TO THE EDITOR OP THE ARGUS
Sir, — Never has language seemed more utterly bankrupt of the power of adequate expression of human anguish than in the cyclone of destruction and misery that is deluging so many lands with blood and fire to-day. Since Belgium's first wail of bitter suffering thrilled the civilised world to such a magnificent response of eager help and sympathy, one nation after another hass been swept into the awful vortex, and added many voices to the general chorus of woe. Last, but by no means least worthy, nay, most innocent Armenia's long smothered cry of agony from 800,000 tortured victims is beginning to be heard even in Australia. And, alas! there is nothing new about the present conditions in that hapless land of many martyrs. For fifteen hundred years these long-suffering people have been the easy prey of their fierce rulers, wether Persians, Russians or Turks, to say nothing of Kurds, among whom they dwell as sheep among everraving wolves.
The bright hopes of better days which were raised by the sudden granting of the Turkish Constitution in July, 1908, were soon blotted out by the terrible massacres of April 14-24 of the following year. I have no wish to enlarge upon the horrors of that time, which differ not in kind, but in degree only, from those portrayed in your columns last week.
Those who remember the accounts sent by me to the press in this and other States may wonder that, even among so many more popular claims, I have retrained from making any appeal since the war began. But until the particulars came to hand it would have been useless to add to the many more popular claims by attempting to rouse fresh interest; and even now it is chiefly the hope that many on the long list of old subscribers to the relief funds with which I have ever since been connected, both in London and Armenia itself, may be glad to know that the old channel of communication is still open, and that I shall be most thankful to recieve and forward any contributions, however small to “The Friends of Armenia,” 7 Victoria street, Westminster, who are in close touch with the various American missionaries who were recalled by their societies, to their own country, to their deep sorrow, when Turkey began to mobilise.
The Turks are bent on extermination, and have made uppalling progress. Out of a population of 1,500,000, 800,000 have been destroyed since May 15 of this year! Can we take it in? And shall we follow America's example, and find that, notwithstanding all we have done for other sufferers, we can spare something for these most pitiful of all? — Yours, & c.,
Hon. Secretary and Treasurer of the Armenian Relief Fund, Independent Church offices. Malvern road, Prahran.