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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 361

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The opinions that I personally offer are based upon ] the assumption that England can never recede from j the position she has assumed in Cyprus, which she , must continue, for better or for worse, as a point of 1 honour. Any abandonment of the protection we have J afforded to the inhabitants would tend to aggravate j their position, should they return to the authority of ' the Porte, and their only hope would lie in the I occupation of our empty bed by France, who certainly J requires a coaling depot towards the east of the I Mediterranean. Should we wash our hands of Cyprus, and evacuate it in a similar manner to Corfu, we should become the laughing-stock of Europe, and no future step taken by England in the form of a " pro-1 tectorate " would ever be relied upon. Had we retained Corfu to the present moment, no doubt' would have existed as to any change in our intentions respecting Cyprus, but the precedent established by our retirement from that grand strategical position has borne its fruit in the want of confidence now felt by all classes in the permanence of our new acquisition. It will be admitted that a general want of elasticity has succeeded to the first bound of expectation that was raised by the sudden announcement of a Britishoccupation ; the government cannot be held responsible for the disappointment of rash adventurers, but their " true responsibility commenced when they assumed the charge of the inhabitants of Cyprus. The first year of the new administration has been marked by a minimum rainfall that has caused the destruction of all crops dependent upon the natural water-supply of seasons, and this partial famine of the first year off our occupation is generally regarded as a disaster. Although disastrous, I believe the serious warning

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