Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.
Athens, July 27, 1906.
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.[Page 821]
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.,