Images de page

It is doubtless, therefore, with a view to allay this feeling of alarm, and in order to avoid injury to Servian credit in foreign money markets (a danger which I have never ceased on every suitable occasion from pointing out to Servian statesmen), that the Minister of the Interior recently addressed to every Prefect a copy of the inclosed Circular, purporting to show that the steps now taken by the War Department, with regard to the reserve forces, are strictly in accordance with an existing law, and that, therefore, all rumour to the contrary and of their alleged bellicose character is invented and propagated by political opponents. The Marquess of Salisbury.


(Inclosure 1.)-Circular of the Minister of the Interior to the Prefects

-Belgrade, August là, 1889. (Traduction.) M. LE PRÉFET,

La loi sur l'organisation militaire prescrit que les soldats de tous les appels (bans) soient convoqués tous les ans pour une certaine période d'exercice déterminée par la loi. Mais cette prescription de la loi, qui est non seulement très nécessaire mais encore très utile, n'a pas été exécuté dans les trois dernières années, de sorte que les milices nationales n'ont pas été convoquées pour l'exercice.

Afin que cette prescription de la loi puisse être exécutée conformément à la loi sur l'organisation de l'armée, et pour que les anciennes listes tombées en désuétude à la suite de la longue nonconvocation et de l'inobservation régulière de leur contenu puissent être corrigées et complétées, le Ministre de la Guerre se conformant à la loi sur l'organisation de l'armée a ordonné que tous ceux qui sont obligés au service militaire soient convoqués devant les autorités compétentes, que les listes militaires soient corrigées et complétées, et que l'on détermine, à tous, les services qu'ils doivent remplir suivant la loi.

Des gens inconscients et des spéculateurs politiques ont essayé au détriment de la paix et de la tranquillité publique à exploiter dans un but inavouable l'exécution de ces prescriptions de la loi, en colportant dans les peuples la nouvelle mensongère d'une guerre imaginaire, troublant et ébranlant ainsi la population dans ses travaux réguliers comme dans ses devoirs envers l'État.

Appelé à me préoccuper de la tranquillité publique et de démentir tous les bruits qui seraient de nature à troubler cette tranquillité, tout en produisant une influence préjudiciable sur les affaires sociales et celles de l'État, je vous recommande, M. le Préfet, d'agir immédiatement avec toute la sévérité de la loi envers ces inconscients et ces spéculateurs politiques, et d'exposer aus habitants de votre circonscription que dans le colportage de ces nouvelles il n'y a pas la moindre vérité. Belgrade, le 17 Août, 1889.

K. S. TAUSCHANOVITCH, Ministre de l'Intérieur.

(Inclosure 2.)-Servian Army Organization Law. (Traduction.)

ARTICLE 93. Les réservistes doivent être répartis pour l'exercice militaire avec leurs cadres permanents en unités de formation séparós, et ils doivent subir une période d'exercice, chaque année, pendant tronte jours au plus. La seconde levée doit être convoquées chaque année pour une période d'exercice de quinze jours au plus.

Mr. O'Conor to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received September 6.) MY LORD,

Sophia, September 2, 1889. I have the honour to report to your Lordship the following items of military news :

In accordance with the new military Law on recruitment, which will be submitted to the approval of the Sobranjé next October, the Bulgarian Government have called up the recruits, who usually only join the ranks at the end of December or beginning of January, for the 6th proximo. They amount to about 18,000.

By the adoption of this measure these recruits will have had sis months' military training by the beginning of next spring, instead of being a raw and almost worthless body of men.

It is also proposed to retain the time-expired soldiers in the ranks, who are usually discharged next month, till the end of the year, thus raising the existing military force to about 50,000.

The Government have ordered 33,000 Berdan rifles aud 10,000,000 cartridges. The rifles are to be delivered by the 1st November, and the contract has been taken by a Bulgarian, a Frenchman, and a Belgian. They declare they can procure the rifles in Russia through the intermediary of a Belgian house.

Preparations are being made for mobilization in as short a time as possible in case of necessity; but no branch of the army bas been actually mobilized, nor have troops been moved to the Servian frontier, as stated in the papers.

I have, &c., The Marquess of Salisbury.


Mr. O'Conor to the Marquess of Salisbury.Received September 6.) MY LORD,

Sophia, September 2, 1889. WITH reference to previous correspondence, I have the honour to report to your Lordship that M. Stamboloft states that he continues to receive very disquieting news respecting the various military measures of the Servian Government with a view to placing their army on a war footing.

He regards the calling out of the whole reserve forces of the country, the purchase of provisions and forage, the reorganization of the transport service, the repairing of the roads leading to the Bulgarian frontier, coupled with the violent articles of the Servian press against this country, as so many indications that Servia is certainly preparing for war, and that she is probably being urged to engage in hostile action against Bulgaria.

He has referred on several occasions to the disquieting news he continually received on this subject from Servia, and on each occasion I have endeavoured to assure him that his fears were not shared by those who were scarcely less interested in the maintenance of peace and good relations between the two neighbouring countries; and I have sought to impress upon him the extreme importance of not aggravating the situation by responsive military measures wbich would be interpreted in Servia as aggressive, while at the same time pointing out that it was difficult to believe that a nation seriously meditating war would adopt the military system now being introduced into Servia.

M. Stamboloff says he is convinced that Servia had intended to attack them if they had declared their independence on the 14th ultimo, and that the Servians counted upon success by throwing an overwhelming force into Bulgaria and seizing the capital before there was time to mobilize the Bulgarian army.

I have, &c., The Marquess of Salisbury.


Mr. O'Conor to the Marquess of Salisbury.-(Received September 6.)


Sophia, September 2, 1889. With reference to my immediately preceding despatch, I have the honour to inform your Lordship that M. Stamboloff told me yesterday that M. Body, the Acting Servian Agent, had called upon him and had made the following communication under instructions from his Government :

The Servian Government gives the Bulgarian Government the most formal and categorical assurances that the reports lately circulated of hostile or aggressive intentions towards Bulgaria are unfounded; that the calling up of the Reserves and other military measures are being taken solely with a view to the reorganization of a national militia in accordance with the Ministerial programme; and that if the Bulgarians think it advisable to mobilize their army such a step is certainly not necessary as far as Servia is concerned, and must be directed against some other Power.

M. Stamboloff informed M. Body that he received with satisfaction the assurances conveyed to him on behalf of the Servian Govern nient.

I have, &c., The Marquess of Salisbury.


Mr. F. R. St. John to the Marquess of Salisbury.Received

September 6.) MY LORD,

Belgrade, September 3, 1889. Ar the weekly reception on Saturday last I expressed my regrets to General Gruitch, the President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Serbo-Bulgarian newspaper war which is now waged between the two countries, who, if they understood their true interests, would rather endeavour to impress Europe with the fact of perfect agreement and consequent ability to work out their destiny and independence; and I warned his Excellency of the great odium which, in the present temper of Europe, would be surely incurred by that country which should first disturb the public peace.

General Gruitch replied that he was well aware how vital a point for the prosperity of Servia was the preservation of the most friendly relations with Bulgaria and other Balkan States, and that an assurance in such sense had only a few hours before been dispatched to Sophia.

I have, &c., The Marquess of Salisbury.


Nr. F. R. St. John to the Marquess of Salisbury.- (Received

September 6.) My LORD,

Belgrade, September 3, 1889. The long-expected reply from the ex-Queen to the offer made to her from hence, with the ex-King's concurrence, that she should have access to the Palace in Belgrade if her visits to the young King took place at stated times and for limited periods, has not yet been received here, and I was informed to-day by the SecretaryGeneral of the Department for Foreign Affairs that probably none would be received, Queeu Nathalie having repeatedly written to her private friends at Belgrade that she should make use of her rights as a Servian subject to come when she chose, to stay as long as it suited her, and to purchase or build a house here should residence in the Palace be denied to her.

I have, &c., The Marquess of Salisbury.


Mr. F. R. St. John to the Marquess of Salisbury.—(Received

September 9.) (Extract.)

Belgrade, September 4, 1889. REFERRING to my despatch of yesterday's date, in which I recorded the substance of a conversation some days previously with the Servian President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs on the existing newspaper war with Bulgaria, and on the very great importance that Servia should, in her own interest, endeavour to cultivate the most friendly relations with her neighbours generally, and Bulgaria in particular, I have the honour to subjoin a summary of a leading and manifestly ministerially-inspired article which appeared yesterday in the "Correspondance Balcanique,” a reputed Government organ recently started at Belgrade in the French and German languages, probably in opposition to the “Pester Lloyd,” on which every one in Servia unacquainted with this vernacular has hitherto been compelled to rely for local information, which was not infrequently accompanied by disparaging comments :

“We are informed,” says the article in question, “that the alarming rumours recently circulated in the press of the military preparations of the Balkan States have led to friendly assurances between M. Stamboloff and the Servian Agent at Sophia, and that this interchange of ideas was marked by that cordiality and friendship which habitually characterize the relations between these two coterminous and kindred countries.

“M. Body, the Diplomatic Agent of Servia, made it clear to the Bulgarian Minister that the calling out of the Reserves in Servia was nothing more than what an existing Law on military organization required, as explained by the Servian Minister of the Interior in his recent Circular, and that, as the Servian Cabinet cherishes the hope of remaining on the most friendly footing with all Balkan States, the Government of Bulgaria need not, unless for other reasons, mobilize a single soldier.

“ M. Stamboloff received these explanations of our Agent with the most lively satisfaction, and hastened, on his side, to give the assurance that the Government of Bulgaria docs not contemplate departing in the remotest manner from that pacific policy which it

« PrécédentContinuer »