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GREAT BRITAIN'S FOREIGN POLICY., Issue 8010, 12 September 1889
GREAT BRITAIN'S FOREIGN POLICY.
A PEACEFUL FORECAST BY LORD SALISBURY. Lord Salisbury has on two occasions recently given addresses on the subject of the foreign policy, which are of the utmost interest and importance in the present state of European politics. The first occasion was in the House of Lords on Monday, July 29. When Lord Stratheden and Campbell moved for returns in connection with the Eastern question generally, and Bulgaria in particular, tho noble Lord drew a dark picture of the future, but Lord Salisbury did not concur with the sinister auguries which Lord Stratheden and Campbell drew from the existing conditions. It was impossible to say what the state of things in the Balkan Peninsula might be in the future, but he did not think there were greater grounds uow for anticipating disturbances than there had been in recent times; and, on the other hand, there had been some very encouraging symptoms of stability and progress. The Premier continued :—" Ido not say that the progress of Turkey has been very rapid, but I think it has been very sensible. There is less disposition on the part of various potentates, great and small, to speculate on the possibility of disturbances in that country ; and I am bound to say that the Government of Russia has observed a very correct attitude, and that nothing has taken place which justifies us in criticising her conduct. On the contrary, I think, judging merely from events, we are entitled to say that the conduct of the Russian Government has fully justified the pacific professions which that empire has constantly made. On the whole my belief is that the position in that country and Bulgariaodvancea more rapidly to the only healthy possible settlement—that is to say, tho natural growth, development, and strength of all the populations of those regions—in proportion as those who stand outside it abstain from any action or language that would tend to stimulate the unfortunate differences which occasionally arlac." This speech was supplemented on Wednesday by an equally reassuring one delivered by His Lordship at the Mansion House on the occasion of the Lord Mayor's banquet to Ministers. After touching briefly on the state of affairs in Crete, which he did not believe need excite serious apprehension, he referred to the disturbapce ip Egypt- This showed that the time had not arrived when England could leave Egypt to defend herself. England had undertaken, not to abandon Egypt, and it wa3 an engagement of which she had no reason to be ashamed It was sanctioned by the highest considerations of honor, philanthropy, and humanity, though it was one bringing no immediate profit, except that which always attended the fulfilment of honorable engagements. As to the general outlook of European affairs, Lord Salisbury went on to say:—"There are advisers who tell us that we may treat what goes on in South-east Europe as a matter which concerns this country not at all; but on these matters we cannot afford to exhibit a fluctuating, undecided course. England is bound by traditions, by a policy long pursued, by declaration often reiterated, by engagements Boleinnly entered into, and she cannot turn from the course which those various traditions and engagements point out to her. She cannot aoandon the position and policy which in the sight of Europe she has taken up without sacrificing that influence which confidence alone can give. We are bound to observe the honorable engagements we have entered into. We cannot dissociate ourselves from the European community to which we belong. Our first object is peace, subject to but one consideration, and that is a peace which in regard to our past declarations and oft repeated policy we can maintain with honor. I do not think any of these dangers against which we are invited to provide arc likely to come upon us. We live in a state of things to which there is noanalogy. Mankind has never seen such vast armies as are being now assembled together. Mankind has never seen such deadly weapons as the sinister ingenuity of science has now put into their hands, and we cannot prophesy what the result of tliia terrible accession to our powers, evil as well as good, will be. These tremendous armaments, these terrible instruments of death, must mean that when once two nations are locked in the deadly grapple of modern war, the end must be destruction to one of them. The victor in such a struggle will be almost bound, when he is a victor, to take care that never again shall he from the same quarter be exposed to the same dangers or subjected to the same evils, and every statesman who is casting the horoscope of the future and meditates on the consequences of his acts knows what a fearful stake he is throwing. He knows if he fails the nation which he seeks to defend will practically disappear. I cannot but feel that that thought which must be in the mind' of every responsible man is one of great security for peace in the present day. The issue is so frightful that men will shrink from challenging it, and therefore I indulge in tho hope and confident belief that year after year, though from time to time the scare of war may revive, men will shrink more from engaging in its fell and terrible reality." These peaceful expressions from England's Premier have been received with unqualified satisfaction on tho Continent, and the GerT man, Austrian, and Prussian organs express themselves greatly gratified at his tone.
GREAT BRITAIN'S FOREIGN POLICY., Issue 8010, 12 September 1889
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