17 DECEMBER 1943, Page 12


have only just seen the article in your issue of December 3rd on "Greece's Expectations," by a Special Correspondent. As a follower of Balkan politics for many years, but more especially as a friend of the late Ismail Kemal Bey, the Albanian patriot, and the editor of his Memoirs, I am astounded at the claims and arguments of this corre- spondent—I should add dismayed if I thought his pleadings would carry any weight, and that the small countries would be treated like

this by the Allied nations who are supposed to be fighting for liberty and justice for each of them as well as themselves.

To speak of the Albanians having no "national consciousness" is to ignore all the facts connected with this unfortunate little country. Kemal Bey, who had been a statesman in the Ottoman service for some fifty years, unfurled the flag of Albanian independence at Valona in 1912, an id the acclamations of a populace who, your correspondent declares, are "not fitted for independence." Since then, during- the last war, and afterwards, their history has been one of continual struggle to main- tain that independence in face of injustice and the greed of other Powers.

To state the reasons why Albania should have liberty and inde- pendence would take more space than you, Sir, would grant in a letter. These reasons are known at Whitehall and should be known in Fleet Street, if not to the general public. Fundamentally they are based on common human justice. To argue that because certain Albanian public men speak Greek, therefore Albania should belong in whole or in part to Greece, sounds to me like an argument from Alice in Wonderland. Kemal Bey spoke Greek and of course Turkish, but he never dreamt that because of that his country should remain under Ottoman dominion. I have met other Albanians, if not so prominent, who spoke one or the other of those tongues and even Italian, while Crispi, the Italian statesman, was actually an Albanian. The British Government has already declared that justice shall be meted out to Albania, and if that pledge is not kept it will be a bad day for Europe.—Yours very truly,