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divided on internal questions? It was, of course, after urgent request that the Balkan Committee accepted the invitation of the Young Turks, and organised a delegation to congratulate them in person. If anywhere in the world they had not earned a welcome, that place, they would have thought, was the capital of Turkey. The delegates lost no opportunity of insuring that the generous hospitality of the Committee of Union was not based on ignorance of our former policy. In this we were assisted by the new German organ, the Osmanischer Lloyd, which, voicing the very natural chagrin of the Teutonic element at the supersession of Germany by England in Turkey's friendship, gave a verbatim exposé of our previous hostile writings. But the missile returned like a boomerang upon the thrower. The Turkish papers declined to take the smallest notice, and the Committee of Union expressed itself publicly to this effect : 'We are quite familiar with your policy, and we have invited you because you attacked, as we do, the old régime. You did not believe in the Young Turks, and we were sorry for this, because we saw that your motives were similar to ours. But we could not communicate with you, for we had to work in secret. So we decided to convince you, not by words, but by deeds.' 'Yes,' said an officer, “everyone knows that you wished to erase Turkey from the map. That is why the papers are thanking us for convincing even you, the most active of Turkey's former foes, and so for winning the friendship of England.'
It remains to gauge the reformers' aims and their power. They make no boast of their advanced views, having, it seems, a disinclination to boast at all. One forms the impression that the main idea is of patriotism-a notion not only of saving their country but of governing decently. Many of them have been in Europe. All are familiar with the European custom of living at peace and enjoying the fruits of the earth. Though free thought has its influence among them, they are not as Western freethinkers. The appeal to Islam as the basis of democracy is consistently and seriously made. Yet the idea of science, of seeing things as they are and using them accordingly, this, I imagine, was behind the remarks of a Young Turk who described to me the new distaste for violence. His command of French would only allow him to explain that liberty, like material progress and order, is simply logique.
The establishment of an idée Ottomane, transcending existing nationalisms, is a superhuman and novel task. Our own Empire has an easier field ; yet its successes are not, even so, universal. Imagination is essential to the work, and one fears that here, perhaps, the Turk may fail. There is ominous talk of curtailing the privileges of the great Christian Churches; of enforcing the Turkish language in the schools; an apparent inability to realise the age-long sense of grievance that has to be allayed. And yet, when Bulgarian and Greek have protested, a welcome spirit of conciliation has appeared. A new M.P. from Macedonia, of whom I think much will be heard remarked : 'We will make them Ottomans by fair competition, so that the man who wants the best training for his son will send him to the Turkish school.' There are signs that the danger from Chauvinism will disappear.
Above all, the Young Turks know that, far beyond national rights or any question kindred to home rule, the condition of English friendship is that they administer impartial justice to every religion and race and actively suppress crime. They have freely advanced the difficulties of meeting this condition at once; but their practice has 50 far been better than their promise, and I believe the danger to lie more in lack of energy and in defective police organisation than in any fear of Mohammedan resentment at the loss of the old ascendancy.
Finally, it is an admitted fact that the Young Turks are enemies, not only of inefficiency and disorder, but of corruption too.
But goodwill is not enough. Have the Young Turks the power also ? One hears it said that their influence is waning, and again that they are too actively interfering with the Government. They themselves claim almost unlimited power, not boastfully but incidentally; and since they allude to this in company where it would be more to their advantage to keep silence, one inclines to accept their allusions as evidence. Appearances are on the same side. Ministers and officials naturally resent the dictation of these young
It is no doubt salutary, but would surely be resisted if not backed by force majeure. The Young Turks assert that ministers are their employés, that no member of the Cabinet could possibly work against the Committee. They have no enemy in the press; Learly all the deputies are associated with them, and two-thirds of the present Senate. Their only rival is the 'Liberal Union of Prince Cabaeddin, which is more liberal still. The Prince, who explains lus policy with the brilliance of a clever Parisian, considers “the Committee' both too Chauvinist and too opportunist. * aiministrative decentralisation, provincial councils with control of be police. His followers are working in harmony with the Greeks.
When Parliament has settled to its work the Prince's party may appear as an 'Extreme Left,' a kind of ‘Liberal Forwards.' The Committee of Union will necessarily change also. It has been an anomalous budy, at once secret and semi-official, admirably adapted to the time; a committee of public safety. It will become a political propasarda, running candidates and educating opinion, but also, as at present intended, establishing schools of political science.
At present the Committee does what it likes. The time of ministers, the Imperial palaces, the attention of the Sultan himself, seem to be
at its disposal. In the early days, when a warship was first brought from the Golden Horn and anchored before the Sultan's palace, it is said that His Majesty furiously commanded the naval minister to take it away. The minister replied that the Committee insisted ; he had no power. It is added that the Sultan, in impotent rage, relieved his feelings by hurling a vitreous missile at the minister. Right or wrong, the story illustrates the popular view of the Committee's power.
Whether or not all hopes will be fulfilled, two good things are certain : first, that the Hamidian régime in its hated form will not return; second, that, even if Macedonia could be dealt with by the Powers, the rest of the Empire has most to gain by the success of Young Turkey. The Armenians are foremost in asking that we should give the new order a chance; unquestionably the Turkish revolutionaries have earned it.
Difficulties abound ; every possible aid is needed ; and there are those who think that the tradition of bloodshed is too old to change. But Islam, like Christianity, may have altered its habit of mind. May it not be possible that the East, following the West, is turning from fanaticism and cruelty ? The modern spirit is in the air. Ignorance is decreasing. At the American College Turks worship with Christians; and when the polls were declared at Constantinople hojas and priests offered common supplications to a common God. The ground may be volcanic below; so is human nature everywhere yet the surface grows cooler. .
The beauty of the fairest city in the world, but yesterday marrec by misery, is now glorified by great hopes. Through the influence o our country, if in every way she gives her best help, those hopes may be fulfilled. Interest and duty point for the present the same way To our old liking for the honest Turk we may with confidence and we must with judicious energy, give free rein.
NOEL BUXTON. Constantinople, December 1908.
THE LORDS AND THE LICENSING BILL
I BECOLLECT once hearing Mr. Gladstone lay down the principles upon which a good Review article should be written : it was at breakfasttime, and Mr. Gladstone was in excellent form and spirits. The right thing to do, he said, was to state the points or propositions you set out to establish, and so conduct your operations as to be able at the end of the paper to restate them and to claim that they had been proven. . 'I have never myself felt intellectually courageous enough to hazard any such adventure'-or was it exercise'?I forget, but, anyhow, he rang the changes and amused himself and the company for some little time on these lines, finishing up by saying that if felt
brave the writer should also define his own position, always a very terrible thing to do.'
Now at the outset I feel I can do nothing of the kind recommended by Mr. Gladstone, nor can I, like Æneas, plead the excuse of a pressing invitation for reverting at considerable length to distressing experiences. However, like that formal hero, incipiam; that is, I will take the risks of realising my own impression of the recent performances of the House of Lords, reviewed after an interval of three weeks and illuminated, as I suppose, to some extent, by a recent speech of the Prime Minister at a convivial gathering of his party. Turning for a moment to that speech, I do not think that what Mr. Asquith had to say about the meeting at Lansdowne House amounted to very much—that is, the objections he advanced against that meeting which were condensed or lozenged in the alliterative epigram of ' Closure by Caucus.' Let us for a moment assume that quite the reverse had happened at Lansdowne House ; that Lord Lansdowne had called his friends together to advise them to accord the Bill a second reading and to reserve themselves for its critical amendment in Committee. Let us further suppose that he took this course, knowing the views taken by most of his people ; the views, for instance, expressed later in the debate, of Lord Malmesbury, Lord Harris, Lord Halsbury, the Bishop of Bristol, and Lord Robertson, who all seemed convinced of the ethical value of the quiet jollity' of the public-house-I quote Lord Robertson-or the
views taken by Lord Hill and Lord Cawdor and Lord Faber, who held that the provisions of the Bill-granting its good intentions—imposed impediments upon the course of progressive temperance. Let us again further suppose that Lord Lansdowne succeeded in persuading his party to waive their inclinations or opinions and to vote for the second reading. What would have been said about the meeting at Lansdowne House then by Lord Crewe in the House of Lords or by Mr. Asquith at the National Liberal Club ? We should, obviously, have been losers of the alliterative epigram in Northumberland Avenue, and of the famous house in a famous square' at Westminster; but my impression is that Lord Lansdowne, and possibly those who act with him, would have been complimented in a few rounded sentences which would have recognised and exhibited the course adopted as worthy of his statesmanship and of his party's sound sense.
Be that as it may. Let me pass on to what has actually taken place. Of course, since the Bill was thrown out, the usual declarations have been made, and the customary assurances have been given by the Prime Minister at the National Liberal Club dinner ; the Chief Whip, speaking to a less influential audience, but presupposing their general desire for his counsels, advised the organisations to keep their powder dry; Mr. Birrell and Mr. Lough, Mr. Lloyd George--no suitable Pollux occurs to me to couple with Mr. Lloyd George, especially since his Liverpool orationand others were early afoot with the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words; the sacrifice was to be bound with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. But, loudly as these noises of battle roll and voices sound, most people feel it all to be still a good long way off, and as yet nobody exceedingly quakes and fears. As to the speeches which have been made, these, after all, are the properties of every staging of the House of Lords question. Like Horace’s dirus hydrops, or like the habit of using Worcester sauce to the extent recommended by Elizabeth Lazenby on her orange labels, this kind of oratory “Crescit indulgens sibi.'
What I like best myself in this interval of three weeks was said by Mr. Lough. He told his audience that it was no child's play -this House of Lords business-that they might say this or that, resolve this or that, but that there was the House of Lords, 'powerful, picturesque, and grotesque as ever. I quite like 'grotesque.'
I dare say many people will have been amused at Punch's cartoon of the 16th of December. The Prime Minister in an attitude of arrested motion is warning Lord Lansdowne that this sort of thing cannot go on. As it is, “My friend here is hardly able to control himself.' The friend being Mr. John Bull taking a comfortable nap on a garden seat. It is in the best serio-comic manner of that remarkable
paper. And here is an extract from a long letter which I received, a