Page:The European Concert in the Eastern Question.djvu/262

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THE BALKAN PENINSULA, ETC.: TEXTS.

Hatti-Humayoun Art. IX. His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, having, in his constant solicitude for the welfare of his subjects, issued a Firman[1] which, while ameliorating their condition without distinction of religion or of race, records his generous intentions towards the Christian populations of his Empire, and wishing to give a further proof of his sentiments in that respect, has resolved to communicate to the Contracting Parties the said Firman emanating spontaneously from his sovereign will.

The Contracting Powers recognise the high value of this communication. It is clearly understood that it cannot, in any case, give to the said Powers the right to interfere, either collectively or separately, in the relations of His Majesty the Sultan with his subjects, nor in the internal administration of his Empire.


The Straits.

The ancient rule. Art. X. The Convention of the 13th of July, 1841, which maintains the ancient rule of the Ottoman Empire relative to the closing of the Straits of the Bosphorus and of the Dardanelles, has been revised by common consent[2].

The Act concluded for that purpose, and in conformity with that principle, between the High Contracting Parties, is and remains annexed to the present Treaty, and shall have the same force and validity as if it formed an integral part thereof[3].


  1. pp. 87, 104. Cf. Prot. 23 of the Congress of Paris, to the following effect: 'The Plenipotentiaries do not hesitate to express, in the name of their government, the wish that States between which any serious misunderstanding may arise, should, before appealing to arms, have recourse, as far as circumstances might allow, to the good offices of a friendly Power. The Plenipotentiaries hope that the governments not represented at the Congress will unite in the sentiment which has inspired the wish recorded in the present Protocol.' Parl. Papers, 1856, Eastern Papers.

  2. I. e. the Hatti-Humayoun of 18th February, 1856; q. v. Appendix No. I.
  3. Q. V. supra, p. 100. The 'ancient rule' had been recognised by Great Britain in the Treaty of the Dardanelles, of 5th January, 1809; and by Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia, in the Treaty of London of 15th July, 1840, and Protocol (1) of the same date, and in the Protocol of 13th July, 1841 (supra, pp. 92, 95, 99).
  4. The provisions of the annexed Act, q. v. infra, p. 255, were supplemented by Art. 2 of the Treaty of London (Texts, No. V), but were not affected by the Treaty of Berlin (Texts, No. VI).