Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/312

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272 THE CECILS

treaty followed closely the lines of the Salisbury- Shu valov agreement. The most dangerous pro- vision of the Treaty of San Stefano, by which a greater Bulgaria, extending southwards to the Aegean, was formed into an autonomous principality, was abrogated, and instead two autonomous provinces were formed Bulgaria with an elected prince, and Eastern Roumelia, south of the Balkans, with a Christian governor nominated by the Porte. Russia obtained Bess- arabia as well as Kars and Batoum, the latter to be made into a free commercial port. Montenegro, Servia and Roumania were confirmed in their independence, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were handed over to be administered by Austria. The latter arrangement was Lord Salisbury's own proposal, and was in accordance with his strongly held opinion, that " in the strength and indepen- dence of Austria lie the best hopes of European stability and peace." 1

By a convention with Turkey, concluded before the Conference met, the protectorate of Cyprus was transferred to England, who, in return, undertook to guarantee the integrity of the Sultan's Asiatic possessions.

Though the provisions of this treaty have not proved lasting, great credit is due to the British plenipotentiaries for their share in it ; and of this credit, Lord Salisbury, in spite of Bismarck's unkind description of him as "a lath painted to look like iron," deserves almost, if not quite, as

1 Speech at Manchester, October, 1879.

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