28 DECEMBER 1878, Page 3

Mr. T. Brassey, who has just visited Cyprus, strongly advises

the British Government, if they are going to retain the island, to buy the sovereignty from the Sultan. He says the £100,000 to be paid to the Ottoman Government is the "lion's share of the total revenue of /178,000," and the Sultan will be able to claim, by means of royalties over mines and shares in the land rental, a great portion of any prosperity we may produce. The island, moreover, needs remissions of the taxes, which are levied in an oppressive way ; and if the soil is to be saved from droughts, so severe that even the Turkish Government occasionally sent sup- plies of biscuit to keep the people alive, the hills must be planted, and large expenditure incurred for the storage of water and the -sinking of deep wells. Mr. Brassey deprecates any attempt at official eolonisation till these improvements are accomplished, but believes that when they are, the overplus of the population of -Malta will gladly emigrate to Cyprus. The prospect altogether is not very cheering, and must tempt Government to consider whether an exchange would not be wise, while the lifahommedans of Constantinople still resent the loss of a possession believed from tradition to be so valuable. If we keep Cyprus, the Sultan's authority ought to end ; but he keeps back already /100,000 a sear, guaranteed to the holders of the first Turkish loan by the British Government.