Page:The European Concert in the Eastern Question.djvu/241

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225
THE STRAITS.

between Great Britain and the Porte, it is recited, that ships of war have at all times been prohibited from entering the channel of Constantinople, The ancient rule. viz. the Straits of the Dardanelles and of the Black Sea, and that this 'ancient regulation of the Ottoman Empire' ought in future to be observed towards every Power in time of peace, and Great Britain promises 'on its part to conform to this principle.'

Treaty of Unkiar-Skelessi. An exception to the ancient rule was made in favour of Russia, by the Treaty of Unkiar-Skelessi, in 1883; and the presence of the fleets of the Powers in the Straits was contemplated in the Treaty of 15th July, 1840, Treaty of London, 1840. which, however, states (Art. 4) that this co-operation shall be considered only as a measure of exception, adopted at the express demand of the Sultan, and shall not derogate in any degree from the ancient rule of the Ottoman Empire, which the Sultan engages to maintain, and the four Powers to respect. By a Protocol of even date the Porte reserves to itself the right to deliver passes to light vessels for the service of the correspondence of the Legations[1].

Protocol of 1841. The four Powers, by a Protocol dated 10th July, in the following year[2], and the same Powers, with the addition of France, by a Treaty signed on the 13th of the same month, engage to respect the ancient rule; the Sultan by the Treaty The Treaty of 1841. also engaging to uphold the rule, while reserving to himself to allow the passage of light vessels in the service of the Missions[3].

The Convention annexed to the Treaty of 1856.

This Treaty was superseded by Art. 10 of the Treaty of Paris of 1856, and the annexed Convention[4], which is to have the same validity as if it formed an integral part of the principal Treaty. This Convention is still in force, having been confirmed Confirmed by the Treaty of 1871. by Art. 2, of the Treaty of London, of 1871, which, however, allows the Sultan to open the Straits in case of
  1. See Art. 4 of the Treaty, supra, p. 92, and the Protocol, supra, p. 95.
  2. See the Protocol, supra, p. 99.
  3. See the Treaty, supra, p. 100.
  4. See the Treaty, and annexed Convention, infra. Texts, No. I.