1900.09.22_The London Times, p05 – The Macedonian Revolutionary Committee

1900.09.22_The London Times, p05 - The Macedonian Revolutionary Committee

(fhom oue own correspondent.) •
VIENNA, sɪpr. 21. ;
The resignation, of M. Natchevitch, the BuP garian Minister of Commerce, who was under*’ stood to favour -a more or less conciliatory attitude on the part of the Principality in the Kumano-Bulgarian conflict, would seem to imply that Prince Ferdinand and his other Ministers do not yet see their way or actually fear to deal summarily with the Macedonian. BevblutaonaiX Committee. It remains to he seen whether the startling revelations that are expected to ha made at the Bucharest trial next month vdH not compel them to modify their present policy. Meanwhile, emboldened by the impunity hitherto extended to it, the Macedonian committee has become the veritable mentor of the Government* while it «how’s little regard for the warning cC Austria-Hungary and Bussis. i .
The current number of the JRerue d’ Orient publishes a conversation which its editor has had at Sofia with M. Sarafcf, the president of the committee. He describes M. Sarafof a* being anything but ferocious in appearance. He is still quite a young man, under 30, by no means of unpleasant address or manner. He found him at the office of the organ of the party, the Ki/omi. . In the course of the interview M-Sarafof explained to him that the object which the Macedonian committee had- in view was the autonomy of Macedonia and of the province o< .Adri&nbhle in*oonformitx wɪththej^^
Art-el« 23 and C2 oftho Berlin Treaty. It was • mistake to suppose tbU they wished to detach Maced-,nhx from Turkey ia order to giro it to Bulgaria Their uxitto and their programme was “ Mscodcnla for tho Maco donians.” a* they did not wish to Infringe the laws of tho Principality they confined their pro-pagaada there to pcnnisriblo and, in » certain •case, legal methods. It was somewhat different, however, when they operated on Ottoman
M. Sarafof positively stated that tho Bulgarian Government gave them no support whatever. The contrary was tho case. As vaiccds cf Turkey, •outcoding with financial difficalti« and wanting peece at any price in order to keep in office ana <r> «sfeguard tho general interests cf the country, the Bulgarian Govcmmcntoppoecd their agitation and placed obstacl« in tho way of their activity. If tho authoritl« were not afraid of publie opinion, which was favourable to the committee, they would have arrested all its members, and M. Sarafof was convinced that each
would still bo the fate of himself and his friends in ease things took a tnoro wrious turn. Consequently, they were beginning to despair of being able to continue a legal and perxxful propounds. The populations of Macedonia and Thrace, who could no longer enduro the yoke of tbo oppressor, saw no other bɪaue to tho situation than a general rising—that is to •ay, a rortɪlɑtioo. At lad they hid realized that it «as a delusion to expect assistance from tho foreigner ,ɪnd that all freedom had been conquered at the cost of bloodshed. As tar as he personally was concerned, tbo moment was approaching when bo would abandon Bulgaria in order to place himself at tho hoad of his countrymen when they should raise tho standard of revolt against Turkey. They wcro not hopeful as to tho Isaac, ‘being *cU aware that tho csigencice cf European diplomacy would deliver thorn up at tho decisive Жкхпсп*. to tho sword of Turkey.
Referring to tho Rumanian murders, M. Sara-tot formally declared that none cf them had been perpetrated at tho instigation of tho Macedonian h Aft I Ai they I ‘-‘-ɪ M »’• ••• tbo authors of those crimes. He accounted for them in this way. Ho affirmed that Turkish tyranny, which had always weighed heavily on th« Macedonians, had becoruo unbearable since tho discovery at tho village of Vioitsa three wears ago of a quantity of arms and ammunition. Tho 230.000 Macedonians who had emigrated from Turkey, and of whom there wore 30,000 st Sells, constituting more than half of tho population cf that town, could not return to their horn« as they would be exposed to administrative penalties, exile, and torture. Flying from tho oppressor, these peoplo went to the neighbouring tree countri«, where they continually mot. Instead of the sympathizers and friends «horn they had eɪpeetod, nothing but enemies and even traitors and Turkish spi« like the famous Miehailconu. In these circumstances, excited patriots, and particularly young people, could not repress their sentiments and struck down the first enemy that camo in their way. These Isolated cases wcro damaging to tho general and systematic movement, well organized and directed, which alone coulé secure any result. Tho limo might como when tho Great Powers would occupy theɪɪnelves with tbo solution of tho Eastern question, when Russia would seize Constantinople, Austria-Hungary would take Balonika, and Germany would appropriate the valley of tho Euphrates. Bat then Europe would ■think only cf its interests and set those of tho Macedonians at naught.
If tho Bulgarian Government, under tho pressure cf circumstances, proceeded to dis-s .’.vo tbo Mml ■ hffi OftBBUttoc, the safety-‘valve would bo shut, and no ooe could cheek tho disturbing dements in Macedonia, with which tho committee would then throw in their lot
without sny deceptive hope aa to tbo fate that awaited them. It was not hope that guided them, but destiny, a fatality that drove them to accomplish what they believed to bo their duty. The only compensation they sought for tbolr labour, and even the sacrificn of their live*, was sympathy for their eauvo, not from Governments and diplomatists, but from European publie opiniez •cd honest people of all nation.-.. They were bobody’s agents, and did not ereo trouble them solves as to which race should bo preponderant lx Macedonia. Ho was aware that each of th< minor Balkan States individually coveted Maco donlan territory, but nobody thought of th< Macedonians and that was why the committo« would not lend itself to any of their vurioɑ tchemes. While everybody thought cf themelvm why could not tbo Macedonians also look to i future of their own ?
After alluding to the alleged designs o Euaazda, M. Sarafof added that they could no tolerate tho existing condition of aCalrs in definitely simply to please the Rumanians, par tlcdarly as tho latter had for tho last five year boon thefr wont enemies. All the Macedonia committees in Remania had been dissolved, tbei funds confiscated, and their members prosecuted and even handed over to the Turkish police “Whatever might happen, tbo committee would d St» duty, and rather today than tomorrow.