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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 464

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• XIX.] P OLITICAL R EFLECTIONS. 4 17 shall be made at any future time by Russia to take possession of any further territories of his Imperial Majesty the Sultan in Asia asfixed by the definitive treaty of peace, England engages to join his Imperial Majesty the Sultan in defending them by force of arms. " In a despatch from Lord Salisbury to Sir A. H. Layard, dated 30th May, 1878, these ominous words are contained :— " Even if it be certain that Batoum and Ardahan and Κ ars will not become the base from which emissaries of intrigue will issue forth, to be in due time followed by invading armies, the mere retention of them by Russia will exercise a powerful influence in disintegrating the Asiatic dominion of the Porte. " In the same lengthy despatch the conditions are described which Turkey must fulfil in reforming the abuses of the present administration, &c. &c, and there can be no doubt that the British government contemplated the necessity of supplanting a considerable number of the peculant Turkish officials by experienced English officers, whose supervision would ensure the necessary reforms. If such a course should have been accepted by the Porte there could be no question of the salutary effect, as the presence of British officials in actual authority throughout the provinces of Asia Minor would have proved to the various races our positive determination to uphold their rights, and to defend them from the oppression and extortion to which they had been subjected. Such a position would have given England the control that is absolutely necessary to effect the reforms in the administration of Asia Minor, without which the result will be anarchy and revolution within a few years,

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