Minister Jackson to the Secretary of State.
Athens, June 20, 1906.
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 403, of the 14th instant, I have the honor to report that Italy has undertaken the protection of Roumanian interests in Greece for the present. These interests are, however, of but little importance, as with the exception of the Roumanian Government’s line of steamers—which ceased calling at Greek ports several months ago—all the commerce between the two countries is in the hands of Greeks or of third parties.
In the chamber of deputies about a week ago Mr. Skouses, the Greek minister of foreign affairs, reviewed in a general way the several incidents constituting the history of the recent conflict between Greece and Roumania. He said that at first Russia had suggested that consideration of the matters at issue should be removed to St. Petersburg, and then the Greek Government proposed that the dispute be referred to the Hague court of arbitration, and that Roumania had rejected both propositions. He spoke of the various attacks on Greeks and Greek churches in Roumania, upon the practical breaking off of commercial relations and the denunciation of the commercial convention between the two countries with the protocols which the Greek Government understood were of a permanent character, and of the expulsion from Roumania of prominent Greeks. All this, he said, made a breaking off of relations inevitable. Mr. Rhallys, the leader of the opposition, agreed with the minister in principle, but not in the manner in which the negotiations had been carried on, and the Government asked for a vote of confidence, which resulted in its receiving 92 favorable votes, the ministers not voting, as is usual, [Page 819]and the opposition having withdrawn in order to prevent a quorum, if possible. The minister declared that the Roumanians must bear the whole responsibility for the breaking off of relations.
Nevertheless Greek bands continue to be active in Macedonia, and only a short time ago there was a largely attended memorial service at the cathedral in this city for an army officer who had been killed while leading one of these bands. The newspapers announce with considerable frequency the fact that Greeks have crossed the frontier into Macedonia, with an intent to fight in defense of their race and religion, not against the Turks, but against Bulgarians, Koutzo-Wallachs (Roumanians or “Roumanisants”), and others.
I have, etc.,