3 APRIL 1880, Page 13


[To TI1E EDITOR OF THE"SPECTATOR."] SIE,—At this critical moment in public affairs, it is the game of the Conservatives to paint their foreign policy in glowing colours, and to talk as if they had done something worth living for, at Berlin, in 1878. But surely such a pretension is rather absurd, in face of the well-known facts of the situation. What has been gained to England by the difference between the original Treaty of San Stefano and the subsequent arrange- ment of Berlin ? Nothing at all, save an empty diplomatic success, of the very hollowest kind, except indeed a recognition of the claims of Greece, by the assembled diplomats of Europe, in the famous thirteenth protocol of the Berlin Treaty. And what has this energetic and warlike Government of ours done since 1878 to give effect to its successes on behalf

of the Greeks Nothing at all, save feebly to remonstrate with the Porte, and feebly to crow over its own cleverness. If the Sclav element is to be checked in European Turkey by a cordial alli- ance between Englishmen and Greeks, that alliance can, it is too clear, only be hoped for under a Liberal Administration. There is something pitiful in the half-heartedness of our Tory rulers, when they have to deal with a Turk. Were he merely an Afghan, his religion would not protect him for a moment ; were he merely a savage, of no particular faith, he might fare no better than a Zulu. But being what he is, and where he is, the Turk is sacred in the eyes of English Tories. They are like children when they come to deal with him, and cannot bring themselves to face the terrible bogey of an angry Sultan. All their swagger is gone, all their pluck has melted away, and they get no further in their war-song than "We don't want to fight." Now, this miserable state of mind among our leading Conservatives has worked great injustice to Greece. She trusted in English promises, and has been sadly disappointed. She took the half loaf rather than get nothing, and has not even tasted her humbler choice. Crete was left to the Turks, to please our negotiators, and so was Macedonia and more than half of Thessaly ; but even the small piece of territory awarded to the Greeks by European diplomacy is not forthcoming, up to the present time. Is it that the English Government cannot secure its ends in Turkey, or that it does not care to obtain territory for its only possible allies against the Sclavs P The wretched provinces in question are a prey to every outrage and violence, the Greek ele- ment is daily losing ground (through English folly), and yet these helpless statesmen, whom the " Jingoes " admire, come forward with a claim for credit on account of their spirited foreign policy ! Why, Sir, they cannot even control their friend the Turk, nor get him to yield an acre of land to save their honour. The only triumph they have obtained is the release of Colonel Synge by the Salonica brigands, and this is rather due to a payment in hard cash than to our moral ascendancy in the Levant.—I am, Sir, &c.,