On Thursday the Turkish Circular Note on the Cretan question
was presented at the Foreign Office. The purport of the Note is to urge upon the protecting Powers a prompt settlement of the Cretan question on lines which would guarantee ample autonomy, but would expressly exclude the annexation of the island by Greece. It seems to us that the Powers cannot possibly assent to the Turkish request in the present most inopportune circumstances. They were devoutly thankful to extricate themselves from the recent crisis, when the international troops were withdrawn from Crete, without having to draw their swords, or without causing Greece and Turkey to fly at one another's throats ; and it is unthinkable that they should wish to reproduce that crisis by reopening the whole question. We sympathise with the natural wish of Turkey to have the matter logically settled, but we think Turkish statesmen will see on reflection that for all practical purposes it is settled now. Of course there is a strong
Nationalist feeling in Turkey pressing for the assertion of sovereign rights, but to disturb the status quo might be as disastrous to Turkey as to any country, and we believe that she could have no higher mission than to preserve it.