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strong currents running down, and the narrowness of that part of the channel. It was now resolved to station a man-of-war opposite Gallipoli, at a point of easy access for ships, and to receive the firmans on board of it. With regard to vessels going to the Black Sea, it was arranged that two steam launches should be in attendance a little beyond Buyukdereh Bay, which should board every ship passing, and receive the firman. Finally, in order to relieve ships coming from the Black Sea and bound to the Mediterranean from the present obligation of stopping at Constantinople to get their firman for the Dardanelles, every vessel leaving the Golden Horn for the Black Sea was to be at liberty to take a double firman, viz. one for the Bosphorus and the other for the Hellespont.
We notice in connexion with the Black Sea Treaty a certain change in the spirit of Turkish policy. In the semi-official organ, the Turquie of Constantinople, it was said that Turkey had made friends with her traditional enemy Russia, though she had done this “ far more because she fears a conflict in which she would be without effective allies than because she trusts in the friendly intentions of the Russian Government.” It was added that the same conviction of the impossibility of maintaining herself unaided in Europe had prompted her to take up “the idea of Islamite unity and of the restoration of the old Caliphate in Asia and Africa."
The death of the Grand Vizier Ali Pasha in the summer was followed by a period of ministerial confusion. Mahmoud Pasha became Grand Vizier, but Ahmed Vefik Effendi attained to the highest place in the Sultan's confidence.
The cholera visited Constantinople in the autumn, and was somewhat severe in one of the quarters of Pera, around which a sanitary cordon was drawn.
Roumania.--So adverse were the prospects of the Roumanian Government in face of the “Red” party at Bucharest in the beginning of this year, that Prince Charles expressed in a letter his intention of retiring from the sovereignty. The German and Austrian Chancellors, however, united in dissuading him, and in his own dominions so strong a reaction set in in his favour, that when the Prince opened the Chambers on the 4th of June he was received with enthusiasm. Subsequently his Government fell into deep disgrace with Bismarck, in consequence of its repudiation of the railway obligations, contracted chiefly with German bondholders. Bismarck complained to the Porte, and the Porte exercised its right of sovereignty by admonishing Prince Charles, himself the sport of his wayward majorities. The Prince likewise received letters of advice on the subject from England, Austria, Russia, and France. Finally, a convention acknowledging the Roumanian obligations was agreed to by the Government and passed the Lower Chamber of the Assembly at the turn of the year.
For our notice of Greece this year we may content ourselves with extracting a few sentences from a letter of the Athens Correspondent of the Times, dated Nov. 11:
“King George opened the present session of the Chamber on the 30th of October with a speech from the throne, in which a very favourable view was given of the internal condition and finances of the country, and several important legislative measures were announced, including the abolition of the system of taxing the cultivation of cereals by levying a tenth of the gross produce of the land, and, what is even more injurious to the cultivator, interfering with the operations of agriculture as soon as the grain ripens.
... M. Soteropoulos, the Minister of Finance, who retires from office, deserves the highest praise for recommending this measure. Had the tenth been abolished when Greece became a constitutional monarchy in 1844, the agriculture of the kingdom would be now in a different condition from the utterly barbarous state in which it remains. But in spite of this tardy act of wisdom, and all the other promises of Koumoundouros, the days of his Ministry were numbered.
“On the 6th inst. M. Chatsiskos was elected President of the Chamber by a large majority, receiving 78 votes, while the Ministerial candidate received only 48.
Koumoundouros immediately resigned, and Zaimes, the leader of the Opposition, formed a new Ministry, taking to himself the Departments of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs."
AMERICA.-UNITED STATES.-St. Domingo Annexation Projeot-Relations with
Great Britain-Mr. Motley's Recall-Reception of the Fenian Refugees-Joint
Message - Financial Report-Meeting of the " International.”
The Congress of the United States assembled on the 4th of January. Its attention was immediately occupied with the question of the annexation of St. Domingo, which the President had dwelt upon in his Message at the close of 1870, and as to which his desires had been pertinaciously crossed by Mr. Sumner in the Senate. General Grant now succeeded in inducing Congress to pass a resolution ordering that a Commission of Inquiry should be sent to the island; but with the proviso, that the legislative body did not thereby commit itself to the act of annexation. The members of the Commission, however, were supposed to be all favourable to the scheme. They started on their expedition in the middle of January. Meanwhile, as this favourite project could by no means be brought to the stage of treaty during the actual session of Congress, the President turned his attention to another matter of much larger importance, to which also his recent Message had drawn attention, and the settlement of which had been the talk and the failure of British and American Statesmen ever since the
Certain passages in the President's Message, coupled with the abrupt recall of Mr. Motley, the United States Minister in England, had aroused fears in the minds of some who earnestly desired the maintenance of pacific relations between the Old and the New country, that General Grant had resolved on presenting a categorical demand to the British Government, which, if not complied with, would at once be followed by the outbreak of hostilities. The successive refusals of several statesmen to take the post vacated by Mr. Motley were regarded as signs of their disinclination to back up Grant's warlike policy; and when General Schenck, a distinguished commander, finally accepted the mission to England, it was imagined, by the majority of Englishmen at all events, that military habits and prepossessions were likely to impart a peremptory aspect to the negotiations. When, however, on a requisition from the Senate at Washington, the documents relative to Mr. Motley's recall were brought to view, it appeared that it was because that Minister had too much identified himself with the policy of Sumner, not because he was too yielding to the claims of England, that the President had objected to his agency. Motley's protest on the occasion led to a reply from Mr. Hamilton Fish, the Secretary of State, which had a reassuring effect upon the British public. Mr. Fish said it was expected that Mr. Motley would have represented the views of his Government, but that before he left America“ it became apparent that upon a question of controlling interest at that moment occupying the attention of the thoughtful and the prudent to restrain the passions which had been excited by eloquent declamation and powerful rhetoric, Mr. Motley accepted the views upon which popular excitement had been stimulated and wrought to the verge of dangerous irritation, rather than those which the President deemed to be sound and based upon the true principles of public law.” Mr. Motley had prepared a memoir on the "Alabama" claims, which he submitted to Mr. Fish. The Secretary of State said that he had rejected this memoir, as “it was written with a full impression of the views presented in a then recent debate in the Senate ("on the Johnson-Clarendon treaty”), and abounded in forcible expressions, and strong epithets, and terms of denunciation, not appropriate to the calm discussion of a grave international difference, and little calculated to allay existing excitement or irritation, or to induce her Majesty's Government to lend a patient ear to the presentation of the American case.” Mr. Motley was furnished then with instructions, the tone, temper, and language of which were conciliatory. Mr. Fish continued, “The positive instructions to Mr. Motley as to what he must say were limited to two points :--First, he was directed to say to Lord Clarendon that his Government, in rejecting the recent Convention, abandoned neither its own claims nor those of its citizens, nor the hope of an easy, satisfactory, and friendly settlement of the questions pending between the two Governments. Second, he was further instructed that in his private and social intercourse, as well as in his official conversations, when it should become necessary he should place the cause of grievance of the United States against Great Britain not so much upon her issuance of the recognition of the insurgents' state of war as upon her conduct under and subsequent to such recognition. The President held, in accordance with the doctrine of the best writers upon international law, and with the precedents of our own history, and as a logical result from the fact of national sovereignty, that it is the right of every Power, when a civil conflict has arisen within another State, and has attained a sufficient complexity, magnitude, and completeness, to defend its own relations and those of its citizens and subjects towards the parties to the conflict, so far as their rights and interests are necessarily affected by it. Mr. Motley was instructed that such were the President's views, which he was to present, and that while the President regarded the necessity and propriety of the original concession of belligerency by Great Britain as questionable," he regarded that concession as part of the case only so far as it shows the beginning and the animus of that course of conduct which resulted so disastrously to the United States. That it was not to be treated as the gravamen of the complaint, the instructions made more clear by their reference to the fact that there were other Powers that were contemporaneous with Great Britain who made similar concessions ; but that in England only had the concessions been followed by acts resulting in direct damage to the United States." Mr. Fish went on to point out that in the teeth of these instructions Mr. Motley had used the language of his rejected “memoir." He had talked “of the gravity of the occasion,” of the “burning questions of grievance." More than once he was said to have gone to the very verge of admissible diplomatic suggestion in alluding, without any authority for so doing, to the contingencies which would depend on negotiations concerning such vital questions.
Å statement like this, coming from an official source, might well seem to bode a pacific future. Yet party exigencies, and
the “bid” for the Irish vote, presented a somewhat startling contradiction when on the 30th of January, the House of Representatives, by the immense majority of 172 to 21 votes, carried a resolution introduced by General Butler, welcoming the Fenian refugees from Ireland, O'Donovan Rossa and his companions, who had just landed in America after their release from prison. English susceptibilities took fright anew, and it was expected that this step would be followed by other manifestations of sympathy with the cause of Irish sedition. But the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate took no action upon the vote, and the Fenian heroes, after receiving a street ovation from their compatriots at New York, and being fêted and funded by the members of the “Erie Ring” and Tammany Hall, dropped into obscurity in that not very respectablygoverned city.
The appointment of a Joint High Commission for the settlement of all disputed points between the United States and British North America, notably of the fisheries question, which had risen into troublesome proportions in the preceding year, came as a first suggestion from the British Government. The President of the United States, in signifying his assent, proposed that the same Commission should comprise within its sphere of consideration the long outstanding subject of the “Alabama" claims, together with all other matters of dispute between the American Government and that of Great Britain. In view of these new arrangements, General Schenck's often deferred voyage to England was again postponed.
On February the 27th, the Commissioners of the two governments met at Washington; and five days afterwards they held their first full meeting. The Commissioners on the side of England were Lord De Grey, Sir Edward Thornton (British Minister in America), Sir Stafford Northcote, Professor Bernard, and Sir John Macdonald of Canada. On the side of America were General Schenck, Mr. Hamilton Fish (the Secretary for Foreign Affairs), Mr. Ebenezer Hoar, Mr. George H. Williams, and Mr. Justice Nelson. The subject-matter of the treaty has already been recorded under the head of English affairs.
On the 4th of March, the same day that the Joint High Commission began business, the Congress finished its natural term of existence, and a new Congress—the forty-second of American history—came into office, the American Constitution allowing no interval to elapse between the expiry and birth of its successive legislatures—" Le roi est mort ; Vive le roi.” The party forces in the new Congress were thus estimated at the outset :-In the Senate, 57 Republicans, 15 Democrats, 2 vacant seats; in the House of Representatives, 131 Republicans, 96 Democrats, 16 vacant seats: showing, in that body, a reduction of the Republican majority to below two-thirds. As usual, the veteran Sumner stood foremost among the Republicans in the Senate, and maintained the post which he had held ever since 1861, of Head of the Committee on Foreign Relations. As usual, too, he represented