19 AUGUST 1876, Page 6


IT is hardly possible to conceive a course of policy more immoral or more unwise than the one which is attributed to Lord Derby by the popular belief, which is repeated in the Continental telegrams, and which is in accordance with the language of the Queen's Message. He has proposed, it is said on all hands, that the war should cease on the basis of the status quo. That is, he has proposed that the crimes committed in Bulgaria should not only be condoned, but should be visibly shown to have succeeded ;should not only have succeeded, but should remain in Turkish memory as the only cheap and easy methods of success. But for those crimes Bulgaria would have risen, Tchernaieff's plan would have succeeded, and the Pashas would have been fighting for their right to plunder, south of the Balkan ; but as—thanks to Mr. Disraeli's influ- ence in Europe--they have succeeded, Servia is to be pro- nounced beaten, and to recede from her splendid enterprise --the effort of a fishing-boat to sink a pirate ship— with all her losses uncompensated and contemned. Turkey has lost nothing, or rather has gained immensely. She has sacrificed certain lives which she cares nothing about, and which the world is not injured by losing, and certain moneys which, if she had not expended them profitably in killing Christians, she would have wasted unprofitably in pay- ing Christians the debts she had sworn, when she incurred them, to pay,—clearly a use of her resources far more in accord- ance with the precepts of her faith. Moreover, she has gained the opportunity of showing that by using her thirty millions of people as inanimate instruments, spending the Mussulmans like bullets and burying the Christians like manure, she can of her own strength beat the million of Servians, can carry her flag once more up to the Danube, and can keep in her own hands the deserts into which it is her policy, now as ever, in Europe as in Asia, to turn her provinces. She is to enjoy the status quo, that is, to obtain the opportunity of planting Asiatic colonies of armed and undisciplined barbarians in the fairest corners of Europe, with permission whenever their outrages produce revolt to exterminate the people, taking especial care that the child- ren do not survive to grow into mutineers. She, this country governed by irresponsible Pashas, deprived even of the control of a master ; this Government, as Sir William Harcourt puts it, "tempered by assassination and maintained by massacre," is enabled, by English assistance solely, to bid defiance to civili- sation, and declare that, the Continent notwithstanding, she will slay whom she will and ravage where she will within the territory which English money still enables her to claim. As for the Servians, they are to submit, are not only to bear defeat, but to endure the Prince whose half-heartedness and concern for his throne have been among the causes of their failure, and be thankful to Lord Derby that the Turks have not stabled their horses in Belgrade, condemned them all to be servants of the Bashi-Bazouks, and sold their wives and children to the Pashas of Asia Minor. Montenegro may have some trifle—a port on the Adriatic, or a few acres of Herzegovina—for, you see, it might be disagreeable to quarrel with -mountaineers who dis- perse Turkish soldiers like sheep, and never see them without victory ; but as to the Servians, who only sacrificed themselves as the forlorn hope of humanity, who without a grievance personal to themselves flung themselves on the enemies of the Christian races merely to save their kindred, why, philanthropic blunderers of that kind had better be killed-out as rapidly as possible. Is Europe to be disturbed because there are people who dislike to see murder erected into a method of govern- ment?

This is the policy of Lord Derby, and we should feel no surprise, in the present temper of the English mind, when the first principles of her polity have been forgotten, and the governing classes, Tories and 'Whigs alike, would sacrifice anything but comfort for tranquillity, if it temporarily suc- ceeded. The Czar of Russia loves "peace," till he is willing to sacrifice for it the future of his House, and the feelings of his people. The Emperor of Austria desires peace as a farmer whose neighbour's ricks are burning longs for rain. Prince Bismarck does not see how Prance is to be injured by re- deeming the Christians of the East ; the King of Greece, after long English conferences, sees his way to islands without fighting ; and the Revolution, the only remaining effective power, is for the moment paralysed by the illness of its swords- man, Garibaldi. If the Servians and the Turks consent, there may be peace upon the basis of the status quo and a bribe for the Montenegrins. The Servians would not consent, but they have no money, not having any bond- holders to rob, their officers are Russians bound not to resist the Czar, and their Prince, not a bad person but quite unequal to revolutionary times, thinks it im-. portant that he should continue in a comfortable position. They might, by deposing the House of Obrenoviteh, electing Prince Nikita to the throne, and declaring the war one of existence, still keep up the fire till the flame caught Russia or Turkey was exhausted ; but they are but peasants, with leaders bound in the withes of European. diplomacy, and scarcely able to pay for the weapons with which science has provided the despots of the world. Montenegro would not consent, but what can eighteen thousand men do, except act as spear-points to the next insurrection, and meanwhile add a few thousands. to their number? And Turkey would not consent, but the British Cabinet wishes it, and in all Europe the Turks have no defence against the overthrow they have earned except the British Cabinet, which with Mr. Baring's Report in, its hands, and carefully withheld, demands in the name of Great Britain—where people used to declare that governments exist for the good of the governed—that the people of Bul- garia, and more especially the witnesses who have testified' before English Commissioners, shall be handed back to the rule of the Pashas. The sell-electing Committee at Constantinople—which, it should be remembered, is not a Government, and cannot bind the next Sultan—may there- fore agree to a peace which will leave it full control or the Treasury, the troops being recalled to Constantinople, and the Bashi-Bazouks and volunteers quartered in Thessaly„ Epirus and the remaining provinces not yet too desolate to feed them. There may, therefore, if Servia cannot win a bat- tle, and a change does not occur in Russia, and the anarchy prevailing in Constantinople does not end in a catastrophe, be peace—and how will the British Government stand then ? Great Britain will have incurred the permanent and I just hatred of eighty million of Slays, who, however ignorant,. understand that it is solely due to her that the massacres of their brethren are still continuing, and will have secured a certainty that within three years another and more hopeful insurrection will again bring the Eastern Question, to the front. The wretched Slays who have seen emancipation so near will not again sink back into quiescence, but wilt devote themselves determinately to the organisation which this time they have lacked. Three years will fill up the- void in the ranks of their young men, will enable them to select a competent Prince, and will give them time to. arrange more carefully for the general insurrection of all the enemies of the Turks, which, but for Mr. Disraeli's Semitic' sympathies, would even this time have diminished the burden of their splendid task. Meanwhile the rulers of Turkey', harassed by the hatreds they have provoked, by incapacity to extort taxes from ruined provinces, and by the claims of the volunteers they have called to arms, will necessarily grow more- and more violent, more and more embittered, more and more feeble, till the next insurrection, which is as certain as the rising of the sun, will take the form of a war of races and creeds, amid which order can be restored only by military occupa- tion, and that by the Power to which Mr. Disraeli is so sedu- lously adding moral strength. Russia has shown no daring in the struggle, but she has shown full sympathy ; and the South Slays, aware that they have nothing to hope from Austria, fancying that England despises them as Mr. Disraeli does, and conscious that they have not in themselves the strength which. in our day only belongs to constituted governments, will in their despair and misery have flung themselves, bound hand and foot, into the hands of the Russian Foreign Office. The aggrandisement of Russia, the hatred of all South Slavonians, the misery of all Christians throughout Turkey,—these are the- inevitable results of the mediation which, we presume in a few weeks, will produce a" peace," over which the Ma.horamedan Press throughout the world will raise a chorus of exultation.. There is no Parliament to arrest the course of the Ministry, no election at hand to punish them, and no foreign opinion among the classes to whom Mr. Disraeli in his zeal for the traditionary policy of Great Britain, handed over the supreme power.