File No. 871/28–29.

Chargé Einstein to the Secretary of State.

No. 1059.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copy, with translation, the note of the Ottoman Government to the four powers concerning Crete, dated July 22, 1909.

I have, etc.,

Lewis Einstein.

The undersigned, minister for foreign affairs, had the honor to receive with its inclosure the note which his excellency the ambassador of ------ kindly [Page 340] sent him on July 13, 1909, to inform him of certain decisions made by his Government in agreement with the cabinets of London, Paris, Rome, and St. Petersburg on the subject of Crete.

The Sublime Porte sincerely thanks the four powers for the assurances which they are kind enough to give, not only confirming once more the rights of His Majesty the Sultan on the island but also guaranteeing the protection of the goods and lives of the Mohammendan population, and it hastens to accept the same. It feels sure that this protection will be extended also to their civic rights.

The Sublime Porte nevertheless considers it its duty to make certain reservations concerning the expression “supreme rights” used in this note, which it considers equivalent to that of “sovereign rights.”

Furthermore, the Imperial Government feels compelled to observe that the proposal previously made by it for opening negotiations with the cabinets of the four powers to regulate henceforth the form and conditions of autonomy which it would be best to grant to the island remains the sole and natural solution of the present difficulties.

In fact, the actual condition of affairs on the island is not only a grave infringement on the sovereign rights of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, rights which the four powers in all their declarations, and especially in the collective note of October 4, 1898, formally promised to cause to be respected, but it constitutes at the same time an attack on the elementary principles of public law. A third State, which has no claim and no right to authority over Crete, has been brought into the administration of the island in a way distinctly threatening to the rights of the Sublime Porte, creating thus a situation the continuation of which the Imperial Government can by no means allow.

Consequently it hopes that the four powers, from their feelings of high equity and their ancient friendship for the Ottoman State, will not fail to recognize the reasonableness of these considerations and will endeavor with firmness to cause to disappear all trace of the interference of the third State in question from the affairs of the island, which will enable the Sublime Porte to consider the fixing of an early date for pourparlers with a view to the establishment of an autonomous administration in the island on the basis of Ottoman sovereignty.

The undersigned would thank his excellency to kindly inform his Government of the preceding, and seizes this occasion, etc.,