Page images

* * *

Any ethnological statements about Macedonia, however, must be received with great reserve and no little suspicion. For the Balkan peoples, foreseeing the inevitable collapse of Turkish power in Europe, have long been busy in "staking out claims" for the succession. Life, property, peace, order, justice, humanity, the sanctities of religion-these have all been ruthlessly sacrificed to establish in Macedonia the exclusive claims of rival nationalities to the Turk's inheritance. The maxim "live and let live" has been unknown among these fierce contestants for national aggrandizement. [Here follows a minute explanation of the claims of each of the Balkan States as stated to the Minister by the respective Prime Ministers.]

At the close of the war with Turkey the Bulgarians not only concentrated their forces near the Greek lines, but they made successive attacks against sections of the region included in the Greek military occupation. Then followed violations of the neutral line, each resulting in a gain of territory for the Bulgarians and a corresponding loss for the Greeks. To prevent further effusion of blood there was finally and formally established a new line of demarkation which was traced on the basis of the state of things created by the previous aggressions of the Bulgarians. But though this took from Greek occupation half of the Panghaion-the region extending from Orphani towards Kavala-the line seems to have been loyally respected by the Greek forces. Suddenly, however, on the 30th of June the Bulgarian army crossed this line, and occupied the whole of the Panghaion, and commenced a rapid offensive against both the Greek and Servian fronts all along the line from Eleftherai on the Gulf of Kavala to Guevgheli on the Vardar, and thence to Kotchana, north of Istip. This being regarded as war though without a declaration, the conciliation of Mr. Venizelos was at an end and the Greek troops were ordered to advance. Mr. Venizelos declared in his speech in the Chamber of Deputies that this "advance demonstrated, what also the despatches of the King prove, that the Bulgarians had already commenced their march against Saloniki, which they planned to take by surprise.

[ocr errors]

Thus ended all hope of a peace settlement of the dispute between the late Allies against Turkey. For such a peace solution no one had striven more earnestly than Mr. Venizelos. He believed that the task of dividing the conquered Turkish territories could be accomplished by a conference of the representatives of the victorious Balkan States. And, in case of failure, he proposed arbitration. Nor was this programme of recent birth. On the contrary, only a few days after the declaration of war against the Ottoman Empire, Greece communicated with her allies on the subject of the division amongst them of Turkey in Europe, tracing the line of her own ethnological claims and adding that, in case of the failure of direct negotiations, she thought that the disputed points ought to be referred to arbitration. But Bulgaria gave no definite reply, and after months of waiting the question was postponed till the close of the war against Turkey. But Mr. Venizelos has not ceased to champion this method of settling the dispute, which he has kept, on all suitable occasions, before the view of the Allies and of Europe. And his devotion to the programine of

negotiation with recourse if necessary to arbitration gives Greece today an enormous moral advantage in the opinion of the civilized world.

[Remarks on the progress of the war.]

In the conversation already referred to I asked Mr. Venizelos what Greece was fighting for. First, he said in substance, we are defending ourselves against attack; and then, as regards our programme, we assert the principle of nationality, we oppose the hegemony, the domination, of Bulgaria, and we desire an equilibrium between the Balkan States.

To curb the pretensions of Bulgaria is now a leading object with the Greeks, Servians, and Montenegrins. This was clear both from the talk of Mr. Venizelos and [the Servian Prime Minister] Mr., Paschitch. But these are not the only national statesmen who would clip the Bulgarian wings. The Premier of Roumania, Mr. Maioresco, voiced the same policy in the conversation I had with him on June 19th, at which Minister Jackson was also present. And he said clearly that in case of war Roumania would adjust her frontiers on the Bulgarian side.

Time alone will show how Bulgaria can meet all these attacks. Meanwhile the auguries seem to be unpropitious for her.

I have [etc.]

J. G. SCHURman.

NOTE. The treaty of peace was signed on August 10, 1913, and on August 11 the American Minister transmitted a copy of it to the Department, with a complete set of the protocols and annexes (despatch No. 435, Roumanian series; file No. 768.74/114).

140322°- -F B 1913——-6



During all the years in which I have taken part in political life I have always adopted a safe and firm policy, under the conviction that the fundamental basis upon which a nation is built is law and order. With law and order conserved a nation can then devote itself to uniting the people in the path of progress. I have therefore always been interested in everything calculated to enlighten the people but have necessarily always advanced by gradual steps. I have preferred to go slowly rather than hurriedly. I have always held the nation and people in too high esteem to be risked at one throw of the dice, thereby completely sweeping away the inherited teachings and traditions of four thousand years.

After the year 1909 I retired and paid no more attention to politics. My life-long ambition to save the country vanished like a fleeting cloud. However, when the outbreaks occurred at Wuchang and Hankow I was forced by circumstances again to assume the responsibilities of state. I was fearful lest my nation and my people might lose their existence, and my one thought was to mitigate their condition. Then the abdication of the Manchu Emperor took place and the Republic was proclaimed. Not discarded by the Five Great Races, I was chosen to be the Provisional President of the Republic. The republican form of government existed in China in embryo four thousand years ago, and thus is not entirely strange to us. But restrictions and obstructions were placed upon my authority, making progress impossible. I was worn out by anxiety and deprived of appetite and the power to sleep. But I persevered and persevered in the hope that peace and tranquility might come at last.

Unexpectedly, in the seventh month of this year, a handful of violent characters attempted to destroy the social fabric and overthrow the country, and the fate of the infant republic of eastern Asia trembled in the balance. To save the nation and its people I reluctantly resorted to arms, and in consequence of the general aversion from anarchy and the discipline of the troops the rebellion was suppressed within two months. After this it was my purpose to resign and go into retirement in order that I might enjoy the blessings of the Republic. But contrary to my wishes the people's convention has elected me, and the friendly powers have decided to recognize the Republic on the day when I should be elected. Therefore I did not dare, by setting a lofty standard of humility, to refuse to accept the position, for fear that the foundations of the nation might be shaken and the expectations of the fathers and brothers be

1 Delivered October 10, 1913, in the Hall of Ceremonies. The translation was made by the Assistant Chinese Secretary of the American Legation from the text printed in the Peking Daily News of October 11, 1913, and was forwarded to the Department by the Chargé d'Affaires in his despatch No. 1078 of October 22, 1913, accompanied by a description of the ceremonies attending the inauguration. (File No. 893.001Y9/9.)

unfulfilled. I also am one of the citizens of the country and the single purpose of my heart is to effect the salvation of the nation and of its people. I dare not regard success or failure nor the hardships or slanders which I will have to bear. I have therefore forced myself to accept this post. I now take this opportunity to express some of my most sincere and friendly thoughts to the people of the Republic.

It is a saying of western scholars that a constitutional government is founded on law, and that a republican government is founded on morality. Morality should be considered as the actuality and law as the outward manifestation. Our people have been suddenly converted into citizens of a Republic, therefore it is imperative that there be law to support the morality of the people. I have made many inquiries among the learned scholars of France, America and other nations and have come at the true nature of republicanism. The republican form of government is a government which gathers together the ideas of all its citizens to form a perfect system of law for the strict observance of all, and liberty or freedom outside that system will be publicly discredited. This kind of law-abiding habit can only be developed gradually, until it becomes as habitual as rising up or going to bed, or as eating and sleeping. When such a point has been reached with us then will this nation be called a lawabiding nation. Though our citizens are by nature tractable they have never acquired to any great extent the habit of obedience to law. I expect the citizens of this country all to keep the laws, thereby unconsciously raising their moral standard.

Furthermore, the body of republican government is the people. The desire of the majority of the people is to live quietly and enjoy the fruit of their labors. But since the revolution the people have sustained all manner of hardships and difficulties, and to speak of their condition is heartrending. I have daily hoped for the restoration of the people to their normal condition, and I have not dared to put forth any measures which would tend to disturb them. I deeply regret that no precautions could be taken to restrain the violent characters who have caused the innocent to be afflicted. I wish to exert my utmost strength to allow the people to enjoy the real blessings of a republic so that the goal of seeking for them the greatest possible happiness may be attained. Earning a living has become so difficult, and the people have been so pressed by hunger and cold, that the more cunning ones among the violent characters have availed themselves of the opportunity to drive them to the path of death. This is indeed deplorable. It is desirable that the country enjoy a long period of peace. It is imperative that every man be enabled to earn a living, and this will only become possible by paying special attention to agriculture, industry and commerce.

I have heard that the best class of people in the enlightened countries enter upon a life of industry. The climate and natural resources of our country are by no means inferior to those of other powers; but as the arts of agriculture and cattle-breeding have not been studied, the results of industry are inferior, and mines, forests and fisheries are undeveloped, leaving the riches under the ground. No reliance has been placed on commerce and the export trade has steadily languished. It is like a rich man who after burying his

money in the ground complains continually of his poverty. I hope that the people of the whole country will direct their attention to industrial enterprises, so that opportunities of earning a living may be thereby extended. Thus will the foundation of the nation be firmly laid.

There are two reasons why the industries of the country have not been developed: first, because of the rudimentary state of education; second, because of a lack of capital. Every branch of industry is closely related to science. But physics and chemistry are not understood and the principles of steam and electricity are untaught. While others are engaged in the struggle for education or the war of commerce, we are still cleaving conservatively to the old system, and superstitiously resting our faith upon empty talk. I hope that the citizens of the country will introduce the enlightened educational methods of foreign countries. In government and law the practical and not the theoretical, must be emphasized. These are my views regarding education.

Unless there is capital it is no use to talk of industry. In view of the fertility of our soil and the richness of our produce, how can this country be called poor? The necessities of life are but those things which are associated with clothing, food and dwelling, for which silver and gold serve as a medium of exchange. If there is a shortage of silver and gold the means of exchange are lessened. Without silver and gold we should be without a medium of exchange, Therefore, to prepare for the various industrial enterprises, we must look to our neighbors who possess an ample supply of the medium ef exchange. When the natural resources are opened and there are no waste lands nor idle people, the capital which has been borrowed will become a never-ending source of profit. After paying off the capital a surplus will be left. Would not this be a better method than that of the man who buried his treasure and yet was continually worrying about his poverty? I hope, therefore, that my country will introduce foreign capital in order that the industry of the country may be stimulated and developed.

To introduce the civilization and capital of foreign countries would benefit not only this country but also the world at large. The highest ideal of world civilization is to supply the deficiency of others from our own surplus, conferring happiness upon society, practically without distinction between countries. This is why Confucius loved to talk of universalization. Now that our country has become a Republic all the old ideas belonging to the period of seclusion should be swept away. As our citizens observe the laws of our own country so should they also understand the common law of nations. In intercourse with other nations everything should be in accordance with the practices of civilization, and there should be no prejudice shown towards foreigners, which only leads to trouble and law-breaking.

The attitude of the foreign powers towards us has always been that of peace and fairness, and whenever occasion therefor has arisen they have rendered us cordial assistance. In this is furnished ample evidence of the civilization of the world, and such exhibitions of good will from friendly nations arouse in us sentiments of deep gratitude. It is most important that all citizens of the Republic

« PreviousContinue »