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‘revenue over expenditure during last five years to be paid by England to the Porte, but that, as the annual revenue of the island is increasing yearly, any excess over the average should be paid to the Porte ; and that if Russia gives up Kars and her conquests in Armenia, Cyprus will be evacuated. alll #. authorized to accede to last condition. I shall be glad to receive
your Lordship's instructions as to the other points.”
“Foreign Office, May 30, 1878.
“As England will probably spend the growing surplus in the improvement of the island, Her Majesty's Government cannot assent to second condition as it stands, but they have no objection to pay the average of the last five years' revenue.”
- “The Marquis of Salisbury to Mr. Layard.
“Foreign Office, May 30, 1878. “You are authorized to consent to a Mussulman tribunal for the exclusive
cognizance of Mussulman religious matters, but you should not bind Her Majesty's Government as to judicial institutions for persons not Mussulmans.”
** No. 5.
“Therapia, June 7, 1878.
“My Lord, I have the honour to enclose a draught of the conditions which the Grand Vizier requests may be inserted in the Annex to the Convention signed by Safvet Pasha and myself on the 4th inst. I have already acquainted your Lordship with the substance of these conditions by the telegraph, and am now waiting for your Lordship's instructions to agree to them.
“I have, &c.,
“Enclosure in No. 5.
“It is understood between the two high contracting parties that England agrees to the following conditions relating to her occupation and adminis‘tration of the Island of Cyprus :— “I. That a Mussulman religious tribunal (Méhkémei Shéri) shall continue to exist in the island, which will take exclusive cognizance of religious matters, and of no others, concerning the Mussulman population of the island. “II. That a Mussulman resident in the island shall be named by the Board of Pious Foundations in Turkey (Evkaf) to superintend, in conjunction with a delegate to be appointed by the British Authorities, the administration of * Substance telegraphed.
the property, funds, and lands belonging to mosques, cemeteries, Mussulman schools, and other religious establishments existing in rus. “III. That England will pay to the Porte whatever is the present excess of revenue over expenditure in the island; this excess to be calculated upon and determined by the average of the last five years, stated to be 22,936 urses, to be duly verified hereafter, and to the exclusion of the produce of §. and Crown lands let or sold o; that period. “IV. That the Sublime Porte may freely sell and lease lands and other ‘property in Cyprus belonging to the Ottoman Crown and State (Arazii *: 6 vé Emlaki Houmayoun) the produce of which does not form part of the revenue of the island referred to in Article III. “V. That the English Government, through their competent authorities, may purchase compulsorily, at a fair price, i. required for public improvements, or for other public purposes, and land which is not cultivated. “VI. That if Russia restores to Turkey Kars and the other conquests made by her in Armenia during the last war, the island of Cyprus will be ... by England, and the Convention of the 4th of June, 1878, will be at an end.”
“Berlin, June 17, 1878.
“Sir, I have under my consideration the proposed Annex to the Convention enclosed in your despatch of the 7th inst., and I authorize your signin it with the following modifications:—Articles 3 and 4 must be so word as to prevent, the Porte from claiming as average revenue under the 3rd clause the yield of land which it has let or sold under the 4th.
“I prefer to omit;Clause 5, as when published it may tend to frighten away capitalists who will not understand it. Surely, in the present condition of the Porte's finances, it is quite superfluous.
“Your Excellency should add a clause to this effect —‘The English Government may purchase compulsorily, at a fair price, land wanted for a public improvement, or land which is uncultivated.’
“I am, &c.,
“Therapia, June 22, 1878.
... “The Grand Vizier still wishes for a written engagement that if t l Island of Cyprus is at any future time evacuated, England will not claim from Turkey compensation for public works and improvements.”
“Berlin, June 23, 1878.
“Sir, The question of compensation for improvements and public works involves so many difficulties that I should not like to authorize you to sign an
Objects to be attained by the occupation of Cyprus.
agreement without having the language carefully considered under legal o "I do not object to the principle that the English Treasury shall not, on retrocession, ask from the Treasury at Constantinople compensation for money spent on improvements; but there are two classes of reservation which
ust be made, and could not be stated with precision by telegraph—i.e., where
e improvements were in any shape yielding an annual revenue Her Majesty's Government should ask equivalent of revenue on retrocession; where private capitalists had advanced money, they must be compensated if they were interfered with. You may assure the Grand Vizier that Her Majesty's Government will make an agreement subsequently with him in that general sense, but its details must be carefully considered.
“Sir A. H. Layard to the Marquis of Salisbury.—(Received June 24).
“Any agreement that you may propose with regard to claims for compensation for improvements in Cyprus will be willingly accepted if a draft is sent to me.”
“Safvet Pasha wishes, before signing Annex, to ascertain amount of excess of expenditure over revenue during last five years, and to insert it in the Annex. Orders have been given that the Firman for the surrender of Cyprus shall be prepared.”
* No. 11.
“Mr. Secretary Cross to Sir A. H. Layard.
“Foreign Office, July 13, 1878.
“You should tell the Grand Vizier that the wording of Article of the Annex as to money expended on improvements requires careful consideration, and probably some information as to the details, and that it is desirable to defer transmission of the article for a few days until the Cabinet can confer with Lord Salisbury on his return from Berlin.”
The reasons which caused her Majesty's Government to enter into this Convention of Defensive Alliance with the Porte are clearly set forth in a despatch from Lord Salisbury to Sir A. Layard, dated 30th May, 1878, which was laid before Parliament with the Convention itself, on the 8th July.
In this despatch Lord Salisbury says:–
“It is sufficiently manifest that, in respect to Batoum and the fortresses north of the Araxes, the Government of Rüssin is not prepared to recede from the stipulations to which the Porte has been led by the events of the war to consent. Her Majesty's Government have consequently been forced to consider the effect which these agreements, if they are neither annulled nor counteracted, will have upon the future of the Asiatic provinces of the Ottoman Empire and upon the interests of England, which are closely affected by the condition of those provinces.
“It is impossible §. Her Majesty's Government can look upon these changes with indifference. . . . . . . Even if it be certain that Batoum and Ardahan and Kars will not become the base from which emissaries of intrigue will issue forth, to be in due time followed by invadin armies, the mere retention of them by Russia, will exercise a powerfu influence in disintegrating the Asiatic dominion of the Porte. As a monument of feeble defence on the one side, and successful ion on the other they will be regarded by the Asiatic population as #. the course of political history in the immediate future, and will stimulate, by the combined action of hope and fear, devotion to the Power which is in the ascendant, and desertion of the Power which is thought to be falling into decay.
“It is impossible for Her Majesty's Government to accept, without making an effort to avert it, the effect which such a state of feeling would produce upon regions whose political condition deeply concerns the Oriental interests of Great Britain . . . . . . . . The only provision which can furnish a substantial security for the stability of Ottoman rule in Asiatic Turkey, and which would be as essential after the re-conquest of the Russian annexations as it is now, is an engagement on the part of a Power strong enough to fulfil it, that any further encroachments by Russia upon Turkish territory in Asia will be prevented by force of Arms. Such an undertaking, if given fully and unreservedly, will prevent the occurrence of the contingency which would bring it into operation, and will, at the same time, give to the populations of the Asiatic provinces the requisite confidence that Turkish rule in Asia is not destined to a speedy fall.
“There are, however, two conditions which it would be necessary for the Porte to subscribe before England could give such assurance.
“Her Majesty's Government intinated to the Porte, on the occasion of the Conference at Constantinople, that they were not prepared to sanction misgovernment and oppression, and it will be requisite, before they can enter into any agreement for the defence of the Asiatic territories of the Porte in certain eventualities, that they should be formally assured of the intention of the Porte to introduce the necessary reforms into the government of the Christian and other subjects of the Porte in these regions. It is not desirable to require more than an engagement in general terms, for the specific measures to be taken could only be defined after a more careful inquiry and deliberation than could be secured at the present juncture.
“It is not impossible that a careful selection and a faithful support of the individual officers to whom power is to be entrusted in those countries would be a more important element in the improvement of the condition of the o than even legislative changes, but the assurance required to give
ngland a right to insist on satisfactory arrangements for these purposes will
be an indispensable part of any agreement to which Her Majesty's Government could consent. It will further be necessary, in order to enable Her Majesty's Government efficiently to execute the o ements now proposed, that they should occupy a position near the coast o #. Minor, and Syria. The proximity of British officers, and if necessary British troops, will be the best security that all the objects of this agreement shall be attained. . The Island of Cyprus appears to them to be in all respects the most available for this object. Her Majesty's Government do not wish to ask the Sultan to alienate territory from his sovereignty, or to diminish the receipts, which now pass into his treasury. They will, therefore, propose that while the administration and occupation of the island shall be assigned to Her Majesty, the territory shall still continue to be part of the Ottoman Empire, and that the excess of the revenue over the expenditure, whatever it at present may 5. . be paid over annually by the British Government to the treasury of the Sultan.
Details of the occupation.
The policy of the Government with regard to the occupation of Cyprus, was further explained by the Earl of Beaconsfield in the House of Lords on Thursday, July 18th. After adverting to the accession of territory claimed by Russia in the Treaty of San Stefano, the Premier said: “It seemed to us that the time had come when we ought to consider whether certain efforts should not be made to put an end to these perpetually occurring wars between the Porte and Russia, ending, it may be, sometimes, apparently in comparatively insignificant results, but always terminating with one fatal result—namely, shaking to the centre the influence and the prestige of the Porte in Asia, and diminishing the means of profitably and advantageously governing that country - the time had come when we ought to consider whether We could not do something which would improve the general condition of the dominions of the Sultan in Asia, and instead of these most favoured portions of the globe every year being in a more forlorn and disadvantageous position, whether it would not be possible to take some step which would secure at least tranquillity and order; and, when tranquillity and order were secured, whether some opportunity might not be given to Europe to develope the resources of a country which mature has made so rich and teeming • * *, Now this was the origin of that Convention at Constantinople which is on your Lordships' table, and in that Convention our object was not merely a military, or chiefly a military object. Our object was to place this country certainly in a position in which its advice, and in which its conduct might, at least, have the advantage of being connected with the military power, and with that force which it is necessary to possess often when any at transactions are upon the carpet . . . . Our object in êntering into that engagement with Turkey was, as I said before, to produce tranquillity and order. We have, therefore, entered into an alliance—a defensive alliance—with Turkey, to guard her against any further attack from Russia. . . . . In taking rus, the movement is not Mediterranean; it is English. We have taken a step there which we think necessary for the maintenance of our Empire, and for its preservation in peace. If that be our first consideration, our next is the development of the country. . . . . . . I only hope that the House will not misunderstand—and I think the country will not misunderstand—our motives, in occupying Cyprus, and in encouraging those intimate relations with the Government and the population of Turkey. They are not movements of war: they are operations of peace and of civilisation.” The events of the British occupation have since followed one . in rapid succession; they may be briefly summed up as unOleI':—
July 11th–Mr. W. Baring, second secretary of H.M.'s Embassy at the Porte, arrived at Cyprus bearing the Sultan's firman, and took official possession of the island on behalf of Great Britain. At the same time, the cession was proclaimed by Samih Pasha, the representative of the Sultan.