16 MARCH 1878, Page 13



SIR,—Anti-Turk as I am in my sympathies, I cannot agree with those who would wish England to join in the partition of the "Sick Man's" effects. You say in your issue of to-day that England has suffered, "because she has neglected the magnificent opportunity of securing her route through Egypt." You, then, seem to agree with the idea that England ought to have seized the opportunity of Turkey's extremity to annex Egypt, or at least the banks of the Suez Canal. And yet in another article you look forward to the time when statesmen shall regard nations as human beings. What should we say of a man who annexed his neighbour's property, for fear lest his right-of-way should be at some future time stopped ? Surely a prospective fear cannot justify a present immoral exercise of brute force. To do evil that good may come is said to be a Blander on Christian teaching. Undoubtedly it would be to the advantage of the Egyptians ( ? of English Bondholders) that Egypt should be governed by an English Civil Service. But so would it be to the advantage of civilisation that we should annex the world. But since God has seen fit to allow other nations to exist, we might, for the present, be content to fulfil our own duties, not take further responsibilities on our already overburdened shoulders until we are forced to do so. Our route to India is at present safe, and when it is threatened, it will be time enough to secure it ; or rather, when it is interrupted, it will then be time enough to reopen it. This we could always do, while we have the com- mand of the seas ; better a short interruption, than a policy of robbery disguised under the name of annexation.—I am, Sir, &c., W. OSI3ORN B. ALLEN.

S'hirburn Vicarage, Tetsworth, Mara 9.

[Mr. Allen makes the usual mistake. Countries are not pro- perties. If they were, Englishmen in India and in most of the Colonies would be mere brigands. The moral right to rule depends on, first, the consent of the governed ; second, the advantage of the governed, as decided by the consensus of civilisation ; and third, the benefit of the world, which is now-a-days expressed through the Great Powers. England in Egypt, with the consent of Europe, would not be a trespasser, but a custodian, appointed by a competent Court. —En. Spectator.]