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may be adduced to justify the belief that under happier influences, with the spread of education, and the civilizing lessons of self-government teaching men the moral and social duties which attend all rights, they are well fitted to take a place amongst the civilized nations of Europe. But instead of education and selfgovernment—which is education, the surest and most practical, and the only mode of creating a great people—the wisdom of modern diplomacy gave king Log to the Greeks.
After an experiment of five years of misrule, the evil results were so manifest that an attempt was made to reform the administration. Otho having gone in search of a wife and happy would it have been for Greece had he never returned--the government was left in the hands of Count Arensberg. The minister attempted to obviate some of the most dangerous abuses of the government. He gave independence to the judges, freedom to the press, introduced, to some extent, the element of responsibility in the administration of finance, established better police regulations, and, of primary importance to the improvement of the people, he instituted a kind of system of local self-government by provincial councils. Otho having heard tidings of good government and improvement, hurried back in alarm, and dismissed the well-intentioned minister in disgrace. Tyranny, corruption, and brigandage, soon put an end to all social and industrial improvement. The Greek people, unable to bear the accumulated wrongs of this infamous government, and enraged at the perfidious delay of the court in making a constitution, rose, and effected the peaceful revolution of September, 1843. In common fair-dealing to that people, we submit that this fact is worth something in judging of their fitness for the duties of self-government. Unfortunately, they only obtained a paper constitution. There was no guarantee for the preservation of rights by a court which had shown itself above all restraints of morality and justice; and faction, moved by foreign intrigue, was busy. Corruption, misrule, and internal disorders, again overspread this unhappy country. England, in her undoubted right as one of the guaranteeing powers, has endeavoured, through the able and honest ministration of Sir Edmund Lyons, to use her moral influence to teach the government of Greece a sense of duty and self-respect; but all these efforts were checked by the intrigues of the absolute government of Russia, and the selfish personal policy of the governments by which France has been defrauded and dishonoured for some years. Russia, through her great influence on the members of the Greek Church, has used all the cunning and secret power of her diplomacy to turn this wretched sovereignty into the instrument of her designs on Eastern Europe. Ever true to the commands
of Peter, she has in very recent days been more than fulfilling that injunction of his Testament, 'Š'attacher et réunir autour de soi tous les Grecs unis ou schismatiques qui sont répandus soit dans la Hongrie, soit dans la Turquie, soit dans le midi de la Pologne; se faire leur centre, leur appui, et établir d'avance une prédominance universelle par une sorte d'autocratie ou de suprématie sacerdotale; ce seront autant d'amis qu'on aura chez chacun de ses ennemis. History may, perhaps, be able to disclose some connexion between the holy mission of Nicolas and recent occurrences in the islands of Greece.
A very cursory examination of the merits of each case will establish the justice of Lord Palmerston's plea, that there was a denial of justice to English subjects by the Greek Government. There may be an implied, as well as an express denial of justice. This occurs, as was the case in Greece, where the public tribunals are so constituted, and the administration so impure, that it is unreasonable to expect justice. The judges being directly under the influence and subject to the will and caprice of the sovereign, it is manifest, at the very first step of the argument, that pure administration of justice was not, and cannot be, a reasonable expectation. It is assuredly opposed to the evidence of history. Radically bad, then, as respects litigation between Greek and Greek, is the case better as between an English subject and the Greek Government, against whom he had preferred demands? On general considerations we apprehend it is not; for the reasonable presumption is, that when a tribunal is at the absolute will of the sovereign power, the decision will not be in opposition to that will ; in the instance of Greece, the presumption is strengthened by the positive proof of facts-the general impossiblity of obtaining justice in opposition to the king's will; and also, from the peculiar character of these claims, the Government, having, for political and other reasons, made the most public and positive refusal of satisfaction. It is not unimportant to take into consideration also a fact, bearing at least on one of the cases, that Otho the king was the party from whom satisfaction was demanded, and that the law of Greece does not permit an action to be brought against the king. It is important to prevent the mind being prejudiced by a fallacy most unscrupulously used against Lord Palmerston, to bear in view, that although the Government of Greece is really and truly an absolute monarchy, encouraged and supported in all its misdeeds by Russian influence and intrigue, it has had the mean hypocrisy to shield itself by the fictions of the Constitution. A few facts urged by Mr. Cockburn, on incontrovertible authority, are sufficient to show, that even since the establishment of the Constitution of 1843, it was not reasonable to expect justice in a claim opposed to the will of the sovereign :
• The Constitution (says the learned Solicitor-General), undoubtedly provides, that the judges shall not be dismissed at the king's pleasure —but they are so dismissed every day. And not only that, but the Greek Government have established this system: as they have a number of courts of equal jurisdiction and authority, they transplant the judges from one to the other, as the purposes of each case may seem to require. When a particular case, in which the government is interested in bringing to a particular decision, occurs in a court, they transplant the judge in whom they can depend into that court.'
In 1846, M. Piscatori, the French minister, brought an action against the editor of a newspaper for libel. The sentence was against the editor, three of the judges against two for acquittal. One of the latter was instantly dismissed in these terms- The king has been pleased to remove you from the bench.' The editor appealed to the supreme Court of the Areopagus, and on the eve of trial, two of the judges against whom suspicions of impartiality were entertained, were instantly dismissed without any reason being assigned. These facts were not only known, but notorious in Greece. The old Tory plan of packing juries in political trials was nothing to this quick despatch of justice. Will any man who has read the trial of Richard Baxter, in 1685, say that he had a reasonable chance of justice from such a tribunal in any case, where the government had a personal interest ? Suppose a royalist mob had plundered the house of Baxter, or any other leading Nonconformist of that day, would a claim for damages against the public have had a reasonable chance of trial with a Jeffries for judge ?
But the conclusion that there was a denial of justice, from the want of a reasonable expectation of justice, so as to bring the question within the custom of nations, is positively supported by the refusal on the part of the Government to satisfy claims under their sole jurisdiction. Our demands are founded upon six specific acts. They comprise the appropriation of property by royalty, for which royalty would not pay; public plunder of property; the imprisonment and torture of British subjects; and an act of public insult to the British flag. The first case is that of Mr. Finlay, whose atrocious fault seems to be, that he was born in that country on which my Lord Aberdeen, a most unkindly Scot, has conferred no honour. Mr. Finlay may be a cannie Scot—and a prudent, thrifty disposition has not generally been esteemed a crime, either by protectionist lords or economical doctrinaires—but he is a man of character and learning, who served Greece in the struggle for independence, as he has served her since, by the elucidation of her history and antiquities. At the time the Turks retired from Greece, he purchased some landed property at Athens. When Otho came to Athens, it was fitting that he should have a palace, and, as a standing memororial of his taste, a costly domicile was erected, of Pentelican marble, after the style of a Manchester cotton-factory. A garden was required, and a portion of Mr. Finlay's lands taken without ceremony. Mr. Finlay did not object to the seizure, but he asked a fair price for the increased value. 'Oh no,' demurred the king, in happy oblivion to the principles of Manchester and all other schools commercial ; 'you have no claim to more than you actually paid for the land. For several years Mr. Finlay's claim was refused. He could not appeal to the courts, because he could not sue the king; and could he have appealed, he had no reasonable prospect of justice. In the meantime the revolution, with its nominal freedom to the courts, took place, but it did not place Mr. Finlay in a better position. The revolution covered the arbitrary act of the king, though it did not blot out the claim against the civil list; but under the constitution proceedings could only be taken against the agents of the civil list, the king could not be sued, and these officers had long ago left the country. All that our Government demanded was, that Mr. Finlay should receive the fair value of his land seized for the private purposes of the king.
The second case was that of M. Pacifico, a native of Gibraltar, of the Jewish persuasion, and a subject of Great Britain. The Athenians, as a proof of orthodoxy, have been accustomed to burn Judas in effigy on Easter day. In 1847, the Baron Rothschild visits Athens, and in compliment to the Baron's wealth, the authorities forbid the customary solemnity; from 300 to 400 irate Athenian youths, assisted by some soldiers and gendarmes, who had just come from church, and headed by a son of Zavellas, the Foreign Minister, attacked Pacifico's house, beat his wife and children, broke his furniture to pieces, and robbed him of money, jewels, and other property, altogether valued by him at £5,000. They destroyed also, as alleged, vouchers for a large claim against the Portuguese Government. A second attack was made in October of the same year, and his family subjected to some violence. At the commencement of the riot, M. Pacifico applied for protection to the Government, but none was afforded. Young Zavellas was afterwards pointed out as a ringleader, but no steps were taken to prosecute him, or to bring the other plunderers to justice. But, say the absolutists, the courts were open to Pacifico. True, he might prosecute criminally, but that could not restore his broken furniture and plundered property. It is idle to talk of the
alternative civil course of suing the individual members of that most respectable mob, and there was no action against the commune, as is the case against the hundred in England. His only course, then, was to seek compensation from the government, and that was positively refused. The cases of the Ionian boatmen, plundered at Salcina, and of the poor men falsely imprisoned, and cruelly tortured by the police, in defiance of the Constitution, are well known, and need not be detailed. It can hardly be pretended that these poor men had a reasonable chance of justice, even under the vaunted constitutional independence of the courts !
The last case is the claim of apology for the insult to the English flag, by the arrest of the boat's crew of H.M.S. 'Fantome,' at Patras, in January, 1848. The Government refused to make the small atonement of an apology. This is a case in which there could be no appeal to the tribunals of the country.
There was another demand, or rather assertion of right to the possession of the two small islands of Sapienza and Cervi, as part of the territory of the Ionian republic. It is a separate question, and remains open for further discussion.
The question of the mediation by France excited much party contention, which had nothing really to do with the matter. The gravamen of the charge was, that Mr. Wyse recommenced hostile measures after the pacific convention of London, but as it was shown that the objectors had assumed more than the facts justified, to wit, that Mr. Wyse was aware of the terms, the accusation fell harmless. It is unlikely we should have heard one word of the question, if the French Government had not seized it as a fitting opportunity to aid their conspiracy against the liberties of the French people, by exciting a war cry against England. And, perhaps, à more sordid feeling was at work. M. Bonaparte had every selfish motive to gain a temporary popularity by an appeal to the worst passions of the people; the Dotation Bill was under discussion. But the cry of perfide Albion had lost its magic as a popular watch-word; the democratic party saw the perfidy and defeated it.
Much has been said as to the harsh mode in which the claims were enforced by us. If we admit the justice of adopting the course prescribed by the custom of nations, and the only one left, then, so long as a war policy is maintained by this country, Lord Palmerston was justified in his measures. Greece, by her obstinate refusal to admit the claim for reparation, barred the possibility of adopting a pacific middle course.
But looking at the whole facts of the political state of Greece, and of the tortuous system of despotic intrigue of which she was made the instrument, a strong demonstration of the power of England