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MR. VENIZELOS'S SOLUTION

The course actually pursued by Mr. Venizelos in this predicament he himself explained to the parliament in the speech delivered at the close of the war against Turkey from which I have already quoted. He declared to his astonished countrymen that in his desire to reach a close understanding with Turkey he had arrived at the point where he no longer demanded a union of Crete with Greece, "knowing it was too much for the Ottoman Empire." What he did ask for was the recognition of the right of the Cretan deputies to sit in the Greek chamber, while Crete itself should remain an autonomous state under the sovereignty of the Sultan. Nay, Mr. Venizelos was so anxious to prevent war with Turkey that he made another concession, for which, he frankly confessed, his political opponents if things had turned out differently would have impeached him for high treason. He actually proposed, in return for the recognition of the right of the Cretan deputies to sit in the Greek chamber, that Greece should pay on behalf of Crete an annual tribute to the Porte.

Happily for Mr. Venizelos's government the Young Turk party who then governed the Ottoman Empire rejected all these proposals. Meanwhile their misgovernment and massacre of Christians in Macedonia were inflaming the red Slav nations and driving them into War against Turkey. When matters had reached a crisis, the reactionary and incompetent Young Turk party were forced out of power and a wise and prudent statesman, the venerable Kiamil Pasha, succeeded to the office of Grand Vizier. He was all for conciliation and compromise with the Greek government, whom he had often warned against an alliance with Bulgaria, and he had in readiness a solution of the Cretan question which he was certain would be satisfactory to both Greece and Turkey. But these concessions were now too late. Greece had decided to throw in her lot with Servia and Bulgaria. And a decree was issued for the mobilization of the Greek troops.



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