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100 years ago: Empires old and new

by
11 March 2022

March 10th, 1922.

THE Viceroy of India, on the eve of the Greco-Turkish Conference, has taken the very grave step of telegraphing to the Government, and incidentally informing the world at large, the demands of Moslem India. They involve the restoration of Turkey to her old position of oppressor of Christian populations in Europe and Asia Minor. It is proposed that Constantinople shall be evacuated, and that we should give back to Turkey Adrianople — at the expense of Bulgaria which won it for herself; Smyrna — at the expense of Greece, and to the danger of Yugo-Slavia, Rumania and Greece; Jerusalem — at the expense of every Christian nation which has an interest in the Holy Places of Christendom, to say nothing of the Arab whom we have already alienated and of the Jew for whom our absurd and costly Zionist policy has been devised; Mecca and Medina and Baghdad — at the expense of the Arab. If these demands were conceded the Indian Moslem would learn two things, that the British raj was no longer based upon principle, and that it was possible, and even easy, to deflect British policy by threats. That lesson learned, there would speedily be an end of our rule in India, which we should have deserved to lose. Outside the Northcliffe Press the proposals find no support. The Daily Chronicle, most sedulous of all supporters of the Government, sees in the proposals a grave peril to our understanding with France. The Morning Post, which so often has a kindly word for the Turk, considers the proposals impracticable. The Daily Telegraph points out the futility of meeting Indian disaffection with concessions. These papers probably reflect the feeling of the great majority of educated Englishmen.

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