Page:The European Concert in the Eastern Question.djvu/301

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Railways.Art. X. Bulgaria takes the place of the Imperial Ottoman Government in its undertakings and obligations towards the Rustchuk-Varna Railway Company, dating from the exchange of the ratifications of the present Treaty. The settlement of the previous accounts is reserved for an understanding between the Sublime Porte, the Government of the Principality, and the administration of this Company[1]

The Principality of Bulgaria likewise, so far as it is concerned, takes the place of the Sublime Porte in the engagements which the latter has contracted, as well towards Austria-Hungary as towards the Company, for working the railways of European Turkey in respect to the completion and connection, as well as the working of the railways situated in its territory.

The Conventions necessary for the settlement of these questions shall be concluded between Austria-Hungary, the Porte, Servia, and the Principality of Bulgaria immediately after the conclusion of peace[2].

  1. Till the assent of the Porte had been given to the decisions of the Delimitation Commissioners, the Powers declined to move in the matter; but this having been given in August, 1881, a Conference upon the subject was held at Constantinople on 17th September following, but adjourned in consequence of a representation from the Russian delegate, to the effect that the total amount of the Ottoman debt had not yet been ascertained by the financial Commission recommended by the 18th Protocol of the Congress. Turkey having on 20th December arranged with her creditors, the Conference reassembled in the spring of 1882, when further difficulties were raised with reference to the war indemnity, as security for which Russia wished the Bulgarian tribute to be assigned to her. The indemnity question was, however, otherwise settled by the Convention of 14th May, 1882 (q. v. Appendix, No. II).

  2. Bulgaria has repudiated any liability for arrears due by the Porte to the Rustchuk-Varna Railway Company, but was urged to submit the interpretation of this Article to the signatory Powers. (See Correspondence 1878−84 in Parl. Papers, 1884, Commercial, No. 13.) The negotiation has continued, and a Convention was concluded with the Company, which was, however, rejected by the Assembly on 12th February, 1885.
  3. Cf. Art. 38. A Railway Convention between Austria and Servia was signed on 8th July, 1878; N. R. G. 2me Série, viii, 319: varied by another, signed on 9th April, 1880, ibid, vi, 366, A Conference à Quatre of the governments mentioned in this Article sat at Vienna during the first half of 1881, but broke up on 20th June, without having obtained the assent of the Porte to the arrangement to which the others had agreed. Its sittings were resumed, and a Convention was signed on 9th May, 1883, and ratified by the four governments on 23rd October; N. R.G. 2me Série, ix, 720. Under this Convention the lines connecting Belgrade with Constantinople and