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If we look merely at the world-commanding strategical position of Asiatic Turkey and the danger which its occupation by a strong, enterprising, and ambitious military Power would involve, not merely for its neighbours, but for the whole world, the best solution of the problem would seem to consist in preserving the integrity of Asiatic Turkey under unrestricted Ottoman rule. It is obvious that if one military nation should occupy part of Asiatic Turkey other nations would become alarmed and, fearing that that most valuable strategical position should fall entirely under the control of that military State which had first encroached upon its integrity, the other States interested in Asiatic Turkey would naturally endeavour to secure shares also. A general scramble for Turkish territory would ensue. Asiatic Turkey would be partitioned. Russia, France, Italy, Greece, and Great Britain, and perhaps other nations as well, would divide the country among themselves. Its commanding position would generate mutual suspicion among the sharing nations. A tension similar to that which prevailed among the Balkan States would prevail in Asia Minor. Dangerous friction would ensue which might lead to a world-war for the control of Asia Minor. The policy of partition would obviously be most dangerous to the peace of the world.

The policy of preserving the integrity of Asiatic Turkey in its entirety and of abstaining from all interference with the Turkish Government would, of course, prevent these evils, but unfortunately that policy is not a practicable one. As Asiatic Turkey is one of the richest, and at the same time one of the most neglected, countries in the world, and as it lies right across one of the most necessary and most valuable of the world's highways—across the direct line which connects Central Europe with India and Chinathe importance of which is bound to increase from year to year, the citizens of various nations would naturally seek to develop the country by means of railways, public works, &c. History would soon repeat itself. Under the cloak of economic development, important strategical railways, threatening one or the other of the States bordering on Asiatic Turkey, would be constructed. Thus the economic exploitation of the strategical centre of the world by private enterprise would in all probability lead to a scramble among the Great Powers for spheres of influence, and to an economic partition of Asia Minor which might be quite as dangerous as a complete territorial partition.

If the Powers should desire to make Asiatic Turkey a purely Turco-Asiatic buffer State, a No-man’s-land as far as Europe is concerned, stipulating that both its political and economic integrity should be preserved, leaving the Turks entirely to themselves and solemnly binding themselves to abstain from both political and economic interference in its affairs, the difficulty would by no means be overcome. Turkish misgovernment, Armenian, Greek, or Arab massacres, or some grave political incident, might cause some Power or Powers to interfere. Then international intrigues similar to those which formerly took place about Constantinople would begin, and they would be far more dangerous, because they would concern position which is not merely the key to the Black Sea, but which is indeed the key to the dominion of the world. Besides, as Asiatic Turkey occupies a most valuable position for effecting a flank attack either upon Russia in the very vulnerable south, or upon the British Empire in Egypt and Asia, the enemies of Russia and of Great Britain would obviously endeavour to stir up trouble between the two countries. They would strive to bring about a struggle between Russia and England for the control of Asiatic Turkey. They would probably try once more to recreate the

army of an independent Turkey and to hurl it at Russia or at Great Britain or simultaneously at both countries.

Unfortunately it appears that the policy of leaving Asiatic Turkey alone would be quite as dangerous as that of partitioning it. Therefore a third policy ought to be

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The strategical position of Asiatic Turkey closely resembles, as has been shown, that of Switzerland. Switzerland is a small natural fortress which separates, and dominates, three important Central European States. Asiatic Turkey is a gigantic natural fortress which separates, and dominates, the three most populous continents. Switzerland has been neutralised, not for the sake of the Swiss, but for the sake of all Europe. The fact that Switzerland was permanently neutralised for the security of Europe may be seen from the diplomatic documents signed by the Allied Powers a century ago. A Declaration made at the Congress at Vienna on March 20, 1815, which will be found in Klüber's 'Acten des Wiener Congresses,' stated :

Les puissances appelées, en exécution du 6e art. du traité de Paris du 30 mai 1814, à régler les affaires de la Suisse, ayant reconnu que l'intérêt général demande que le corps helvétique jouisse des avantages d'une neutralité permanente ... déclarent, qu'aussitôt que la diète helvétique aura accédé, en bonne et due forme, aux articles contenus dans la présente convention, il sera expédié, au nom de toutes les puissances, un acte solennel, pour reconnaître et garantir la neutralité permanente de la Suisse dans ses nouvelles frontières.

It will be observed that Switzerland was to be made permanently neutral for the 'intérêt général.' The 'acte solennel' above mentioned was signed in Paris on November 20, 1815, and it stated :

. . . Les puissances qui ont signé la déclaration de Vienne du 20 mars, reconnaissent, d'une manière formelle et authentique, par le présent acte la neutralité perpétuelle de la Suisse, et lui garantissent l'inviolabilité de son territoire, circonscrit dans ses nouvelles limites, telles qu'elles sont fixées par

le congrès de Vienne et la paix de Paris d'aujourd'hui.

Les puissances signataires de la déclaration du 20 mars font connaître, d'une manière authentique, par le présent acte, que la neutralité et l'inviolabilité de la Suisse, ainsi

que son indépendance de toute influence étrangère, est conforme aux véritables intérêts de la politique européenne.

It will be noticed that the 'acte solennel' emphasised the previous declaration by stating that the permanent neutrality of Switzerland was conforme aux véritables intérêts de la politique européenne.'

It is noteworthy that Russia has been one of the most convinced and one of the most determined champions of Swiss neutrality. In the instructions which, on January 14, 1827, Count Nesselrode, perhaps the greatest Russian diplomat of modern times, sent on behalf of the Cabinet to M. de Severine, the Russian Minister to the Swiss Confederation, we read :

Par sa position géographique la Suisse est la clef de trois grands pays. Par ses lumières et ses meurs, elle occupe un rang distingué dans la civilisation Européenne. Enfin par les actes des Congrès de Vienne et de Paris, elle à obtenu la garantie de son organisation présente, de sa neutralité, et de son indépendance.

Dès que la diplomatie, participant aux améliorations de tout genre qui s'opéraient en Europe, eut pour but dans ses combinaisons les plus profondes et les plus utiles, d'établir entre les diverses puissances un équilibre qui assurât la durée de la paix, l'indépendance de la Suisse devint un des premiers axiomes de la Politique. Les Traités de Westphalie la consacrèrent, et il est facile de prouver, l'histoire à la main, qu'elle ne fut jamais violée sans que l'Europe n'eût à gémir de guerres et de calamités universelles.

Lors de la révolution française, la Suisse éprouva fortement la secousse qui vint ébranler les deux des. Son territoire fut envahi, des armées le franchirent, et des batailles ensanglantèrent un sol que les discordes des états avait longtemps respecté.

Lors de la domination de Buonaparte, la Suisse eut sa part du despotisme qui pressait sur le continent. Finalement apparut l'Alliance avec ses nobles triomphes, et la Suisse, qui avait été bouleversée pendant la tourmente révolutionnaire, et asservie pendant le régime des conquêtes, redevint indépendante et neutre du jour où les droits des Nations recouvrèrent leur empire, et où la paix fut le væu du Monarque dont le changement était le salutaire ouvrage.

1 The full text may be found in A. C. Grenville Murray's Droits et Devoirs des Envoyés Diplomatiques.

Ce fut alors que la Confédération Helvétique occupa la pensée de l'Empereur Alexandre de glorieuse mémoire, et alors aussi que son indépendance reçut par les actes de 1814 et 1815 une sanction solennelle, qui compléta et assura le rétablissement solide de la tranquillité générale.

La Suisse est par conséquent, on peut lg dire, un des points sur lesquels repose l'équilibre de l'Europe, le mode d'existence politique dont elle jouit forme un des élémens du système conservateur qui a succédé à trente années d'orages, et la Russie doit souhaiter que cet état continue à ne relever et à ne dépendre d'aucun autre.

Elle y est intéressée comme puissance, que ses principes et le sentiment de son propre bien portent à vouloir la paix. Elle en a le droit, comme puissance qui a signé les actes de 1814 et 1815.

The irrefutable arguments advanced with such force, clearness, and eloquence by Count Nesselrode with regard to Switzerland apply obviously still more strongly to the closely similar, but far more important, case of Asiatic Turkey.

A State which has been permanently neutralised by international agreement can preserve its neutrality only if it is sufficiently strong and well governed. If it is weak its neutrality may be disregarded, as was that of Belgium. If it is badly governed and suffers from internal disorders it cannot be strong, and foreign nations will find reasons for interfering in its domestic affairs. When, in the course of the last century, Switzerland was torn by internal dissensions, the great guarantors of its permanent neutrality and independence became alarmed. They were anxious to intervene, and as they took different sides their intervention nearly led to a great war.

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