24 AUGUST 1878, Page 15



Stu,—May I observe how much it is to be regretted that some other commissioner than Mr. Fawcett was not appointed to the

Rhodope Commission, as there is a common impression that his judgment was much biassed by his strong pro-Mahommedan sympathies in the case of Mr. Ogle's murder at Volo ; and before he went to Volo it was very commonly said that "you might as well put the Sultan on a commission in a case of Mahommedans r. Christians, as Mr. Fawcett." Why was not Mr. Baring, who knew the parts round Philippopolis much better than Mr. Fawcett, appointed, if an investigation of real facts was required, for he would have inspired confidence in all parties ? And the reports of our Consuls two years ago set forth that strong language and exaggerations are so universal in the East, particularly when some pecuniary benefit on the one side, or fear of penalties on the other, is likely to accrue from it, that oral evidence is simply unreliable, and that a most patient and unprejudiced investigation is necessary to ascertain the real truth. Whether from accident or not, certain it is that during the last two years all the consular rewards have been reserved for the out-and-out champions of the Turk, while the Consuls who have occasionally ventured to deny any "Russian atrocities" are overlooked. It is reported that Sir A. Layard has lately received the insurgent chiefs (Englishmen) from the Rhodope Mountains, and that he counselled the Turks last spring to "hold on" to Varna and Shumla. This ought to be denied, if not true, as it implicates this country in the Roumelian disorders, which are mainly due to the uncertain fate of the Bulgarian population, and their conse- quent exasperation, owing to the rejection of the San Stefano Treaty by this country in the Rhodope insurrection, with the Turkish garrisons of Shumla and Varna, rendering a large Russian force necessary in these parts ; and in all the evils which always prevail wherever a large army, even an English one, is quartered. The difference between the reports of Mr. Layard when a simple traveller in Turkey, and when an ambassador is perfectly extra-