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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 458

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obligations of Cyprus ; all the Turkish ports would be open to our ships. The occupation of Cyprus would therefore suggest that a far-seeing government had doubted the integrity of Turkey, and had therefore determined to secure a pied-à-ierre in a strategical position that would command the east of the Mediterranean. Upon this point opinions will again differ, and I quote the words of one of the most experienced statesmen and an ex-minister of the Upper House, who writes :— " The objections to Cyprus as a military and naval station are shortly these. It will oblige us to establish a garrison, and therefore to increase and divide our forces in the Mediterranean. There must be barracks, hospitals, store-houses, &c. After all this expenditure Cyprus will weaken rather than strengthen our power. " Famagousta may be made a good harbour ; but how can it be defended ? The ships will not be, as in Malta, defended by batteries projecting far beyond the anchorage ; Famagousta will require ships of war to defend it, or batteries constructed on the breakwater— a most costly undertaking. As a coaling-station it is not wanted, because colliers accompanying the fleet are much more convenient. If, in short, we are supreme at sea, Cyprus is not wanted ; if we are not supreme, Cyprus will be an incumbrance. " I acknowledge the force of a portion of the argument, and no one can more highly respect the distinguished authority I have quoted, who, as an ex-First Lord of the Admiralty of practical experience, must carry the great weight of his ability and position ; but I would suggest that Famagousta is underrated. I have already described that powerful fortress, and in its present condition, if mounted with forty-ton guns upon the sea-face, I doubt the possibility of an attack from

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