Mr. Stansfeld, who presided at this meeting, made a vigorous
speech in favour of securing the autonomy of the Christian pro- vinces. He thought that the Russian proposal of that solution should have been accepted, even if Russia were not quite honest in making it. We should have taken her at her word, and pressed autonomy upon the collective Powers of Europe. Her Majesty's Government, on the contrary, had resisted autonomy, and only proposed parochial self-government. The true course now was to call a Conference, and there secure for the Christian provinces the largest amount of autonomy that united Europe could be induced to concede. It was not necessary to go beyond that decision, but the British representative in Congress should be one who represented the true feeling of the country.