation too menacing not to of June, the resolution that might be narrowly watched; and the be adopted by France and EngFrench and English squadrons land, Count Nesselrode sent to speedily received orders to anchor the Porte, in the form of a letter in Besika Bay; where they arrived to Reschid Pasha, a final ultimain the middle of the month of tum, with a brief delay, and which June.

contained a very clearly-expressed " This measure, one entirely of threat of an approaching occuprecaution, had no character of pation of the Danubian Princihostility towards Russia. It was palities. imperiously called for by the “ When this decision had been gravity of the circumstances, and come to with a solemnity which amply justified by the prepara no longer permitted a Governtions for war which for several ment jealous of its dignity to momonths past had been making in dify it-when, by a circular dated Bessarabia and the harbour of June 11, His Majesty the EmSebastopol.

peror Nicholas caused his resolu"The motive for the rupture tion to be announced to Europe, between the Cabinet of St. Pe as if to render its execution more tersburg and the Porte had, so to irrevocable-our squadron was yet speak, disappeared. The question at Salamis, and that of England which might have been raised on had not left the port of Malta. the sudden at Constantinople, was This simple comparison of that of the very existence of the dates suffices, Sir, to show from Ottoman empire; and His Impe- what quarter proceeded that inirial Majesty's Government will tiative now sought to be denied, never admit such vast interests while the responsibility of it is to be mooted (“ se trouver en thrown upon France and Engjeu") without instantly claiming land: it is also sufficient to prove that share of influence and action that between the communication which properly belongs to its made to Paris and London of the power and its rank in the world. proposition made directly to Con. To the presence of a Russian army stantinople by Count Nesselrode,

and the rejection of that ultimatum, troops were crowding to the frontime was materially wanting for tier, and the passage of the river the Governments of His Imperial seemed inevitable, Lord Stratford, Majesty and Her Britannic Ma on the 20th of June, wrote thus jesty to exercise their influence to the English Government:at Constantinople one way or the “The military occupation of any other. No, Sir, I say it with all part of the Ottoman empire withthe force of conviction, the French out the consent of the Porte would, Government in this grave debate no doubt, justify a recourse to hos-has nothing to reproach itself with: tilities. But the preservation of it repudiates from the depths of peace, so long as it is possible to its conscience, no less than before preserve with it a chance of setEurope, the responsibility imputed tling by negotiation the existing difto it; and, strong in its modera- ferences, is of such deep importtion, appeals in its turn, without ance, that I have not hesitated to fear, to the judgment of the Ca. advise forbearance on the approachbinets. Setting aside the so dif- ing invasion of the Ottoman terferent objects of the two demon- ritory. It is notorious that the strations, there was, perhaps, a sort Principalities are placed under cirof analogy between the respective cumstances of a special character situations when the Russian army with reference to the neighbouring was on the left bank of the Pruth Powers, and the consequences of a and the English and French fleets foreign military occupation within cast their anchors at Besika. The their limits are in practice by no analogy bas disappeared since the means so likely to disturb the inpassage of the river, which forms terests of the Porte as if a similar the limits of the Russian and the act of aggression were committed Ottoman empires. Count Nes. against those parts of the empire selrode seems to admit this when directly administered by this Gohe supposes the squadron to be vernment. It may be added that, already within sight of Constan- in a military point of view, resisttinople itself, and represents the ance could not be offered to Russia military position taken up by the in that quarter under present cirRussian troops on the banks of cumstances with any prospect of the Danube as a necessary com

Reasoning from the pensation for what he calls our above distinction, the Porte, I maritime occupation.'"

conceive, may defer the commenceThreatening and indefensiblement of actual and reciprocal hosas was the attitude of Russia, the tilities without the discredit or inWestern Powers were still anxious crease of risk.” that the Porte should not be in And when the event here forevolved in hostilities, and the re seen had occurred, the same pacific presentatives of England and policy was pursued. A conference France at Constantinople exerted of the representatives of the Four themselves to prevent any decla Great Powers was held at Vienna, ration of war by the Turkish Go- and the result was that, by the end vernment on account of the inva. of July, a Note, originally drawn sion of the Danubian provinces. up by the French Government, Before the Pruth had actually was, after some modifications in been crossed, but while Russian London and Vienna, finally adopted

success.

[ocr errors]

by the Conference, as that which harmony (entente) which have been they agreed to propose for the ac- unhappily disturbed by recent and ceptance of Russia and Turkey, em- painful complications, has carefully bodying as it did the terms for a final undertaken the task to find the settlement of the dispute. A copy means to efface the traces of those was immediately dispatched to St. different points. Petersburg and another_copy to “A supreme iradé, of date Constantinople. The Emperor, having made known to him the without hesitation, signified his Imperial decision, the Sublime assent to the Vienna Note, but Porte, &c., congratulates itself at the Ottoman Porte declared its being able to communicate it to inability to do 80 unless some H. E. Count de Nesselrode. If alterations which it suggested were at all times the Emperors of Russia made in the language in which its have shown their active solicitude provisions were expressed. This for the maintenance of the immuniconduct of the Porte was at first ties and privileges of the Orthodox disapproved of by the Four Powers, Greek Church in the Ottoman emwho expressed disappointment and pire, the Sultans never refused to dissatisfaction. The Austrian Go- confirm them anew by solemn acts (1) vernment “greatly lamented the which attested their ancient and modifications which the Porte had constant benevolence towards their thought it right to introduce into Christian subjects. the Vienna Note, but strongly re “ H. M. the Sultan Abdul Medcommended their adoption. The jid, now reigning, animated by the British Government earnestly same dispositions, and being dehoped the modifications proposed sirous to give to H. M. the Emby the Porte might receive the peror of Russia a personal proof of Czar's assent." The French Go- his most sincere friendship, only vernment avowed its “dissatisfac- listened to his unbounded confition” and “disappointment” at dence in the eminent qualities of the course of the Porte, but his august friend and ally, and has “ hoped, as the modifications did deigned to take into serious connot alter the sense of the original sideration the representations (2) of Note, they would be admitted by which H. E. Prince Menschikoff the Emperor of Russia.". rendered himself the interpreter

But these Governments, hoir- to the Sublime Porte. ever, were soon obliged to admit "The undersigned has consethat the objections taken by the quently received the order to declare Turkish Ministry were well-found. by the present that the Government ed, and such as they were bound of His Majesty the Sultan will reto support.

main faithful to the letter and the The following is the text of the spirit of the stipulations of the treaties famous Vienna Note, with the pas- of Kainardji (3) and of Adrianople sages to which the Ottoman Porte relative to the protection of the objected, marked in italics : Christian worship(4); and that His

“ His Majesty the Sultan, having Majesty regards it as a point of nothing more at heart than to re honour with him to cause to be establish between His Majesty and preserved for ever from all attacks, the Emperor of Russia the relations either at present or in future, the of good neighbourship and perfect enjoyment of the spiritual privi

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »