Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.

No. 425.—Greek Series.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that the Second Constitutional Assembly of Crete met at Canea on July 13, and after the speech of Prince George, the high commissioner, voted the union of Crete with Greece, and then adjourned to await a reply of the protecting powers.

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On July 14 the consuls of the powers (England, France, Italy, and Russia) issued a proclamation, announcing that under existing conditions no change could be made in the political status of the island.

Both Cretans and Greeks refused to consider this as final, as it was known that the powers were to make a formal reply based on the report of the commission sent to Crete last winter to inquire into the condition of the island after the revolution of the preceding summer.

For some unknown reason the opinion became general that the powers were going to grant great concessions, and perhaps even allow the long-desired union of Crete and Greece.

The reply of the powers was made public on the 26th instant, and caused the deepest disappointment and indignation against the powers. As will be seen from the inclosed translation of the reply, while some concessions are made as to internal affairs, the powers refuse to consider the matter of changing the political status of the island. The most important point is the gradual withdrawal of the international troops and the formation of a mixed Greek and Cretan gendarmery and militia. Also an attempt is to be made to put the finances of Crete in a more satisfactory condition by extending to the island the Greek international financial control.

The representatives of the four protecting powers at Athens were received in audience by the King on Tuesday last and presented him with a copy of the reply which had been sent by them to the Cretan assembly through the high commissioner, Prince George.

Prince George has not yet communicated the reply to the Cretan assembly, but will probably do so next week, and it seems to be generally expected that it will be rejected in toto by that body. What the next move of the protecting powers will then be is not yet known.

I have, etc.,

Charles S. Wilson.

Reply of the protecting powers.

The protecting powers have examined in a most benevolent spirit the conclusions of the delegates sent by them to Crete as a result of the troubles of 1905, and at the moment of the session of the National Assembly, recently elected, they wish to show to the Cretan people the interest they have in them, and at the same time of their sincere desire to take into account, so far as is possible, its legitimate aspirations.
Relying on the proposals of their delegates, the powers judge it possible to enlarge, in a national sense, the autonomy of the island, and to make certain dispositions of a nature to improve the material and moral condition of the island.
They have therefore agreed upon the following measures:
To take up without delay the matter of the reform of the gendarmerie, and the creation of a militia in which the Greek and Cretan elements may be developed gradually; on the condition, however, that the Greek officers shall not be active members of the Greek army at the same time.
The withdrawal of the international forces as soon as the Cretan militia and gendarmerie shall be formed and placed under the command of the high commissioner, and that order and tranquillity shall be reestablished and that the protection of the Mussulman population shall be assured.
Prolongation of the customs overtax of 3 per cent, in order to enable the conclusion, with the necessary guaranties, of a loan of 9,300,000 francs, 3,000,000 of which shall serve for the immediate payment of indemnities to Cretans and Greeks, and the balance to be reserved for public works.
The extension to Crete of the commission of control of Greek finances and the appointment of an official (foreign) who shall create a service for the inspection of the finances and report annually to the chomber.
The recommendation to the consuls-general to address themselves for current business to the responsible advisers of the Cretan Government, whose administrative authority will thus be increased, while all cause of irritation of a nature to injure the prestige of Prince George will thus be avoided.
The postponement until 1911 of the payment of interest and principal on the advance of 4,000,000 francs permitted by the protecting powers.
To send instructions to the ambassadors at Constantinople to regulate the existing questions with Turkey, such as that concerning the Cretan flag, judicial acts, Cretans held in Turkish prisons, light-house dues, telegraph rates, the appointment of Cadis, and the protection of Cretans abroad and in Turkey.
Treatment on a footing of absolute equality of the elements, Mussulman and Christian, in the exercise of public functions. The organization of the demogeronties and the regulation of the action of the mutevelis. The formation of a mixed commission, half consular, half Cretan, to examine into the question of the dispossession of mosques, lands, cemeteries, etc., committed to the injury of Mussulman bodies.
On the other hand, the protecting powers judge it indispensable that the National Cretan Assembly should revise certain articles of the constitution in order to carry out the proposed reforms in the interest of the island, and on the following points:
Organization of the militia, annual sessions and budgets, creation of an organ of financial control, guaranties for the recruiting and stability of officials.
In informing the Cretan people of these decisions the protecting powers do not doubt but that the Cretans will take into account that every step forward in the realization of their national aspirations is subordinate to the establishment and maintenance of order and to the establishment of a stable régime.