I The War. I._............_-_.........-""""-"""""'-""'¡|1878-02-02|Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register - Welsh Newspapers Online
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I The War. .¡ | Although a week has elapsed since the news came that the peace preliminaries were arranged, we are still unhappily without authentic news of the signing of the armistice, and, as no reason- able explanation of the delay is vouchsafed, it is impossible to say how long this painful and dan- gerous suspense may continue. We say dan- gerous, because every day that lapses now be fore the suspension of hostilities adds to the chance of some new imbroglio which may easily result in the rekindling and indefinite prolongation of the war. An official despatch from Mr Layard, received on Wednesday, only deepens the mys- tery of this delay. Mr Layard says that he has been categorically and distinctly informed by the Grand Vizier that the Porte telegraphed to its Flenipotentiiuies, on the 23rd ult., orders and full powers to accept the bases of peace submitted to them in writing by the Grand Duke Nicholas, and that the Porte has since telegraphed to the Plenipotentiaries to inquire the result, but could get no reply, although telegraphic communication with Kezanlik is still open, and private messages for that placa are regularly transmitted and answered. The A!)cii-(,,e Raw, in explanation of thfc delay, states that the instructions sent by the Porte to its Plenipotentiaries at Kezanlik, were forwarded by the roundabout route of Trieste, Vienna, and Bucharest, but if they were sent by wire the route could not be very material. In effect Turkey declares that the fault of this delay is not on her side, that she has accepted all the conditions of peace proposed by Russia under pressure of the misery and exhaustion produced by the war, but though willing and anxious to sign the preliminary convention, and so stay further bloodshed, the Porte declares that Russia will vouchsafe no answer, and no intelligence whatever is received from her Plenipotentiaries. On the other hand, the Russian organs throw the blame of the delay on Turkey, alleging that she will not consent to a military occupation of Con- stantinople, but we are told quite recently that Russia had waived this condition, in considera- tion of the excited state of the capital and the susceptibilities of some of the neutral Powers, and it is probable, therefore, that the delay, if intentional, is referable to causes wholly uncon- nected with the negotiations between the belli- gerents themselves. These causes may be partly of a military character and partly political, arising out of the diplomatic communications going on between Austria, Russia, and England. On this subject we have little but rumours or unofficial report to II' guide us, and we need hardly say, therefore, that j we speak with all reserve. The general tenor of these reports is to the effect that a certain amount of" tension" has arisen at the eleventh hour in the relations of Austria and Russia, and that Count Andntssy, like our own Lord ISeaconsfield, has become piqued, if not alarmed, at the mysterious reticence of Russia, and dis- covers something suspicious in the comprehensive vagueness of the skeleton terms of peace, which have been officially communicated. Austria, it is reported, is not favourable to the proposed ad- ministrative autonomy of Bosnia and Herze- govina, cares not for annefing these provincesâ at present, at any rate-is not satisfied with the proposed arrangements for the government of Bulgaria, nor, indeed, with the proposed cession to Russia of that little strip of Bessarabia to which also the Roumanians cling with sullen affection. Such is a general outline of the reasons alleged for Austria's dissatisfac- tion and it is said that, as the outcome of this dissatisfaction, a note has been sent from Vienna to St. Petersburg, declaring in substance that no conditions of peace can be regarded as definite until they have received the sanction of a Euro- pean Congress. England, at the same time, we are told, sent a note to Russia in identical terms. A Tim A despatch from Berlin states that Austria might not be unwilling to accept the proposed cession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, }. h 'I b which IS offered her by Russia as a sop for Cerberus, were it not that she seriously objects to the proposed independence of Servia, Monte- negro, and Roumania. From Bucharest it is an- I nounced that General Ignatieff has arrived there, with an autograph letter from the Czar to Prince Charles, and that it is feared there Russia will not renounce the demand for the cession of the Roumanian portion of Bessarabia, with or without the equivalent of a slice of the Dobrud- scha for Prince Charles. Thus diplomatic diffi- culties are quite sufficient without seeking further to account for the hesitation of Russia about signing the armistice, and so foregoing her right to move her armies to any point of Turkey whence. opposition was threatened to her plans by England, Austria, or even Roumania. Another motive for this hesitation is suggested by the I rumour that England is intriguing with some foreign Power-presumably Austria-with a view to a joint intervention between Russia and Tur- key, and that the Power in question has only consented to this step conditional on some such proof of the power of Lord Beaconsfield's Minis- try to carry the country with them as would be furnished by a war vote treated as one of confi- dence. While the grass grows, according to the proverb, the steed starves, and while the Pleni- potentiaries at Adrianople are laboriously ne- gotiating the tenns of peace, Turkey continues a prey to the horrors of war, which were never so productive of misery and suffering as they seem to be at this final stage of the conflict, when all power of resistance on the part of the Turks is completely broken down. In and about the capital in particular, where the great mass of re- fugees is congregated, the state of affairs appear tobe sonietliiii- awful. There is no confirmation however, of the report from Constantinople that the Russians are still enlarging the area of de- solation by advancing upon the Bosphorus, and we take it that if Russians have been seen as far south as Schorl u they have been merely scouts. The latest authentic information regarding the Russian movements in Roumelia is contained in a despatch from Semenli, of Friday's date, to the effect that General Skobeleff, jun., an- nounced that the fortifications of Adrianople are excellent, all being substantially faced with stone, and provided with escarpments of counter- scraps. Prom a Turkish source we learn that Ba-lrer Pacha, with 4,000 men belonging to the Turkish rearguard, has arrived at Gallipoli. The Servians and Montenegrins continue to strengthen their positions, so as to be as .strong as possible when peace is actually made. The Russians continue to concentrate their troops at Erzerouin. Typhus fever is raging- there, and there are 10,000 sick and wounded in hospital, of whom 250 are said to die daily. The rius-iaii- have succeeded in sinking one of the Turkish war ships, off Batoum, by means of torpedoes. | THE RUSSIAN TERMS OF PEACE. It may he useful to set out in a distinct form, as they are given by Sir Stafford Northcote, the Russian terms of peace, communicated on Friday last to Lord Derby by the Russian Ambassador. They are as follows 1.- nulrari;1 within the limits of the Bulgarian nationality (not less than that of the Conference) to be all autonomous tributary principality, with a national Christian government, having a nat ional militia, and no Turkish troops, except at some points to be determined. 2.âIndependence of Iloiitenc,(rro, with all increase of territory equivalent to the military xtatv* flito; the frontier to be decided hereafter. 3.âIndependence of Roumania, with an accession of territory. 4. fllllepenllfnce of Servia, with a rectification of frontier. 5. âAutonomous administration, to be sufficiently guaranteed, to) Bosnia !ii(! i. -,iriiiltr reforms for the other Christian primes. 7.- An indemnity to Russia for the expenses of the war, either peenniary, territorial, or otherwise, in a form to be decided hereafter. 8.âAn ulterior understanding for the safeguard of the interests of Russia in the Straits. I PUBLIC FEELING IN GREECE. I Public feeling in Greece is in a highly in- flammable state. On Saturday, a large crowd paraded the streets by way of making a de- monstration in favour of war. It increased in vastness until it numbered at least ten thousand persons. The mob attacked the houses of several Ministers, including that of the new Premier, who is supposed to be adverse to a war- like policy. The rioters afterwards besieged the Royal Palace, and his Majesty, laudably anxious to quell the excitement, even at the risk of appearing a little undignified, addressed a few reassuring words to them, and told them that it was indispensable to remain calm. The crowd was ultimately dispersed by the troops. The cause of this sudden outburst of popular excite- ment is, of course, the prospect of an immediate peace. The Greeks feel that they have lost the opportunity of obtaining territorial advantages in the present crisis, by delaying to take part in the struggle; and their indignation is directed against the Ministers who have restrained until too late the popular movement in favour of war. Telegrams from Vienna and Paris state that the King is preparing to take his departure for the frontier. I ENGLAND AND THE WAR. I The Government demand for money, the retirement of Lord Carnarvon from the Cabinet, and the withdrawal of Lord Derby's resignation, with the action in reference to the sending of the Fleet to the Dardanelles, have been the all- absorbing topi^ cs of the past week. With refer- ence to the latter, it appears that the Govern- ment, alarmed by the rumours of the rapid approach of the Russians on Gallipoli, sent the following telegram to Admiral Hornby, on the 23rd:â lost Secret. Sail at once for the Dardanelles, and proceed with the fleet now with you to Constantinople. "You are to abstain from taking any part in the contest between Russia and Turkey, but the water- way of the Straits is to be kept open, and in the event of tumult at Constantinople you are to protect life and property of British subjects. Use your own judgment in detaching such vessels as you may think necessary to preserve the water-way of the Dardanelles, but do not go above Constan- tinople. "Report your departure and communicate with Besika Bay for possible further orders, but do not wait if none are there. Keep your destination absolutely secret." The Sultan had consented to this action. Ad- miral Hornby replied under date 24th Jan., 6.10 p.m., from Vourla Orders received sail at 5 p,m. to-day for the Dardanelles and Constanti- nople orders left for Alexandra and colliers to follow," The arrival of the news that the Porte had accepted the terms of peace led the Govern- ment to consider that the sending out of the Fleet was no longer necessary, because if the Porte had accepted the terms of peace on the basis of the armistice, it was, of course, to he presumed that there would be no further ad- vance of Russia against Constantinople, and that there would be no danger of the tumults apprehended. Accordingly, the following further despatch was sent on 21th Jan., 7.25 p.m,, to Admiral Hornby, at Vourlas also at Koumalakeh and Chanak: Annul former orders anchor at Besika Bay, and await further orders report arrival there." Admiral Hornby replied from the Dardanelles, 25th Jan., 5.45 p.m. "Received your tele- graphic communication to anchor Besika Bay when abreast Dardanelles forts firman received there for passage of straits; I returned to Besika Bay immediately, as ordered. The disruption in the Minsstry has not been so great as anticipatèll, Lord Derby having withdrawn his resignation. His reasons for so doing, and Lord Carnarvon's explanation of I his retirement will be found in our Parliamentary intelligence. It is stated that Lord Sandon will be the new Colonial Secretary. The War Vote of six millions is being stren- uously opposed by the Liberal party in the House of ( ommons, and throughout the whole country hundreds of meetings have been and are being held daily to protest against it. Rumours have been in circulation that the Liberal leaders in Parliament are not united in the course proposed to lie adopted with regard to the war vote pro- posed by Ministers, with special reference to Lord Hartington. We are able to state, upon absolute authority, that there is no foundation for any such rumours; and that the Liberal leaders are firmly united in the policy announced in the amendment of which notice has been given on behalf of the Liberal partv. MR GLADSTONE ON THE SITUATION. On Wednesday, Mr Gladstone received an address from the Liberal Association of Oxford, in the Corn Exchange, which was densely crowded. Professor Glen occupied the chair, and the address, which was read by Sir William V. Harcourt, expressed, inter (dia, thanks to the right honourable gentleman for having taught that England had no true interests opposed to the interests of mankind, and that the cause of our country was not to be served by the support of a power which denied the simplest personal rights to the greater part of its subjects. In acknowledging the receipt of the address, Mr Gladstone said that, on the events which might occur during the next few days, week, or fortnight, might depend the general peace of the world, and it was on that account that he had accepted the invitation to be present at Oxford, It was charged against Liberals that they had neglected British interests, but the measures of the last quarter of a century proved that the liberals had devoted their lives to British j-interests. For the last eighteen months they had scarcely had :t day of repose on the Eastern ques- tion. and this was the sort of tranquility that was promised by a Tory Government. When speak- ing on the Eastern Question in regard to the Uowrnment, he spoke of Lord neacpnfield, for no one in the Cabinet had the power of purpose which he possessed. There was an ancient fable, according to which mankind were told that, under the dispensation of the mortals, all the warring winds of heaven were shut up in a bag that bag w.? the Cabinet, and, as lon? as the b? did not burst, it wa? called a United Cabinet. Ten days :?o a warlike measure was taken by the sending of a British fleet to the Dardanelles. The fleet had been sent with the assent of Turkey. There wm reason to believe that this assent was not given till Mr Layard intimated that the fleet would go with or without the as-I sent of Turkey. He believed Turkey had no right to give that assent; and he considered the sending of the fleet into the Dardanelles was an act of war and a breach of neutrality. As to the vote of six millions being a vote of confidence, It was dear at the money. It was said not to be a vote for war, although the money could only be spent on military and naval armaments. If the Government wanted the strength of Eng- land at their backs, they could have it through the vote of the people. The vote of 96,000,000 would be taken by the Sultan to be an en- couragement to prolong the war. Their sup- porters might think the vote necessary to save Lord Beaconsfield, for if they lost him many of them thought that England would sink to the bottom of the sea, or, at any rate, into a third- rate Power. Would the vote be carried? He a reared the Irish vote but he hojied, for the honour of Ireland, that they who had been struggling themselves to be free would respect and sympathise with the freedom of others but, if they did not, a stigina would rest upon them a hundredfold blacker than anything from which their country had suffered. The Liberals were in a minority in the House of Commons, but they had the country with them on this ques- tion. It rested with the country to say whether it would incur and lay upon itself the tremen- dous burdens of this vote, and of encouraging Turkey to persevere in prolonging a cruel and bloody struggle that had already nearly de- stroyed her. (Loud cheers.)

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