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inconsistent with those enjoyed for many years by the Greek Church. The Sultan hesitated, equivocated, and yielded to each alternately, as the pressure came from one or the other power. The Emperor of the French, with great generosity, made allowances for the Sultan's weakness, and acquiesced in his concessions to Russia without admitting their justice. The Emperor of Russia, on the contrary, not only demanded reparation and security, but transferred his grievance in respect of the Holy Places to all the subjects of the Porte of the Greek Church, thus assuming a right to protect not 12, ooo pilgrims, but 12,000,ooo Turkish subjects. . . . In point of right Russia must be put out of court. . . . Second, the question of power. It is evident that the great military force of Russia, always organised, makes her more than a match for Turkey. The treaties of Kainardji and Adrianople are documents proving this fact ; it is admitted by Lord Stratford and every one else. It therefore became the duty of England and France, as good friends of the Sultan, to advise him to make greater concessions than he was in point of right at all called upon to make. . . . He has thought he could not make [these concessions], and Nesselrode has done much to justify his repugnance. On the other hand he incurs the greatest danger of overthrow by Russian arms, the invasion of his provinces, and the capture of his capital. In his European provinces the Christians, being as five to one to the Mahometans, may join the invaders, or at least take the opportunity to throw off the yoke. What can England and France do to relieve him from this danger? They can scour the Black Sea in the spring and summer, and sweep away every Russian sail that may appear on it. . . . But Lord Stratford raises another question. . . . He says that, if the exclusion of Russia from the Protectorate and the Principalities be the important object it has hitherto been deemed, success can only be obtained if England and France are ready to stop at no sacrifice ready to Secure it. This suggestion raises a much wider question. If England and France are to stop at no sacrifice necessary to secure success, they must become principals, not auxiliaries, in the war . . . [and] employ their mighty resources at every point where Russia can be resisted or attacked. It is one thing to give aid to the Sultan in defence of his territorial and sovereign rights; . . . it is quite another to embark on so vast a COnteSt.
Before we do this, it would be necessary to explain to the Sultan very clearly for what objects we engage. Should it be to maintain the present Government of the European provinces of Turkey? Let us hear Lord Stratford's solemn language to Reshid Pacha. ‘I have frequently had occasion of late, and indeed for some years past, to bring to the knowledge of the Porte such atrocious instances of cruelty, rapine, and murder, as I have found with extreme concern in the Consular reports, exhibiting generally the disturbed and misgoverned condition of many parts of Roumelia, and calling loudly for redress from the Imperial Government. The character of these disorderly and brutal outrages may be said with truth to be in general that of Mussulman fanaticism, excited by cupidity and hatred against the Sultan's Christian subjects. I will not say that my friendly and earnest representations have been entirely disregarded. On the contrary I have sometimes had the satisfaction of being instrumental towards the suppression of crime, the alleviation of individual suffering, and the recall of incapable magistrates. But the evil, nevertheless, has not been permanently removed, and the effect of every partial check has been of short duration.’ Here is matter for serious reflection, outrages caused by ‘Mussulman fanaticism excited by cupidity and hatred against the Sultan's Christian subjects : ' existing in spite of the earnest representations of Lord Stratford; continued for many years, and in spite of the obvious interest of the Sultan to conciliate his Christian defenders. It is true we are promised that, if the present danger is averted, milder counsels will prevail, justice will be more fairly administered, and cruelty more sharply corrected. But how can we rely on such promises when we know that at the seat of government itself corruption gives a licence to the cruelty which ravages the provinces? If the urgency of danger does not secure the Christians from oppression, will the ease of security ever do so? It is to be feared that Lord Stratford is building upon sand. His own eminent qualities have but partially succeeded in effecting improvements; can any man with less ability, less knowledge of Turkish character, less influence over the Divan, hope to do more? I must conclude, therefore— 1. That if Russia will not make peace on fair terms, we must appear in the field as the auxiliaries of Turkey. 2. That if we are to act in conjunction with France as principals
VOL. II. O
al interests ston, and NUSSELL.
announced an intention without ascertaining whether it would be possible to fulfil it. But, from Lord John's point of view, Lord Aberdeen's reasoning was defective. Rightly or wrongly, Lord John thought—and he thought in common with ninetenths of his fellow-countrymen—that Lord Aberdeen's love of peace, and friendship for the Emperor of Russia, were powerful elements making for war. Peace, so it seemed to him and others, could best be secured by the resignation of the Prime Minister; and (as has been already shown) he seriously doubted whether he was himself justified in continuing to serve in the Administration. On the other hand, there was something distasteful to his chivalrous temperament in deserting a Ministry which was passing through a grave crisis; and, satisfied by the failure of Lord Clarendon's proposal in September and by a decision of the Cabinet authorising Lord Stratford to direct the fleet to pass through the Bosphorus and engage in defensive operations in any part of the Euxine, he continued in power. This determination, however, forced Lord John to consider another subject. In the statement, which he had made on behalf of the Ministry at the commencement of the session of 1853, he had said that it was proposed to defer the measure of Parliamentary Reform which it was intended to introduce till the spring of 1854. If this pledge were to be redeemed the time had evidently arrived for preparing the measure; and accordingly, early in November, after Lord John's return to Richmond, the Cabinet appointed a committee of its members to consider its details. When the committee met Lord John laid before it the outlines of a scheme in which he proposed the disfranchisement of all boroughs with less than 300 electors; the semi-disfranchisement of those with less than 500 electors; the division of the 70 seats thus vacated between the largest counties and the largest towns; the reduction of the county franchise from 50/. to 20/. ; the reduction of the borough franchise either to the household franchise established in municipalities or to a 6/ rating ; the creation of what have since been called triangular constituencies, in which no elector should vote for more than two out of the three candidates; and the disfranchisement of freemen. But it was soon plain that one member of the committee, Lord Palmerston, not merely O 2
objected to many parts of this scheme, but was also prepared to question the necessity for Reform at all. He went so far, indeed, as to declare that the supposed necessity for change arose not from any popular demand, but from the declarations which Lord John himself had made in the House of Commons. Such an insinuation was neither quite generous nor quite just Of all the members of the Whis party Lord John had suffered most from his determination to resist any tampering with the Reform Act. Lord John, however, shall soeak for himself:- - - - - - --> - Peorise Loise: Neverter 15, IS53. My dear Palmers:on.—I received you: le:eries: before our meeting yesterday. and had no time to consider it before I came here. In the first place I deny entirely the historical troh of the assertion that ity for Reform arises principally if not solely from declara
the tions made by me in the House of Commons withog: any previous
conce: or as reement with my celesses. The facts are that from IS37 I have stood both in Government and in Oos::ion the brunt of the
the bao, in opposins Hoe's metions. I have had to assistance, and was le: alone to bear the to clarity of my course. At length I
the exception of Lord Grey and Hobhouse all as feed be urged - - n I thosht myself of propose a :le explicit that
rement. When this was
celessees as uscal remain:rs silent. We resisted ; and, when we came back. Fox Macle, as the cross of the Government, promised