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Government entertain, and will endeavour to make the basis of their policy.' *
In 1838, William I's persistence met with its reward. Grand Ducal Luxemburg was restored definitely, with Limburg, to Holland, as the Conference had directed. The Dutch thereupon at last accorded formal recognition to Belgium. All this is now ancient history. Holland berself would probably think twice, and three times, before desiring a reunion with Belgium. The benefits of consolidating a genuine national sentiment, and allowing it a free development, are triumphantly demonstrated to-day by the amazing vigour and the glorious tenacity with which the Belgians have defended themselves.
Belgian neutrality became a cardinal principle in European diplomacy. France was presumed to be its only menace. But the tension of 1867 and the events of 1870 left Belgium safe. In spite of Lord Stanley's futile efforts to eviscerate the guarantee by representing it as inapplicable except by the joint action of all the guaranteeing Powers, and of his insistence on the insertion of the express word 'collective' when the neutrality of Luxemburg was similarly guaranteed in 1867, it was clear that Britain was prepared to defend these countries single-handed. The notorious draft treaty' of Cernay between France and Prussia, published by Bismarck in 1870, provided for a free hand to be accorded by Prussia to France in Belgium. Whatever credit attaches to that document, its publication gave the opportunity for British opinion to be emphatically expressed. It was not a bellicose Ministry that was in office; on the contrary. It was settling the Alabama claims; it was abandoning the dogma of indelible British allegiance ; it. was pursuing a settled policy of non-intervention. But it was quite plain about Belgium. The distich
'Let France, let Prussia, break her word
And lo, our hands are on our sword !' well expressed its attitude. A treaty was entered into with both belligerents, engaging to come to the help of
* The Dutch case, like that of Sweden against Norway, has never been adequately put in English. The reader may refer to Lord Aberdeen's speech of Jan. 26, 1832, and Lord Eliot's of Aug. 22, 1831. See also a remarkable speech by Baring, Aug. 18, 1831.
either if the other invaded Belgium. This policy remained unshaken. Belgium advanced by rapid strides ; she acquired a colonial empire; she disputed with Turkey; she would have fought in China. Still, we remained the guarantors of her existence. On that first Sunday in August, when word arrived of the attack on the Grand Duchess of Luxemburg, we knew that the next step would be the invasion of Belgium, and that for us the die was cast. Germany may have thought that a Europe which condoned the trivial breach of treaty by Austria in 1908, and the technical breach of treaty by Italy in 1911, had no more regard for "scraps of paper.' But she found that, as Broglie wrote in 1831,-'there is not a single soul bold enough to come forward and declare that we ought to violate the good faith of treaties.'*
The suggestion was made in 1814 to reconstitute the Kingdom of Lorraine.t A writer cited by Dollot observes : Identity of origin, common modes of life and language, local antiquity, reciprocity of material interest-all unite to summon Belgian and Batavian to knit together ancient family ties by establishing a powerful State, which, stretching along the Rhine, should embrace the Palatinate, and have for its southern limits Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne. It would since 1870 be possible to add Alsace and Lorraine themselves; and by the further addition of Switzerland a strong Lotharingian Empire or Federation would be secured. A powerful State it would be, which comprised Antwerp, Amsterdam, Brussels, Rotterdam, Strassburg, Berne and Basel. And it ought to prove as great a guarantee of European stability. Differences of race and language would not seriously matter. The Swiss talk three or four languages, and profess at least two religions. Belgium itself is divided between Flemings and Walloons; and its difficulties with Holland were really of a religious character. A modern Lorraine may well be the best solution of international difficulties, so far as Western Europe is concerned.
* Talleyrand, • Memoirs,' v, 198.
Art. 13.-TURKEY IN THE GRIP OF GERMANY.
WITH a singular lapse into veracity the German Imperial Chancellor stated in his opening speech to the Reichstag on Dec. 1, that 'the most recent ally in battle who has been compelled to join us is the Ottoman Empire.' Never perhaps has a country taken sides in a war, from which all its interests bade it hold aloof, under such ruthless compulsion as that which was exerted upon Turkey by Germany and the small group of reckless adventurers who govern Turkey at her bidding. After three months of constant prevarication and gross breaches of neutrality endured by England and her Allies with unexampled patience and leniency, the rulers of Turkey threw off the mask at Germany's behest; and, whilst Turkish raiders invaded Egyptian territory, Turkish men-of-war, under German command, opened fire without a word of warning on undefended Russian ports in the Black Sea. The appearance of the 'Goeben' and the Breslau 'in Constantinople waters after their escape from the Mediterranean, and the constant stream of German officers and German gold which poured into Turkey throughout September and October, no doubt played a great part in hastening on the final catastrophe. But, if the match was then set to the train, the train itself had been carefully laid by Germany for many years past. Indeed it had been laid by the Emperor William himself, when just sixteen years before, after paying a state visit to the Sultan Abdul Hamid at Constantinople, he ostentatiously proclaimed himself at Damascus, on Nov. 7, 1898, the protector, not only of Turkey, but of the whole Mahomedan world. In à speech which fell on strangely indifferent ears in Europe, but was carried far and wide along the whispering galleries of the East, William II declared that His Majesty the Sultan and the 30,000,000 Mahomedans who, scattered over all parts of the earth, venerate him as their Khalif can ever rely upon the friendship of the German Emperor.' It was, except in point of time, but a short step from that pronouncement to the telegram in which William II conveyed the other day to the Crown Prince the glad tidings that the Sheik-ul-Islam at Constantinople had proclaimed the Jehad or Holy War against the Allied Powers.
Of all the various developments of the Kaiser's 'world-policy’in which, as I pointed out in the October issue of the Quarterly Review, the origins of the present war must be sought, none has been so decisive a factor as the peculiar relationship which grew up between Turkey and Germany under his auspices. None also marked a wider departure from German policy under Bismarck.
After the Franco-German war of 1871 the main object of Bismarck's policy was to consolidate the position he had achieved for the new German Empire, and above all to avert the possibility of any hostile combination of Powers against Germany. What he would have preferred, and what he sought for some years not unsuccessfully to secure, was a close understanding between the three great military Empires of Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria and Russia. But the Three Emperors' Alliance' broke down under the strain of the disturbances in the Balkan Peninsula in 1875 and 1876, and of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877–78. After the Congress of Berlin, when the manner in which Bismarck discharged his duties as an honest broker' almost inevitably gave umbrage to Russia, he decided, rather reluctantly, to make a close alliance with Austria the corner-stone of his policy. But he remained none the less determined to avoid being dragged into a conflict with Russia, especially over questions connected with the Near East, where his chief concern was to preserve a dexterous equilibrium between the contending ambitions of Russia and Austria. German diplomacy had hitherto played a very modest part in Constantinople itself; and he realised that Germany could not fill the preponderating part which he contemplated unless she secured for herself there a position of more substantial authority.
Circumstances soon favoured him beyond his own expectations. British intervention had saved Constantinople from occupation by the victorious Russian armies at the close of the Russo-Turkish war; and, so long as Lord Beaconsfield's Government remained in power, British influence prevailed almost unchallenged in Turkey. But with the advent of Mr Gladstone's administration in 1880 the situation was suddenly and completely changed. Even if the Sultan had been willing to forget
the Midlothian campaign, the attitude which the new British Government immediately assumed in regard to the Greek and Montenegrin questions, of which the settlement under the Berlin Treaty still remained in suspense, quickly convinced the Turks that they could no longer reckon upon British support.
Bismarck at once saw his opportunity. Germany stepped into the place which we had vacated as the 'disinterested' friend of Turkey; and, in all the international negotiations of which Constantinople was then the pivot, she laid herself out not only to mitigate differences between Austria and Russia, but also to capture the confidence of the Sultan by a discreet championship of Turkish interests, which gratified his amour propre, without compromising in any way her own freedom of action. One good turn deserves another. In return for Germany's diplomatic countenance, the Sultan asked for a Gernian military mission to reorganise and equip the Turkish army on the Teutonic model; and he delighted to bestow his patronage on German rather than on British or French trade and industry. Young Turkish officers were sent to receive their technical education in Germany; German bankers opened branch offices in Constantinople and found lucrative investments for the Sultan's Privy Purse. Germany's voice began to carry more weight than any other in the Turkish capital. But Bismarck never forgot that the part he wished to play at Constantinople could only be played safely and successfully if it were generally recognised that Germany had no territorial ambitions in the Near East, and that, as he once put it, the Balkan peninsula would never be considered 'worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.'
It was upon these lines that German policy in Constantinople continued to move so long as Bismarck was in power. But they were lines too modest to satisfy William II.
The idea that the German race would some day find a Promised Land in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia was itself far older than William II's schemes for a World Empire.' It had floated in many a German mind long before the Hohenzollerns revived an imperial Germany under Prussian auspices. The great Moltke, who in his