17 MAY 1879, Page 1

Lord Salisbury made an important little speech on Tuesday about

the garrisoning of the Balkans. General Obrutscheff, the Czar's aide-de-camp, recently sent to Constantinople, has, it is believed, made an agreement with the Sultan, under which Turkey agrees not to occupy the Balkans or East Roumelia, and Russia gives up part of the indemnity. This reasonable and proper arrangement has been publicly announced at Philippopolis, and helps to keep the East Roumelians quiet ; but it offends some enthusiasts for Turkey, and Earl Stanhope asked Lord Salisbury if the reports were true ? Lord Salisbury replied with a delicious coolness that the full text of General Obrutscheff's speech had probably not been received, and that the Sultan could not renounce his rights under the Treaty of Berlin, but that his right to garrison the Balkans was merely "permissive," and that the Sultan, like any other potentate, "would exercise his right, when financially and politically convenient." He would not, at all events, send troops till the evacuation was finished and the frontier marked out. That means simply that the Sultan will not garrison the Balkans until he has the means of doing so without war or great expense, —and as he will never have the means, he will never do it. Just remember all the bragging we have heard about the security of this "mountain barrier," which is now given up without a dis- pute, after a chat between the Sultan and an aide-de-camp. It is lucky for Lord Beaconsfield that Greece is poor, or she would. extend herself to the Rhodope and Montenegro before he had heard of the arrangement. The Sultan is only " permittad " by the Treaty to keep Constantinople.