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LONDON CORRESPONDENCE.

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FOREIGN AND COLONIAL.

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STEAMBOAT COLLISION AND LOSS…

ALEXANDRA PALACE. '

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THE EASTERN QUESTION.[< .......-

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THE EASTERN QUESTION. [< THE BRITISH FLEET IN THE BAY OF 1 MUDANIA. 1 The Vienna correspondent of the Times, under date Feb. 18th, says: According to advices both from Con- 1 stantinople and St. Petersburg, the question as to the 1 entrance into the Golden Horn of the British fleet, ] on the one hand, and the occupation of Constants nople t»y the Russians, on the other, seems now, as was foreseen, to have been arranged by a compromise. Yesterday the British squadron was to leave its anchorage ground at Prince's Islands and go to Gemlek, in the Bay of Mudania, in the south- easterly corner of the Sea of Marmora; while, in return the Russians renounced their intention of occupying Stamboul. This is the Constantinople version, at least, while the.Agence Russe asserts that the Russians, at the desire of the Sultan, have decided not to occupy Gallipoli. The two accounts are pro- bably the complement of each other, only, parhaDs, the Russian promise not to interfere with Gallipoh was not made, as stated by the Agenee Russe, to the Porte, which, in existing circumstances, may be sup posed to be tolerably indifferent as to whether or not these lines are occupied by the Russians, but to England, who declared that any.att,p on the part of Russia cal- culated to hamrer or impede the movements of the fleet would be likely to produce very serious results. The news, it is true, of the Russians having renounced their intention to occupy Oonstantinople comes only from that city itself, and not even in a very positive form, merely as an expectation, but the fact that nothing more is said of the departure of the Sultan and that he still remains in the Yildiz Kiosk in the gardens above Dolmabagtsche, looks as if the concuss-on had really been made. RROUSSA. Broussa, which is spoken of as a retreat for the Sultan in the event of the Russians entering Constan- tinople. is a cltJ that has seen better days." Formerly the residence of the kings of Bithynia, it fell into the hands °f the Turks in 1356, and became the capital of the Empire, which position it held until the taking of Constantinople by Mohammed II. in 1453. A more pleasant refuge for a monarch in distress can hardly be conceived. Situated at the foot of Mount Olympus, in Asia Minor, it is faced by a beauti- ful plain covered for many miles with planta- tions of mulberry trees. Its streets are remark- able for their cleanliness and its bazaars, plentifully supplied European goods, afford unusual facilities for shopping, besides imparting an air of liveliness to the place that redeems it from the charge of dullness too ot ten brought with some justice against the cities in Asia Minor. Every rose, however, has its thorn, and isroussa is no exception to this rule. It is subject to frequent earthquakes, and those who live In in it must expect, like those who are in the habit of travelling much by railway, to be occasionally severely shaken. Apart from this slight inconvenience, Broussa, although, or course, not to be compared with Constan- tinople for beauty and splendour, is by no means a bad substitute for that capital on an emergency, and from its associations alone cannot be regarded other- wise than with a feeling of profound veneration by the Turk. TWO PARTIES IN "OFFICIAL" AUSTRIA. A correspondent writes from Vienna under date of the 13th inst: In our official world there are two con- tending parties. The one is anxious to force Russia to fulfil her promises at once, the other is in favour of not bringing any pressure to bear upon Russia till after the meeting of the Congress. Up to the present moment it remains doubtful which of these two parties will carry the day. Much depends upon the attitude of England. If Great Britainlshould take the initia- tive in decisive action, Austria would follow suit. In gungnT '"ere is the utmost enthusiasm in favour of war» but at Vienna public feeling is not so excitable, At all events we are on the eve of important decisions, as i* shown by the fact that the Archduke Albert has been summoned by telegraph to Vienna from the gouthern Tyrol, and that, according to common re- port, the Emperor has addressed an autograph letter to the Vza5' Relieved that Count Andrassy is determined to object to Bulgaria being erected into an independent State, unless the new Principality should be made It a secundo geniture of Austria. ALLEGED SEPARATE TREATY BETWEEN rru t- v S TURKEY. The Times Vienna correspondent says The world as yet knows nothing about the precise tenour of the stipulations made at Ananople, but the rumours of a $epara ,rea 7 &vmg likewise been signed come back Pertinacity. According to a tele- 2™?°* orresPondeng from Constanti- 86111 bv ot Athens» the signature ? u. T A'a c?nyention had ceased to be a secret ,n the Turkish capital. Besides several clauses relat- ,ng to the future relations between Turkey and Russia a stipulation 18 said to exist that a portion of the Turkish fleet shall be surrendered to Russia as part of the war indemnity, and that 1800 sailors and naval officers are already in Roumelia for the purpose of manning the ships. It ia a fact, at any rate, that sailors have passed through Roumania into Bulgaria, though it may be impossible to ascertain the numbers. The Russians, moreover, have stipulated tor the occupation of the Egean coast from Makri to Ursha, in the Gulf of Xeros. There is, therefore, nothing in the way of Hobart Pasb. receiving orders to proceed to Dedeaghatch, at the mouth of the Maritza, to surrender the ships under his command, so that the new ironclad fleet of Russia may make its appearance any day in the Golden Horn, thus securing both by sea and land her position in Constantinople and in the Straits. But even without such assistance from an iron- clad neet, Russia, with the position by land abe already has, or may at any moment take, may, if not exactly blockade, at least greatly im- pede the movements of the foreign fleets in the Golden Horn. t> With Constantinople in her hands, the forts on the Bosphorus are also virtually in the power of Russia, while the position of Sharkoi, apart from its close vicinity to Gallipoli, may itself be used to prevent the movements of vessels out of the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmora. The distance to the opposite point of Kara Burun is not more than ten or twelve miles, and then the course taken by vessels from Gallipoli is to the island of Marmara within a few miles of the coast, so that, what with strand batteries and torpedoes, the pas- sage could be made rather insecure. The opening of the Black Sea navigation affords every facility for bringing down all that is wanted, and at Odesaa. tor- pedoes have actually been shipped. Contraband of war, it is true, is excepted by the terms of the armis- tice, but this is mere form « j WAR VICTIMS. A despatch from the Russian head-quarters at Adrianople, announces that on the 29th ult. the Rus- sian troops occupied Eski Djuma, which they found terribly devastated. The town was burning in several parts, and upwards of 200 mutilated corpses, among which were those of several women and children, were lying in the suburbs. From Eski Djuma the Russians advanced as far as Eski Stamboul and Verbitza, but on the 4th mst., when the intelligence of the conclu- sion of the armistice was received at Eski Djuma, the Russians were immediately ordered to evacuate Eski Stamboul and Verbitza, and withdraw beyond the line of demarcation. General Ignatieff has arrived at Adrianople. RUSSIAN REINFORCEMENTS. a?Vlunbei' men, says a St. Petersburg cor- respondent, leave there dailj for Soumelia to fill in the gaps m the Guards and reinforce the Army of Adrianople. From other Russian towns a similar movement is observable, and everywhere there is apparently a desire on the part of the military autho- rities to despatch all available men to Roumelia. In Poland this proceeding is very marked, especially in those districts where, in the event of a war with Austria, a rising would probably take among the Poles. These discontented" Poles are all sent to Caucasia. Last Wednesday the directors of the UIJ ~lU88ian railways issued a notice that they would be unable to carry out the intention announced the Previous week of resuming goods traffic on their lines, the Government having ordered them to pre- pare for the dispatch of further war maUriel for Roumelia. IN CONSTANTINOPLE. lne Pattern Budget hears from Constantinople that the feeling of the Turkish population there is abso lutely desperate. Revolutionary placards, posted in the evening at the street corners, are torn down every morning by the police, and the bitterest accusations *T-tur V* mJthem against the Sultan. In all classes of mabomedan society the Su'tan is now charged with having, by his incapacity and cowardice, ruined his Empire, and it is feared that, in the event of a revolu- tion at Constantinople, the Russian troops will be called in to suppress it. OONSTANTINOPLE AND THE FLEET. The Vimes says: A Atep, of which the significance is even greater than the immediate importance, has been taken by this country in the Eastern crisis. A con- siderable portion of our Mediterranean fleet is at length anchored near Constantinople. It is in many respects prudent that we have not entered the harbour of the city itself but a very powerful British force is now in a position to maintain the material interests which we possess in the Bosphorus and in the Dardanelles. The opposition of the Porte has been overcome or set aside in a satis- factory manner. The Turkish Government offered a formal protest against the passage of the Darda- nelles by our fleet, but it took no steps to oppose it, I or to attempt to oppose it. Lord Derby said that though in ordinary circumstances the Government would have respected the intentions of the Porte, they would have respected the intentions of the Porte, they could not at present regard it as a free agent. With- out any hostility against this country, the Sultan being for the moment at the mercy of Russia, might hesi- tate to incur towards his victorious enemy a responsi- bility which a distinct permission to our fleet might imply. The Government have therefore thought fit to take the responsibility on themselves. The admiral was directed to proceed to Constantinople, and he has proceeded accordingly. The ships are anchored at Prince's Islands, two miles from the city, and they have left behind a contingent to secure free eommuni- tion through the Dardanelles. These facts will not fail to reassure the public mind. The British fleet is practically in occupa- tion of the waterway to Constantinople; and, this being the case, we may watch with comparative calmness the course which the Russians, or which other European Governments, may adopt. The un- fortunate and ill-advised attempt to minimise the sig- nificance of this proceeding on our part will neither prevent its being apprehended by Europe nor diminish in any way its essential importance. It is possible, as has been suggested in our Vienna correspondence, that such a step might with advantage have been taken earlier, and it is quite certain this question has reached a stage when it would be childish to abstain from action until we can act without risk or respon- sibility. The moment has come when we must in the main know our own minds, and be prepared to say, not, indeed, what are our ultimate views in respect to the Eastern Question, for these must necessarily de- pend on circumstances which change from day to day, but how far we are prepared to allow Russia to assume a material command of the situation. If she were in Constantinople^and we were liable to be ex- cluded from the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, the interests which, through our Government, we have consistently asserted that we should maintain would be dangerously threatened. This anxiety, however,, is now finally at an end. I have received the following letter (says the Times Paris correspondent), dated the 13th inst., from a friend of mine high in official confidence at Constanti- nople, relative to the arrival there of the British fleet, and you may rely on the exactness of his infor- mation Up to a very late hour on Tuesday there was great reason to fear that the Turks would fire on the neet if it persisted in passing in spite of protest, which Admiral Hornby had received orders to do. These orders were not known to the Ambassador until Tuesday afternoon. He immediately informed the Porte and was assured that the fleet would be fired upon. The Turks were obviously in a very difficult position: not only irritated against and dis- trustful of England, but also feeling themselves at the mercy of Russia. There was a strong philo- Russian party, too, in the Cabinet, its chief repre- sentative being the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Besides, they had the strongest reason to believe that the entry of the British fleet would be the signal for the Russians occupying Constantinople. The Czar had telegraphed to the Sultan to request him not to let the English ironclads enter, and informing him that if they did the Russians would march a division into Constantinople. The two Russian officers who came here last week made no secret that this was the view of the Grand Duke. The Porte thus found itself in a most embarrassing posi- tion. The attitude of the English Ambassador is represented as fully equal to the emergency—at once firm and conciliatory. He was obliged, how- ever, to assure the Porte that the fleet would not come exclusively for the protection of British inte- rests, but also for those of Turkey and this assur- ance had been already given to Musurus Pasha by Lord Derby, and telegraphed to the Porte. Nearly the rest of Tuesday, almost till midnight, was passed in the most anxious pourparlers, and at last the Porte was induced to withdraw its threat to fire upon the fleet and to permit it to pass under a strong protest. As the Porte knew from the Am- bassador that Admiral Hornby was sure to force his way, if necessary, in obedience to orders, it could scarcely help yielding, though, on the other hand, it was beund to make strong remonstrances in order to appease, so far as possible, the Russians, of whom it necessarily stood in great dread. Even after the decision had been come to to let the fleet pass under protest, the Sultan in the middle of the night sent another message to the Ambassador begginghim to give orders for stopping the ships, but he was told it was too late, as they were expected to arrive on the evening of the same or the following day. The fleet was not, however, going to Constantinople, but to Prince's Islands, more than an hour's dis- tance by steam. The philo-English party among the Turks was headed by Said Pasha, Minis- ter of Marine, but for whom the jeet might have been fired upon, and the English nation are under a great debt to him. Admiral Hornby is believed to have received orders not to use more violence than was absolutely necessary to force the paesage and protect himself but the mere interchange of shots would have created war between England and Turkey allied with Russia. It was thought that the pas- sage of the fleet without violence would not necessarily lead to war, unless the Russian military party, now strongly irritated against England broke from all control, and insisted on the forcible entry into Constantinople. If the Russians enter only as friends, on the ground that, as they have no fleet, they have the right to be represented by a land force, then peace may be preserved, though the situation will, of course, be extremely critical. It was expected that the other European fleets would follow the English, which, with the Russians, would make a general joint occupation. There was at first some talk among the small philo-English party of the Turks resisting a Russian occupation but this, on the whole, is most improbable, as the Russians have overpowering positions and numbers. The fleet is believed to be sent in consequence of the suspicion of a secret treaty between Russiaand Turkey, the suspicion arising, among other causes, from the mission of a special Envoy, M. Onou, formerly Chief Dragoman of the Russian Embassy."

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS.

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PA m J AM &NTARY jm: LLIGENCE.

ANOTHER ATTEMPT^

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