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THE BERLIN CONFFRENCE.

These Events haVe interposed a check upon the policy recently adopted at Berlin. The meeting of the chancellors of the three Imperial powera,; Prince Gortschakoff, Count Andrassy, and Prince Bismarck, was made the more significant by the presence of the Emperor of Russia. It resulted in a memorandum, which was read at once to the representatives of the Western powers, but whioh has not yet been published. It is understood to recommend the appointment of aa International Commission to see the reforms promised in favor of the Christians carried out, and proposes a two months' armistice in order to allow time for the necessary arrangements. This memorandum was to hare befen presented at Constantinople jointly by the three empires, supported by the other powers; but Lord' Derby, on behalf of England, definitely declined to join. In reply to a question in the House of Lords, the Foreign Secretary admitted the fact, but said he could not make his reasons intelligible without publishing the proposals, which he was not at liberty to do. This refusal of England to accept the Berlin memorandum produced considerable effect upon the Continent. Different interpretations have been put upon it, for the powerful; squadron despatched to the Mediterranean forbids .the idea that we .are indifferent to the' question. Some hostile critics openly accuse the country not only of having brought about the deposition of Abdul Aziz, bat of assisting Turkey against.the insurgents with atms and money. Not only is our refusal to support the Berlin programme supposed to be dictated by our old jealoußy,of Bussia, but we are believed to ba concerting measures for the rehabilitation of Turkey. No account is taken in such speculations of the sympathies avowed by an important section of our popblAtfon, who regard the insurgents with a feeling increasingly near to that with which they followed the Italian struggle for liberty. Not alone the Turkish bondholders, but intelligent Englishmen of all ranks, have declared their despair. pf Turkey and the danger from Bussia- must be very great .before England can again draw the sword on her behalf. But it mustbe allowed that, the reticence of .the Cabinet leaves us in some doubt' as to what may be the actual policy of the Government Mr Disraeli, replying to a question of .the jwjt i)eforei**_i/Wl>i|M suntide recess, expreised a hope that it might not be necessary ever to present the Berlin note at Constantinople, but added that it would be affectation to deny tbat the situation was critical. He said, .'f SLez Majesty's Government have taken such measures of precaution as tbey thought were necessary to maintain the honour and the interests oft this country, and that policy of precaution they | intend to pursue. At the same time I. wish most decidedly to state on the part of Her ' Majesty's Government that it ia their.opinion that the interests of this country will be studied by maintaining peace—[Hear, hearj —and tbat the honour of England 1 can never j be more efficiently vindicated than by taking a leading part in contributing to the accomplishment of that object." [Cheers.] Amongst the measures of precaution to which Mr Disraeli alluded was doubtless the despatch of a powerful fleet to the Mediterranean. The outburst of fanaticism at Balonica compelled the adoption of steps for tbe security of our countrymen on these shores. The murdered consuls were buried with all pomp. Arrests were made, and several executions promptly followed, and still the investigation is being pursufed, in the hope, though faint, of bringing the crimes committed home to the chief offenders. 'Bnt such a display of force as this country has prepared was not necessary to overawe the Mohammedan populations; neither can it be supposed that, the object of the Government was to take part in a great parade of the fleets of all nations. It is much more probable that the intention has-been to secure the Dardanelles against any surprise of Bussia, and to show that England is powerful enough at sea to resist any aggression. One .thing ia certain, Sir-James i Drummbnd will soon be in command of two squadrons ip the Mediterranean, one at Besika Bay and one at Gibraltar, comprising together more than twenty firstclass ironclads. Among them are tbe De-' vastation, with its Woolwich infants, in itself equivalent to a fleet of the old kind, the Monarch, the Sultan, commanded by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Baleigh, the Minotaur, the Black Prince, the Beßistance, the Hector, the Iron Dake, and the Achilles, In all a power with which no foreign fleet could hope to contend. It is expected that a dozen of these will rendezvous in Besika Bay, the mention of which recalls the events that preceded the Crimean war.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18760731.2.23

Bibliographic details

THE BERLIN CONFFRENCE., Press, Volume XXVI, Issue 3403, 31 July 1876

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790

THE BERLIN CONFFRENCE. Press, Volume XXVI, Issue 3403, 31 July 1876

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