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little paper published at Patras, which is called Own Tv ’Emlotpárov ("The Reservists' Voice'). This venomous rag is, as the name implies, the organ of the League of Reservists, a Tammany organisation which German money has set up in Greece, with the encouragement of King Constantine, in order to frustrate by the merest hooliganism any serious consideration of the political ideals proposed by M. Venizelos. This official publication of the League is given up to illiterate abuse of Venizelos and his followers, and to highly metaphorical flattery of King Constantine, who, in spite of his leonine attributes, is in need, it seems, of many defenders. But the number which appeared after Rumania's declaration of war contains none of the stock metaphors about ungrateful vipers, and none of the demonstrations which might have been expected of Rumanian folly in joining the wrong side. On the contrary, the comment, to one's surprise, is all in the vein of almost congratulating Rumania on having succeeded, presumably, in driving a satisfactory bargain with Russia, and in securing a signed, sealed, and official contract with the Entente Powers. There is not a word about the nobility of Germany ; but the sagacity of Rumania is contrasted with the merely moral and chivalrous enthusiasm of Venizelos. Venizelos himself, in the course of his great speech to the Hellenic Chamber on October 4, 1915—the speech which preceded his final dismissal by King Constantine—was careful to take into account the underlying cynicism of his audience.
'We must indeed take into consideration that every one of the Great Powers has its particular interests to serve. But I believe that with reference to Oriental problems, in the sphere of which our own national problems are comprised, it is the two Western Powers whose interests can be best harmonised with our own. Greece understands to-day that we cannot expect foreigners to befriend us. What we must do is always to seek out and find, among those whose interests best accord with our own, one or two who will work and fight at our side.'
My remarks are intended to suggest the conclusion that if the British Foreign Office, or the united Foreign Ministries of the Allies, had spent as much money or displayed as much energy as the Germans in attaching and retaining the margin of undecided opinion in Greece, M. Venizelos would now be as fairly established in Athens as he was before the war, to the great advantage not only of the Allies but of the Greek people.
ional probiental problems or serve. But I beli the
The answer, of course, will be that although war has obliged England to adopt German methods of organisation and militarism at home, she has no wish to imitate Germany in her treatment of neutral nations. Happily, however, there was no need for England to depart from justice in order to display resolution. A resolute policy in Greece would have been fully justified by her rights as a Protecting Power Greece does not stand to the Entente in the relation of an ordinary neutral State. It has been clearly shown by a conspectus of the relevant treaties contributed to · The Times' (November 28 and 29), as well as in a cogent article by Dr. R. M. Burrows in ‘The
New Europe' (a weekly periodical which marks an epoch in English journalism by devoting itself solely to foreign affairs), that England, France, and Russia possess certain exceptional rights of intervention in Greece, which permit them to secure the good government of the Greek people without diminishing the independence of the Greek State.
Anyone who cares to follow the complicated negotiations that passed between London, Paris, and St. Petersburg while Turkey was crushing the life out of the Greek Revolution can trace the origin of those rights. The fact that stands out is that a hundred years ago England, France, and Russia were the only Powers in Europe who cared enough for freedom to rescue the Greek nation from the Turkish Empire. The Balkan problem in all its successive phases is only a result of the incomplete dissolution of Turkish Imperialism. Wellington and Nesselrode first decided on intervention in 1826, and after France had joined them, and the fleets of the Three Powers had stunned Turkey with an unpremeditated blow at the battle of Navarino in the following year, they proceeded with their negotiations, which culminated in the Protocol of London (1830). That agreement, with the negotiations which led up to and succeeded it, made the Three Powers the agents of the Hellenic race throughout the world for securing the good government of the new Greek State which was then inaugurated. It has been elaborated and confirmed by many subsequent documents, of which it is only necessary to mention here the treaty of May 7, 1832, by which the throne of Greece was offered to Prince Otho of Bavaria by the Three Powers' duly authorised for this purpose by the Greek nation'; and the treaty of July 13, 1863, which records, after the deposition of Otho, the arrangements to be taken in order 'to give effect to the wish of the Greek nation,'confers the crown on Prince George of Denmark, and supplements the original guarantee of national independence by the insertion of the word 'constitutional '—an evident attempt to remind the new sovereign and his successors that Otho's expulsion was the result of his Bavarian manners and his failure to observe the spirit of the written constitution imposed on him in 1843. The agreement of February 3, 1830, has been supplemented, but its main provisions have never been superseded. Its validity was explicitly reaffirmed in 1862 when the Greek people, in opposition to the self-denying clause contained in it, proposed to choose their King from the reigning House of England.
Finally, the agreement of 1830 foresees the possibility of the Three Powers, by mutual consent, landing troops in the territory of the new Greek State. By a curious coincidence the second half of Clause 8, which embodies that provision, is omitted from the White Paper in current use ('Treaties of
Guarantee,' 1898), so that its very existence might have been forgotten but for the invaluable handbook of Professor Holland, who not only gives the full text but prints the second half of Clause 8 in the Roman type which distinguishes such portions of the documents as are still in force.
Such is the origin of the exceptional rights of the Protecting Powers; and it is impossible to question their validity, for they proceed from a guarantee given, not to an individual or a dynasty, but to the Greek people. Lord Clarendon, whose words at the Conference of Paris in 1856 are quoted in ‘The Times' articles already referred to, declared that the 'well-being and
prosperity of the Greek people' were the objects to be attained, and the pursuit of those objects clearly involves a practical mandate to secure any necessary reforms in the internal government of the country. Whether the democratic control of foreign policy is necessary to the 'well-being and
prosperity' of a small community whose citizens are almost morbidly conscious of their political dignity is a question which need not be discussed, for King Constantine's secret and
dynastic' diplomacy is far from being the only feature of his reign that has infringed the rights of his subjects. In any case there can be no question as to the validity of the treaty
rights of the three Protecting Powers to intervene in Greece between King and People, or even, let it be said, between a constitutional and an unconstitutional party—for it would be idle to ignore the fact that since his first unconstitutional intervention in September 1915 King Constantine has acquired by corruption and calumny a sufficiently solid body of adherents. Unfortunately there are reasons for thinking that our policy in Greece was originally misguided by Viscount Grey's reluctance to sanction any dealings with a small Power which might be misinterpreted in neutral countries as being high-handed, or as resembling German conduct avowedly based on the theory that might is right.
King Constantine's defenders have not been silent even in this country. Even British officials have busied themselves in London society in defending the interests of Athenian royalty, and in promoting the legend that King Constantine is a very fine fellow whom we have treated very badly, and that Venizelos in an adventurer whom we had no business to encourage. Certain it is that many Englishmen in Greece have been bluffed into admiring King Constantine by the simple fact that he drinks whisky and soda. The political basis of the defence of King Constantine was not less irrelevant. It was argued that a small Power, already exhausted by the wars of 1912 and 1913, might desire very properly to keep out of the tumultuous and bloody mess of European war, and that England and France had no right to take advantage of their status as Protecting Powers in order to press Greece to exchange a safe neutrality for risks which might be fatal to a State so much smaller than themselves. The answer to the first point is that States which do not want to fight should not contract defensive alliances with their neighbours; the answer to the second point is that although the conduct of the King would have remained unconstitutional and dishonourable, there would have been no pressure put upon him by the Entente Powers had he maintained the neutrality he professed.
It may be doubted whether King Constantine's attempts to explain away his treacherous desertion of Serbia have ever been taken seriously by anyone in the world. He certainly did not take them seriously himself, for neither he nor any of his puppets ever thought of inventing them until the repudiation of the treaty, on German instructions, was a dishonour accomplished. If ever there was in the whole history of diplomacy an unquestionable casus foederis, it was that which was precipitated by the Bulgarian attack on Serbia in the first days of October 1915; and that was the moment chosen by King Constantine to dismiss Venizelos, whose policy of supporting Serbia according to the treaty, explained in his great speech of October 4, had just received the full confidence of the Hellenic Chamber. The events which led up to that royal defiance of the constitution are still more significant. M. Maccas has shown, in an admirable chapter which traces the whole inception and history of the Greco-Serbian Treaty with the fullest documentation and many references to the press of all parties, that until August 1915 the validity of the defensive alliance between Greece and Serbia in case of a Bulgarian attack had never been so much as questioned even by the most fanatical opponents of Venizelos.
On the outbreak of the European war, Venizelos, after consultation and in full agreement with the Serbian authorities, decided that the best service which Greece could render to her Serbian ally, in view of the strategic position of the Serbian armies on the Austrian frontier, would be to take no active part in the war, but to maintain an attitude of watchful neutrality, so as to guard against the possibility of a Bulgarian surprise and to keep open Serbia's indispensable line of communication with Salonica. This policy was publicly explained by Venizelos on the 30th of September 1914, when it received the unanimous approval of the Hellenic Chamber. At that time the undisputed interpretation of the treaty was that it created a potential obligation, inasmuch as Greece must automatically commence hostilities the moment Bulgaria sided with the Central Powers.
Accordingly Greece maintained (in spite of German solicitations insinuated through Venizelos' Foreign Minister Streit, who resigned when they were rejected and has ever since played the part of German conscience to the King) an attitude of extraordinarily benevolent neutrality. There is even ground for thinking that after the Austrians had been driven out of Serbia in November 1914 they abandoned the idea of a renewed offensive (in February 1915) for fear of provoking the active participation of Greece. It was indeed in January and February 1915, after negotiations with England, that Venizelos