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of the surplus, which is to be paid to the central government. This statute was duly accepted by the Porte, but no serious attempt was made to carry it into effect. The same may be said of the promised reforms in Armenia. On July 5, a general scheme of reforms for that province was laid before the Powers in a circular despatch from the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs. But on September 7, in a collective note addressed by the ambassadors at Constantinople to the Porte, it was pointed out that this scheme did not in any way provide for the “local wants” of the population, as required by the 61st article of the Treaty of Berlin; that in order to do this the communes and administrative groups should be so divided as to separate the settled population from the semi-nomadic tribes, and the appropriation of the local revenues be regulated on the same principle as that laid down in the Organic Statute for the European provinces, which should also determine the tenure of office and extent of the functions of the governors-general; and that it was absolutely necessary “to carry out, without loss of time, the reforms intended to secure the life and property of the Armenians, to take immediate measures against the incursions of the Kurds, to carry out at once the proposed system of finance, to place the gendarmerie provisionally on a more satisfactory footing, and, above all, to give to the governors-general greater security of office and a more extended responsibility.” No direct reply was given to this note, but in its circular of October 6 the Porte announced that reforms for Armenia were in progress, and a division of Armenia into administrative districts was actually carried out, which, however, gave great dissatisfaction to the Christian population, as the districts were so divided as to give the Mahomedans a majority in each. In other respects the state of anarchy which has prevailed in Armenia since the Russo-Turkish war has not materially altered ; and it has indeed been aggravated by the formation of a Kurdish league, which, like the league of the Albanians, and of the Wallachs of Thrace and Macedonia, aims at securing for its chiefs a position of semi-independence in the Turkish Empire, similar to that of the present governor-general of Eastern Roumelia or of the princes of Roumania and Servia before the late war.
During the latter part of the year there were but few incidents deserving of record in the minor States of the Balkan peninsula. Bulgaria, like Eastern Roumelia, still remained under Russian influence, and the unionist agitation became less demonstrative, under direct orders, it was said, from St. Petersburg, although in December the Zankoff Ministry was succeeded by one formed by M. Karaveloff, the chief of the Radical party. In Roumania there was an attempt (which, however, had no political significance) to assassinate the premier, M. Bratiano, on December 14; and the question of the succession to the throne, which had been raised in consequence of the probability of the reigning prince remaining childless, was settled by the prince adopting his brother's eldest son as heir, on condition that he should comply with the Roumanian constitution by joining the Greek Church. The Roumanians, who have not forgotten the ingratitude displayed by Russia in claiming the retrocession of Bessarabia after a war in which they had been the most valuable of her allies, now gravitated to the side of Austria. The same tendency was shown by Servia, ber Prime Minister, M. Ristitch-known as “the Servian Cavour "-having been obliged to resign in consequence of his opposition to the claim of the Austrian Government that Austrian goods should be admitted into Servia on the same footing as those of “the most favoured nation.” The elections which followed gave the new Conservative Ministry of MM. Miyatovich and Garaschanin an overwhelming majority, thereby proving that the Servian people had had enough of the policy of adventure which had been pursued not without success, but at an enormous sacrifice of blood and treasure, for the past four years by M. Ristitch,
MINOR STATES OF EUROPE.
I. SPAIN. II. PORTUGAL. III. BELGIUM. IV. THE NETHERLANDS.
V. SWITZERLAND. VI. NORWAY. VII. SWEDEN. VIII. DENMARK..
I. SPAIN. The first act of the Cortes on reassembling after the holidays was to appoint delegates of the two Chambers to congratulate the King on his escape from Otero's attempt. Señor Canovas, the Prime Minister, took occasion to express his regret at the continued absence of the representatives of the Opposition from the sittings. All attempts, however, to persuade them to abandon the line they had seen fit to adopt were fruitless; and the explanation of the events of the sitting of December 10 previous, by the Prime Minister, provoked by Señor Guell y Rentè, in the Senate, although regarded as generally satisfactory, failed to conciliate the Opposition, who held that as the affront, supposed or real, was put upon its members in Congress, it was in that House that the Ministerial explanations should be made. This Señor Canovas refused to do spontaneously. At length an agreement was arrived at. On January 26, in the Congress, and in reply to a speech delivered by Señor Posada Herrera, Señor Canovas repeated substantially what he had already said in the other House, declaring that, in respect to what took place on December 10, he had had no intention to offend the minorities. In a meeting of the latter, held the next day, after some discussion, during which a fraction of the Assembly was with difficulty induced to yield, it was resolved that they should return to their seats, which was accordingly done on the 29th, the incident being thus brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
Meanwhile the Opposition had not been inactive. General Martinez Campos had formally taken his seat on that side of the Senate in anticipation of the Cuban Slavery Bill, which passed the Lower House on January 20, and Señor Canovas had scarcely improved his position by shelving in the Presidential chair the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Conde de Toreno, and assuming the vacant portfolio. The tactics resorted to by the Opposition were those of minute criticism and delay, culminating on February 28 in a vote of censure on the Minister of War for his conduct of the campaign in Cuba. The debate gave rise to a somewhat curious imbroglio, the inculpated Minister directing his speech rather to a censure of the President, Conde de Toreno, than to the attacks of his opponents. The Minister of War appealed to the Ministerial majority to censure a former colleague, on the ground that he had allowed a damaging motion to be proposed without the necessary sanction of the various sections of the House.
On recognising, however, the doubtful expediency of such a proposal, and on wishing to withdraw it, the Opposition intervened and insisted upon the motion being maintained. The President then sided with the Ministry, and withdrew from discussion the vote of censure upon himself; whereupon the Opposition in its turn proposed a vote of censure on the President, who, on this occasion, was defended by Señor Canovas, who urged the majority to reject the proposal. The minority then, rather than afford Señor Canovas the opportunity for a triumph, withdrew the motion, and matters were at length settled ; but not without loss of dignity by the President and prestige by the Ministry.
In the Senate the conflict reached its climax on March 4. A telegram found in the Archives of the Ministry of the Colonies, relating to administrative and judicial irregularities formerly existing in Cuba, was read by Señor Canovas, and provoked from General Martinez Campos a spirited retort. Amongst other things he declared that Señor Canovas, who was always dreaming of conspiracies, had recalled him from Cuba, and suggested him to the King as a Minister, in order to carry out those reforms in Cuba he (Martinez Campos) had proposed, but to which the Prime Minister was bitterly hostile. In his reply, Señor Canovas failed to assign any other reason for the General's recall than the prestige be enjoyed. This squabble, though unimportant in itself, beyond showing the fear entertained by Canovas of anyone's popularity besides his own, nevertheless opened up a long debate on Cuban affairs, from which it became clear that the insurrectionary state of the island was an indisputable fact. In the course of the discussion the Marquis de Orovis, Minister of Finance, accused the Reformistas (i.e., those who stood up for Cuban reforms) of of passive resistance would be altered. The new Minister, though one of the authors of the plan of military reorganisation, which now had some prospect of being at last carried out, besides being a rigid Conservative, had taken a leading part in the formation of the Albanian League, and had organised the resistance offered to the Austrian troops when they advanced towards Novi-Bazar. Nor, although Osman had been dismissed by the Sultan in a moment of anger, did he thereby forfeit his sovereign's favour. He still continued to be one of the ruling spirits at the palace, together with Saïd Pasha, the ex-Grand Vizier, and the influence of these two men frequently overruled the advice of the Cabinet.
The remarkable contest which now followed between the Porte on the one hand, and the six Powers on the other, showed that the Sultan had in no degree wavered in his determination to resist European pressure. In the reply given on July 26 by Abeddin Pasha to the collective note stating the decision of the Berlin Conference, the Porte stated that in signing the Treaty of Berlin, which merely expresses a wish for the rectification of the Greek frontier in Epirus and Thessaly, it did not expect to receive a proposal from the Powers for the cession of Albania with the whole of Thessaly—a cession the effect of which would be 6 to annex to the Greek kingdom a territory almost equal in extent to one-half of the present territory of that kingdom.” Further, the Powers had stated that they had instructed their plenipotentiaries at the Berlin Conference to fix a “solid defensive frontier” between Greece and Turkey; but such a frontier should at least guarantee the Porte against an attack on the part of Greece, whereas the cession of so important a military position as Metzovo to that Power would expose the Turkish provinces on the frontier to attacks against which the Porte would be defenceless. The despatch added that the proposed frontier is even more objectionable from a political point of view. It would not be possible for the Porte to consent to the cession to Greece of Janina, which the Albanians have always regarded as their capital, for by so doing “it would provoke grave complications which might compromise the peaceful exercise of its authority in that portion of European Turkey.” Equal difficulties would be encountered in the cession of Larissa, an important town the majority of whose population is Mahomedan, and which is surrounded by a number of Mahomedan districts and villages. “How could his Imperial Majesty the Sultan, Caliph and Chief of the Mahomedan religion, in face of the solicitude manifested by the Christian Powers of Europe in favour of a Christian kingdom, sacrifice a large town which is essentially Mahomedan, and thereby alienate not only its inhabitants, which are imploring the imperial protection, but the whole Mahomedan world?” The despatch finally points out that even M. Waddington, who had taken the initiative in proposing the rectification of the Greek antier at the Congress, did not hesitate to exclude from the ter
"y to be ceded to Greece the town of Janina and the Albanian course of action to be followed. Meanwhile the policy of the Ministry abroad was a reflection of the work at home.
By a vote of the Congress, April 22, Cuban reforms had been deferred till after the negotiation of a treaty of commerce with the United States. In May, Mazari's conspiracy having failed, forty-two prisoners were condemned to be shot. The Governor, General Blanco, having asked for instructions as to the execution of the gentlemen, the Home Government left him to use his own discretion in the matter; and the penalty was thereupon commuted. This act of clemency did more to bring about a reconciliation with the National party in the island than any of the long series of coercive measures ordered from Madrid. Within a few weeks General Blanco was able to convey the welcome intelligence that Cuba was pacified, and that the leaders of the insurrection had accepted the terms offered; which included a reduction in the number of working hours to be exacted from black labourers, and the prohibition of corporal punishment. These laws were approved by the Council of State on June 23, and the new Cuban loan for 260,250,000 pesetas was opened throughout Spain a week later, and immediately covered by subscriptions for nearly three times the amount required.
It was not, however, until September that the Cuban leaders, Carrillo and Pigneas, surrendered, while the last band of insurgents was dispersed at the end of November, and on December 15 peace was officially proclaimed in the island.
In anticipation of the elections for provincial deputies in September, there was during the previous month a considerable stir among political parties. At a Conference held at St. Sebastian by some of the Opposition leaders, it was decided to take part in the elections. But this decision was generally disregarded. The opponents of the Ministry, as a rule, abstained from voting, and, except in the Basque Provinces and Valencia, the Government party won the day everywhere. In the Basque Provinces, where the Carlist element prevailed, the Ministerialists gave their support to the candidates of the fraction of the Carlist party known as la pega; but the other fraction, the puros, in conjunction with some Democratic groups, obtained majorities in more than half the electoral districts. Towards this result the sermons of the clergy had in some measure contributed, and these were the more difficult to control as they were delivered in the Basque language, but imperfectly understood by the officials of the central Govern
Consequently, with a view to banish politics from the pulpit, two decrees were issued in October prohibiting sermons in Basque, and assimilating the provincial and municipal laws of those provinces to the rest of Spain. This was resented, in their sermons, by the parish priests of Lequeytio and of Zumaya. The former, Namo Garagarza, an ex-Jesuit, was, at first, ordered to be expelled from Spain ; but this sentence was subsequently modified to banishment from his diocese (Vittoria). Some division