« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
RUSSIA'S ALLEGED GRASPING POLICY.
sible to Constantinople and towards the Indies. the Mediterranean was ordered to Besika Bay, He who reigns at Constantinople will be the not, as Mr. Disraeli afterwards declared, with real sovereign of the world, and with that the intention of menacing anybody, or to proobject in view provoke continual wars with tect the Turkish Empire, but to protect the Turkey and with Persia: establish dockyards British Empire. At a conference of represenin the Black Sea; get possession of the shores tatives of the powers held at Berlin, it had of that sea as well as those of the Baltic, these been proposed that there should be a suspentwo things being necessary for the ultimate sion of hostilities between Turkey and the success of our project; hasten the decay of provinces for a month, during which a peace Persia; penetrate as far as the Persian Gulf, should be negotiated, and that if the negotiare-establish the former trade of the Levant tions failed the powers should agree to adopt by appropriating Syria; and, if possible, extend further measures to secure peace and compel the power of Russia to the Indies, which are Turkey to observe her former promises. the emporium of the world.”
Lord Derby was opposed to the proposed The first Napoleon published this alleged concerted action, which he believed was the extract from the plan for compassing European outcome of a former secret agreement between supremacy left by the Czar Peter for his suc- Russia, Austria, and Germany. There was cessors, and deposited in the archives of the also a suspicion that Russia had fomented the Palace of Peterhoff. The whole matter was insurrection in some of the provinces. The declared to have been an invention of the memorandum was not adopted, and public French emperor for his own purposes, and excitement was kept at a high pitch by intellithe existence of any such document was posi- gence that the Mussulmans at Salonica had tively denied by the late Emperor Alexander. risen against the Europeans and murdered Whether it ever had any existence or not need the French and German consuls; that at Connot be discussed. Nothing could have been stantinople a revolutionary party had sucmore ingeniously devised to express what has ceeded in deposing the sultan Abdul Aziz, more than once appeared to some European who shortly afterwards had committed suicide politicians to be the practical aim of Russia. by opening the veins in his arm with a pair During the Franco-German war Russia had of scissors; that his nephew Murad had been demanded that as some of the provisions of appointed his successor, and had promised to the treaty made after the Crimean war had appoint a government to secure the liberties been disregarded, the clause restraining her of all his subjects. In three months, however, from maintaining armaments in the Black he also was dethroned, and his brother Hamid Sea should be expunged. There was a con- reigned in his stead. Then came the news of ference at Berlin, and the demand became a the insurrection in Bulgaria, and of the horrequest to which the powers conceded. This rible cruelties of the savage Bashi-Bazouks, “concession” turned out to be important, as who were sent to suppress it. The bodies of Russia, no doubt, foresaw it might be. In 1875 slaughtered women and children lay in heaps. she was already advancing into Central Asia Forty girls who had shut themselves in a by steady strides, and at the same time house were burned to death; 12,000 persons Turkey had declined into the condition from had been killed in Philippopolis; at Batak which she had previously suffered because of above 1000 persons had taken refuge in the an evil and corrupt government. There came church, which resisted the attempts of the rumours of oppression and barbarous cruelties Bashi-Bazouks, who thereupon fired through perpetrated against the people of the Danubian the windows, climbed to the roof, and dropped principalities. It soon became evident that burning faggots and lighted rags, which had the Emperor of Russia would claim the right been dipped in petroleum, amongst the refuto interpose for the protection of the Christian gees. Mr. Gladstone urged that the European populations on the frontier, whatever might powers should combine to settle the Eastern be bis ultimate object. The British fleet in question. Mr. Disraeli explained that the
European powers approved the attitude of England, which was one of strict neutrality. The duty of the government, he said, was to maintain the empire of England at a critical moment, and they would never agree to any step, though it might obtain for a moment comparative quiet and a false prosperity, which hazarded the existence of that empire.
Before parliament was prorogued it was announced that the prime minister had been honoured with a peerage, and would sit in the Upper House. During the recess the public feeling on behalf of the wretched people of the insurgent provinces became intensified by the report received from Mr. Baring, our representative. Mr. Gladstone had already come forward as the leader and exponent of the popular sentiment, and now he issued a pamphlet entitled Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East, in which he advocated a concert of the European powers to extinguish the Ottoman executive power in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Bulgaria. One passage in this pamphlet was afterwards urged against him, as though he had advocated the expulsion of the whole Turkish population from Europe. "The bag-and-baggage policy," as some wit had named it, became a long-standing jeering accusation.
What he wrote was :-" "Let us insist that our government, which has been working in one direction, shall work in the other, and shall apply all its vigour to concur with the other states of Europe in obtaining the extinction of the Turkish executive power in Bulgaria. Let the Turks now carry away their abuses in the only possible manner, namely, by carrying off themselves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bimbashis and their Yuzbachis, their Kaimakams and their Pashas, one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province they have desolated and profaned."
There was soon a plain issue before the nation-those who thought with Mr. Gladstone would have renounced Turkey rather than have prolonged for an instant the crimes which were being perpetrated by her emissaries, or have seemed to countenance them by refraining from joining in their practical con
demnation. Those who thought with Lord Beaconsfield would have ignored the necessity for interfering with what the Turkish government chose to do, if that interference might affect the power or influence of England in the East, and open the door for Russia at Constantinople. The latter prevailed. The invincible distrust of Russian intrigue, the recollections of Russian barbarism, turned the scale, but not till a later date. There were fierce debates in parliament, great public meetings in London and the provinces, in which Mr. Gladstone took a leading part with amazing fervour and energy. For a time he seemed to carry the people with him, for they were moved by sentiments of pity and of indignation, and called on the government to put pressure upon Turkey; but the sentiment gave place to the old distrust of Russian influence, and began to burn low. The indignation, if it did not die out, smouldered before the blaze of that promise of imperial supremacy which might be threatened by any treaty that gave Russia a new footing in the East.
Russia declared war with Turkey on the 24th of April, 1877, and while one army crossed the Danube and marched towards the Balkans another invaded Asia Minor. At first they met with few repulses. From Sistova to Tirnova, the ancient capital of Bulgaria, the Grand-duke Nicholas made an almost triumphal procession amidst the acclamations of the people; but at the Shipka Pass, and at Plevna, 20 miles south of the Danube, where Omar Pacha had made a stand and thrown up fortifications, the Turks numbered 50,000 to 70,000, and the Russians were defeated with immense loss. They afterwards took the Shipka Pass, and after a tremendous conflict the emperor sent General Todleben, the defender of Sebastopol, to the scene of action, and Plevna surrendered. Then the Russians swept all before them. In the early part of 1878 they might have entered Constantinople. It was reported that they had done so, and parliament then sitting was in a ferment. The fleet was ordered to the Dardanelles. Public feeling was so aroused that the anti-Russian party was predominant.
Sir Stafford Northcote announced that he
ORIGIN OF THE TERM “JINGOES.”
would ask for a supplementary estimate of six might enable him to show some brilliant dismillions for naval and military purposes. play of statecraft, and, as the phrase went, Again a sudden report came that the Russians give to England her proper place in the world. were close to Constantinople, and the excite- These opinions had undoubtedly gained ground, ment in London became tremendous. The and so loud and boisterous were some of the fleet was ordered to go through the Dardan- extremer advocates of an anti-Russian policy, elles to Constantinople, and in spite of the that it seemed as though we should soon be Russian protest that if it passed the Straits obliged to make some manifestation which there would be good reason for the occupation would be equal to a proclamation of hostilities. of the neighbourhood by the troops, our ships The bumptious, overbearing demonstrations remained there. There was to be no disem- of the war party perhaps increased when it barkation of the British and no advance by the was discovered that Russia kept faith, and Russians.
refrained from marching on Constantinople, Daily, almost hourly, Mr. Gladstone was and it may have required all the astuteness of endeavouring to force upon the government a Lord Beaconsfield himself to “uphold the recognition of the claims of the people of the character and prestige of England” without disturbed provinces, and his efforts were sup- actually making common cause with the ported by hundreds of meetings in different “Jingoes.” parts of the country. He admitted that in the term “ Jingoes” will itself, when exwhat he might call his old age he had became plained, indicate the persons who were just an agitator, but the agitation, he averred, was then making themselves most conspicuous in a good and holy cause,—in the hope that especially in London--and the temper which by the withdrawal of moral and material sup- they too frequently displayed. The most port from Turkey, and the combined repre- noisy and violent of the partisans of the sentations of our government with those of the government were of course those who, regardother powers, the Porte would be compelled ing war from a distance, and without any exto cease from cruelty and oppression, and perience of it, were ready to boast and to freedom with practical self-government might threaten. For these some jinglers of rhyme be secured for the people. The resolutions had written one or two so-called "patriotic” which he introduced into the House of Com- songs, by which the proprietors of music halls mons, and supported with moving elequence expected to attract large audiences, to assist and earnestness, did not, however, meet with in yelling the choruses, and to consume liquor. acceptance. In the Liberal ranks there was The most successful of these productions had division on the subject, and an impression a refrain which seemed exactly to suit the seemed to be deepening, that complete neu- taste and intelligence of the audiences : trality, abstention from any pledges, and a “ We don't want to fight, but by Jingo, if we do, watchful attitude with regard to Russia was We've got the ships; we've got the men; we've got the safest policy. There was a general notion
the money too." that Lord Beaconsfield knew more of the situ- This chorus was heard everywhere, and the ation than he chose to make public; that he Liberals, who had been a good deal hustled was waiting quietly for the right moment to and insulted, even at their own meetings, checkmate the Emperor of Russia, and con- and who for the most part felt that they were trol Turkey by two or three rapid and suc- being publicly yelled down, gave to their decessful moves.
There was some reason for so monstrative opponents the name of “Jingoes,” thinking. His career had been illustrative of a term which is quite likely to be perpetuated these very qualities of patient self-possession, when its origin is forgotten. combined with readiness of action, and resource For a time the “Jingoes" seemed to be havand unbounded audacity, which, now that he ing all their own way, and became not only held the dogs of war in leash, and was the boisterous, but riotously aggressive. In sevhead if not the dictator of the government, I eral instances, and notably on one occasion in London, they boasted of having taken forcible | agreed to submit the terms of the treaty to a possession of rooms that had been hired by congress, which was to assemble at Berlin on the Liberals for the purpose of holding meet- the 13th of June. Somewhat to the surprise ings. One evening a company of these high- of the public the prime minister announced spirited and gallant gentlemen, flushed with the intention of himself accompanying Lord pride and wine, seeing Mr. and Mrs. Glad- Salisbury to attend it. stone in a West End street, became so grossly The result of the conference was that a treaty insulting, and made such threatening demon- was signed intrusting Austria to occupy Bosnia strations, that it became necessary for the and the Herzegovina, an arrangement which lady to seek shelter in the hall of a house, at Lord Beaconsfield afterwards admitted was the door of which a servant was standing. made for the purpose of placing another power
The vote of credit asked for by the govern- as a block to a Russian advance on Constantiment had been granted by a large majority. Dople. The organization of these provinces was Prince Gortschakoff had declared that, far from left to Austria. Roumania, Servia, and Monmarching onward, the Russian troops had tenegro were to be independent, the latter state been ordered everywhere to cease from further receiving the seaport of Antivari and some hostilities; the British Mediterranean fleet adjoining territory. The Balkans were to be had been sent to Constantinople. On the 3rd the southern frontier of Bulgaria, which was of March, 1878, a treaty of peace between made tributary to the sultan, but with an inRussia and Turkey was signed at St. Stefano, dependent government under a prince elected by which Russia, while securing the freedom by the people, with the assent of the contractof the Christian populations from Turkish ing powers and the confirmation of the sultan. rule, would not only have claimed a large war South of the Balkans a state was to be created indemnity, but would have expanded Bul- called Eastern Roumelia, which was to be garia into a state, of which she would practi- under the direct authority of the sultan, who, cally have had control. This treaty was at however, was not to send thither any of those once denounced by Lord Derby as an at- irregular troops whose atrocities had aroused tempted readjustment of the treaty of Paris, so much indignation. Roumania was to rewithout the consent of the other contracting store to Russia a part of Bessarabia which had powers, while Lord Beaconsfield represented been detached by the treaty of 1856, and in that it would virtually give Russia control exchange was to receive from Russia part of over the whole of south-eastern Europe. It the Dobrudscha, including Silistria and Magwas demanded that the terms of a treaty nolia. The Porte was bound to come to some should be considered in a conference at Ber- arrangement with Greece for the rectification lin, and the demand was accompanied by of the frontier; to "apply to Crete the organic demonstrations, in which Lord Derby could law of 1868;" to hand over to Russia Ardahan, not concur, since he regarded them as ap- Kars, and Batoum; and to pay a war indeniproaching to a declaration of war. The reserve nity. forces were called out, and it was afterwards The congress having concluded its sittings, kuown that orders had been sent to the Indian with a settlement by which Russia did not government to send 7000 native troops to do very badly after all, Lord Beaconsfield Malta, and that we had prepared to occupy returned to London, where he was received the island of Cyprus, and land an armed force with enthusiastic acclamation, and after a on the coast of Syria.
kind of ceremonial procession from the railLord Derby feeling that he could not re- way-station addressed the multitude from a main in the ministry sent in his resignation, window of the Foreign Office. He said: “Lord and the Marquis of Salisbury was appointed Salisbury and myself bave brought you back to the direction of foreign affairs, Mr. Ga- peace, but a peace, I hope, with honour, which
Ι thorne Hardy (Lord Cranbrook) taking the may satisfy our sovereign, and tend to the welIndia office. After much contention Russia fare of the country.” For some time afterwards DIFFICULTIES IN AFGHANISTAN.
" peace with honour” was a motto or watch- ready to resent his reception of advances that word. Lord John Russell had used the phrase were friendly. In 1878, when the result of the live-and-twenty years before, when in a speech protests made against Russia's advance upon at Greenock he had said: “If peace cannot be the Turkish provinces was uncertain, a Rusmaintained with honour it is no longer peace.” sian envoy was sent' to Cabul with the appaThe Berlin treaty was accomplished, and rent object of concluding some kind of alliance Lord Beaconsfield's presence at the confer- with the Ameer. This, of course, would, if ence may have had considerable effect. Not not frustrated, have been a serious injury to the effect which the Jingoes attributed to it, that imperial policy which had found some however; for, so far as England was concerned, expression by an addition to the royal title instead of the terms of the treaty having been which was to be used only in relation to India. proposed and settled by acute and authorita- If Russia sent an envoy England must have tive discussion, it was afterwards discovered a mission. The changes which had been that there had been a“ diplomatic correspond- made in the office of viceroy of India in 1876 ence" and secret engagements with Russia and had led to the resignation of Lord NorthTurkey, which in effect had already settled brook, and Lord Lytton (better known to most of the clauses of the proposed treaty, readers of verse by his nom de plume of Owen and had been agreed on and signed at the Meredith), the son of the brilliant novelist, Foreign Office before the meeting of the con- succeeded him, for what reason or what special gress.
capacity nobody seems to have discovered at
that time. He was prepared to carry out the We have not yet done with the Eastern policy of the government, and, without regard question.
to the protests of Shere Ali, the mission was While the treaty of Berlin was supposed to sent to Cabul. It was stopped on the frontier shut the front gate to India, the marauder by an officer of the Ameer, who refused to seemed to be plotting to gain an entrance by allow it to pass till he had the authority of the back door.
his chief. This was regarded as a deliberate We have already noted the early distur- refusal, the manner of which demanded a rebances in connection with the occupation of sort to force; and a British force supported Cabul.' It now seemed as if that terrible story the mission and marched to Gandamuk, a was about to be repeated. Dost Mahomed place between Jellalabad and Cabul, where had left as his successor the Ameer Shere Ali, they formed a camp. Meantime Shere Ali whose claims were resisted by the other sons, his son Yakoob Khan, with whom he so that after many vicissitudes of war he did had quarrelled, came to the throne, professed not gain firm possession of the Afghan capital a desire to be on friendly terms with the till 1868. He conceived that he had little British, and went into the camp. A treaty reason to love the English, who had refused to was entered into to pay the Ameer £60,000 guarantee him against the advance of Russia, a year in exchange for the frontier, the and had recognized his rivals Afzul Khan and “scientific frontier," as Lord Beaconsfield had Azim Khan as de facto rulers of Cabul during called it, to be occupied by the British. A their successful resistance to his claims. In British representative was to be resident at 1869 Lord Mayo, the viceroy-whose assassi- Cabul, and the Ameer was to be assisted to nation by a native in the Andaman Islands defend himself against any foreign enemy. was one of the darkest events in 1872–had Almost before the ink of the treaty was dry, paid him an official visit and furnished him and while the sound of applause at the dexwith six lacs of rupees and some artillery. terity with which we had occupied Cabul and
We had refused to protect him against the Candahar, and so could keep Russia out of hostile advances of Russia; but we were equally India, was still ringing, news came that Sir
Louis Cavagnari, the English envoy, and 1 Vol. i. p. 288; vol. ii. p. 7.
nearly all the officers of the mission with the