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THE EASTERN QUESTION. THE MILITARY SITUATION IN SERVIA. The Servian Shumadia Army Corps, stationed between Leskovatz and Wranja, has made a military lemonstration against the terms of peace, and re- occupied Wranja. The troops declare that they will not leave unless compelled by force. The advanced guard proceeded a distance of six hours' march be- yond the town,and occupied a pass towards Kumanova, where they established a telegraph station. The Ser- vian Government have not interfered with this demon- stration, and the men express loyalty to the Govern- ment of Prince Milan. RUSSIAN VIEWS OF THE SITUATION. It may be interesting to know that., according to the St. Petersburg correspondent of the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, who, as a rule, is well jnformed about the views prevailing in Russian official circles, a difference is there made between questions merely concerning belligerents and those involving European interests. The war indemnity, the occupation of Armenia as an equivalent for part of it, and the cession of the Dobrudja, for which Roumania is to exchange the portion of Bessarabia ceded to her after the Crimean war, are noted by the writer as the points which Russia will not allow to be touched. He then continues: How we shall finally arrange matters with Roumania about the retrocession of Southern Bessarabia and its ulti- nate exchange for the Dobrudja is an affair jxclusively our own and of Roumania. If Rou- mania should absolutely refuse to accept this restitution and compensation, which appears to us but just, and it the European Powers should prefer to see the Russian double eagle more permanently established south of the Danube, we can wait, and Russia on that account will begin no fresh war either with Roumania, or its Suzerain, or any other Power; but never, never will Russia abandon the wish and the will to wipe out the blot which France, in unhistorical and unnatural alliance with England, in 1856 imprinted on her scutcheon, and the humi- liation they inflicted on Russia's national pride. These are. the vital points which cannot be dis- cussed; alLthe rest may and can be submitted for the opinion of the Congress, especially as the chief point-namely, the amelioration of the condition of the Christians in the Balkan Peninsula, including Constantinople, is already secured by the conscious- ness of their own strength which has been awakened in them and as Russia will always be on the watch. What limits Servia, Montenegro, or Bulgaria are to have, whether the Straits of Constantinople are to be opened entirely and to all, or only to the adjacent Powers; whether Egypt, Bosnia, and Herzegovina are to be occupied, and by whom-all this con- tains nothing offensive, nothing threatening or pro- voking to Russia, and may therefore be the subject of discussion. If, on the contrary, the Powers as- sembled in Congress mean to censure, to revise events, to improve the treaty concluded with Turkey in any form, and to discuss those points even affecting the national and military honour of Russia, and which have been already argued with cannon-shots, and by the consent of Turkey have become accomplished facts, the members of the Conference who have not partici- pated in this kind of warlike debate may meet with difficulties for the removal of which the public here does not see much chance. MEMORIAL TO THE CZAR. The League in Aid of the Christians of Turkey pre- sented a memorial recently to the Emperor of Russia in the following terms: Sire,—We, the undersigned members of the League in Aid of the Christians of Turkey, beg to approach your Majesty in the present important crisis, when the future fate of the Christians in European Turkey is about to be determined. The valour of your soldiers has, by a series of brilliant victories, destroyed the last hope of resistance on the part of the oppressor, and the time has now arrived for carrying out the great purpose for which your Majesty has made so many sacrifIces-namely, to give freedom to noble races that have for centuries been oppressed, and to render their re-en- slavement an impossibility. We are well aware of difficulties which, in face of European susceptibilities, beset a solution of the questions at issue; but we venture to implore your Majesty, as holder of the destinies of the Christians of Turkey in your hands, not te permit any partial distribution of the blessings of freedom, but to secure a complete and lasting esta- blishment of civil and religious liberty to the down- trodden populations in the south as well as in the north of the Balkans; and, whereas it is well known that the Bulgarians extend far beyond the limits of what is commonly shown as Bul- garia on the maps, reaching as far south as Vasilika on the Black Sea, and Adrianople and Thessalonica in the southern part of Roumelia, we pray your Majesty that the southern frontier of new Bulgaria may be regulated accordingly. A settle- ment of the Eastern Question on any lesser basis would be but a source of dangerous complications in the future, involvin g renewed sacrifices of blood and treasure; for it is impossible that a state of things could long continue to exist in which a section of a Christian people, within certain geographical limits, stould be in the enjoyment of all the privileges of free men, while to the south of that boundary the populations should be given up to slavery, sterility and despair. Such a miserable spectacle would be contrary to the principles of justice and humanity, and we humbly pray your Majesty that the rights of all the Bul- garians shall be equally considered." To this memorial the following reply has been received: Russian Embassy, London, March 1-13, 1878. Monsieur, —His Majesty the Emperor, having received an ad- dress from the League in Aid of the Christians of Turkey, bearing 400 signatures, and praying him to profit by the present circumstances to secure the liberty of Bulgaria on both sides of the Balkans, his Imperial Majesty has charged the Chancellor, Prince Gortchakoff, to communicate to the above-mentioned society his satisfaction with the sentiments expressed in the address, as well as with the sympathies which it evinces on behalf of the Christians of the East. Conformably to the request I have received from Prince Gortchakoff, I have now the pleasure. Mon- sieur, of transmitting through you to the members of the society this testimony of the approbation of my Sovereign. Accept, Monsieur, the assurance of my distinguished consideration, SCHOUVALOFF. To Mr. Lewis Farley, 14, Cockspur-street, Pall-mall, S.W." THE PEACE AND THE CONGRESS. Reouf Pasha had an audience of the Emperor on Sunday, and the ratifications were exchanged. The treaty is expressly called a preliminary treaty of peace, and leaves a good many points open. The question of the Straits, for example, is re- served for the Congress, and the southern fron- tier of Bulgaria is left to be determined by a European Commission according to the nation- ality of the inhabitants. It is proposed that the Principality should obtain the port of Kavala on the ean as a good outlet for its commerce; but if it be found that this is contrary to the ethnographic method of determining the frontier, or objectionable on other grounds, some other arrangement may be made. It may be assumed, therefore, that the ques- tion of Kavala, which is said to have given umbrage to Austria, will not raise serious difficulties. LETTER FROM THE FLEET. A letter dated March 8, which has been received from the fleet in Touzla Bay, says: A steamer from London coaled the squadron on Friday. The admiral on the arrival of the Flamingo from Constantinople Rave orden to unload the small guns, to stop the ffuard, and to knock of keeping watch. This is a very unhealthy place; ashore, I mean, where the water is reported as being very bad. I was speaking to a Greek who came aboard to-day, and he told me the death rate about here averaged 600 daily. On the evening of the 6th We got orders to start our torpedo watch again, owing to some intelligence the admiral had re- ceived from Constantinople. We are still continuing it, and it causes our fellows to invoke anything but a blessing on the heads of the Russians, to whom they attribute all this extra trouble and work. All day on watch, and on watch all night. Boats away all night. It is very cold here now. The ships did not get their supply of fresh beef this week. The tug came down at the time appointed, but instead of the beef she brought the news that the Grand Duke, accompanied by about 200 officers, bad entered Constantinople. Up to the evening of the 6th, when the Torch left Grallipoli, everything was quiet there. The Salamis left last night for Malta, the Helicon coming in her place. It is now two o'clock in the morning; the men are moving about to keep themselves warm, a rather difficult matter in iron ships. As usual, the guns are loaded and the guns' crews are ready to work them. They are allowed to break off every morning at four o'clock. 34USSIAN PLANS. The Constantinople correspondent of the Daily News, under date March 18th, says: There seems to be some change in the Russian plans since the signa- ture of the peace. It was not ihen intended that the troops should return to Russia until after the Euro- pean Congress had pronounced on the treaty of peace. The stipulations in the treaty with regard to this were that the troops should begin to embark imme- diately after the definite conclusion of peace; but as peace can hardly be considered definite until ratified by Europe in the sense that this very treaty might possibly result in war, the troops were to remain here until Europe had pronounced. The plan has now been changed. The first division of theGuards, under Rauch, is to begin embarking asioen as the ships can be got ready, and also part of the second division under Schouvaloff. Part of Rauch's division is to embark, it is understood, at Buyuktlere, at the Black Sea entrance of the Bosphorus; the others at San Stefano. It is thought they will be ready to embark in about ten days. The greater part of General Gourko's staff are coming into Pera to morrow night, to leave by the Odessa boat on Tuesday morning. I believe that General Gourko will go also, but I have not been able to ascertain to a certainty. As General Gourko is in command of the active army, this withdrawal of troops earlier than intended would seem to indicate that Russia, at least, thinks peace assured, and that the difficulties about the Congress are all arranged. General Gourko's officers are coming in uni- form. A good deal of sickness is reported among the officers and soldiers at San Stefano. I learn on trust- worthy information that at a Council held on Friday evening the Russian request for permission to march round Constantinople to Buyukdere, to embark there, was discussed and refused as not advisable for the moment. This refusal of permission would of course have nothing to do with the embarkation of the troops at San Stefano. RUSSIAN AND TURKISH INTRIGUE AGAINST EUROPE. The correspondent of the Daily Chronicle telegraphs from Constantinople as follows I am informed, on high authority, that the. Porte is preparing a circular note to the Great Powers, in which the Government will announce its firm adherence to the following re- solutions: The Porte will declare that it will not sanction any further territorial concessions other than those ceded to Russia and provided for by the San Stefano Treaty. The Porte will forthwith send all available troops to Epirus, Thessaly, and Bosnia, and will defend their integrity and inviolability at all risks. The step is taken with the approval and con- sent of Russia, by whom it is said to have been insti- gated" THE EGYPTIAN QUESTION. A Paris correspondent says: Contrary to what was affirmed, neither Egypt, Syria, the holy places, nor Tunis will be brought before the Congress. France, it seems, on the one hand, manifested a desire for their exclusion, and to this all the Powers have agreed. This does not imply that these matters will be abso- lutely excluded, but only that they cannot be raised except with the consent of, and within the limits pre- scribed by, the Power which has stipulated for their exclusion. As to the Egyptian question, which it is so important to see settled in principle before the Congress by the Powers most directly interested, it is now certain that England has unreservedly ad- hered to the proposal communicated to her by France as to the investigation into the financial and adminis- trative reforms which are to be effected by common consent. It is also certain that all European states- men now recognise the necessity of freeing Egypt from the double vassalaee she would henceforth undergo, and that England, in effecting this, will en- counter no refusal from any quarter provided she acts in accord with those Powers who acknowledge the necessity of common action. n GREECE AND THE CONGRESS. The Vienna correspondent of the Times says: The intiative taken by the British Government in recom- mending the admission of Greece to the Congress has been favourably enough received in Russ a, at least no objection is made in principle to the idea, the only question being whether the decision as to the partici- pation of Greece, who is not one of the signatories of tbe Treaty of Paris, should be taken before the Powers meet, instead of reserving for the determination of the Congress itself the whole question* as to whether anT one besides the subscribers to that instrument, and in what form, should be invited to attend. Here, M you know, a disposition to look favourably on the demands of Greece has existed from the begin- ning, so that the proposal of the British Govern- ment will, doubtless, be readily acceded to, if this has not already been done. Even with re- gard to the matter of form-namely, whether the question of admitting Greece should be now deter- mined, or reserved for the time when the Congress meets—there is every inclination to assent to w hat- ever mode the other Powers may be willing to agree to. The demand of the Hellenic Govern- ment, should it happen to be yielded, will no deubt also raise the question as to admitting Boumania, Servia, and Montenegro. Indeed, as regards Roumania, the poiht has already been mooted, inasmuch as that Principality addressed a petition to the Powers to be admitted long before the Hellenic Kingdom did so. There is, indeed, a radical difference between Greece, which is a Sove- reign country, and the vassal States of Turkey, which can only expect to be ultimately placed by the Con- gress in a similar position; so that the fact even of the Powers deciding to admit the former could scarcely strengthen the claim of the latter to be favourably entertained likewise, and the matter would remain an open question to be afterwards settled on its own merits. RUSSIA AND ROUMANIA. The Vienna correspondent of the Times says: With regard to Roumania, it would certainly not seem to the interest of the Czar to make any efforts to gain her ad- mittance to the Council Board of Europe. Far from his having been able in any way to overcome the resist- ance of the Roumanians to the retrocession of their portion of Bessarabia, the difference which arose on this point has been widened toa degree almostthreaten ing an open rupture between the allies. In order to understand the intensity of feeling aroused all over the Principality by the demands of Russia, it must be remembered that not only the portion of Bessa- r&bia ceded in 1856 to Rouuiunia, but the whole of Bessarabia to the Dniester, formed part of Mol- davia ever since it existed as a country. The cession of the bit of territory in 1856 was, therefore, not a new acquisition, but only the recovery of a small portion of what had previously been taken by Russia. The case would be something similar if France, some time or other, succeeded in recover- ing part of Alsace, and was afterwards, in conse- quence of another war with some third Power, ex- pected to give it up again. So strong, indeed, is public feeling in this respect that it has effaced all partr differences, and even those who formerly cautioned their countrymen against the Russian con- nection and opposed it as much as they could, far from indulging in idle recriminations, now join hands with the Government, wbose policy they have always attempted to thwart, in order to avert what they would not only deem a national disgrace and humiliation, but the surest means, besides, of re- newing the dependence of Roumania upon Russia. Whatever arrangement the Congress might make as to the mouths of the Danube, Russia, by the restitution of the Bessarabian strip, would come into possession of the united river from Reni at the confluence of the Pruth down to Tultsha, where the stream bifurcates thus becoming mistress of the chief artery of communication Roumania has with the sea. There is a strong conviction that Rou- mania would thus be in the grasp of Russia and unable to resist the influence and pressure the latter might bring to bear on her. The feeling thus aroused is not a little deepened by the circumstince that the principality has been completely ignored in all the negotiations with Turkey, and that Russia has thus, as ltr?l arregated to herself the right of disposing of tbe fate of Roumania. Colonel Arion, it is true, was sent down to the Russian head-quarters in the expectation that he would be admitted to the diplomatic discussions, but such was not the case. It is, therefore, by no means sur- prising that the very validity of the stipulations of San Stefano as regards Roumania should gradually to be questioned, and that the Roumanians should decline even the gil t of independence on the part of According, indeed, to a telegram of the New -f rete Presse from Bucharest, the Roumanian Minister for Foreign Affairs has already addressed a circular to the Powers declaring that his Government 1 does not recognise the San Stefano stipulations affect- 1 ing the Principality. I mu tv THB CLAIMS OF GREECE. Tne limes says: The central point of the Russian scheme is the constitution of a great province of Bul- garia, stretching from the Danube to the iEgean. Neither this country nor, in all probability, Austria is ve"y much concerned with either the size or the precise delimitation of Bulgaria, and it may be hoped we I shall keep ourselves as clear as possible of these local and minor details. But there is one consideration Involved in them of the most vital and decisive importance. If a Bulgarian and Slav State be created stretching from the Danube to the JSgean, and if it have practically the guarantee of Russian support, the Greeks would be finally shut out not only from the extension of their authority towards Constantinople, but from their legitimate influence in the new province. It is by no means an easy question to decide whether in such a Bulgaria as Russia con templates Greek or Slav authority ought to bo pre- dominant. The Slavs are, no doubt, predominant north of the Balkans. But south of the Balkans Greek blood, Greek enterprise, and Greek interests are so strong that it would involve great injustice to subject them to a Slav domination. Even more serious, if hot more important, is the considera- tion that the proposed extension of the new Bulgarian Principality to the Egean at Kavala would practically exclude Greece from direct communication with Con- stantinople. The arrangement appears to postpone the question of the ultimate posseesion of Constanti- nople but it practically decides T»ne or two points respecting it in the negative. It renders it scarcely conceivable that Turkey will be able to maintain a footing in Europe; but it finally bars the advance of the Greeks towards that which has long been the goal of their ambition. Whether they are yet equal to the enjoyment of so large an inheritance as that of a kingdom which would include Constantinople may be open to doubt. Their present administration of their little territory leaves very much to be desired. But it must at least be said that the Slavs, of whatever province, have as yet given no evidence of any more satisfactory qualities. We have to deal with the elements and the capacities which actually exist, and we must make the best of them. The Greeks may have hitherto been deficient in self-government, and still more in imperial qualities. But they are a race of vast capa- cities, and, above all, they are in occupation. They are an active, spreading, energetic people, and any arrangement which left their legitimate claims out of account must of necessity be unstable, because it would be unjust. WHAT RUSSIA THINKS OF OUR MILITARY PREPARATIONS. The St. Petersburg correspondent of the Daily News says: Notwithstanding the relatively quiet character during the last few days of the news received from London, people here are at a loss to understand the great military preparations of the British Go- vernment. The object of those preparations is the subject of conversation and conjecture in every St. Petersburg salon. People say, English- men do not throw away their money for nothing. Tney would not therefore prepare for w&r as they are doing without a real and practical motive, calculated and fixed beforehand. Moreover, their prepa-ations exceed the limits of what may be called a mere manifestation intended to exercise any kind of moral pressure or influence. Artillery horses are not bought or siege sandbags prepared unless there is some precise object in view. What can that object be?" It is generally believed-I am speaking now of what is said in the salons-that Lord Beaconsfield has firmly resolved to occupy in a permanent military manner some position in the Eastern seas, Mitylene perhaps, for the purpose of converting it into a second Gibraltar. In that case, people ask with some appre- hension, what military and strategic precautions will it be incumbent upon Russia to adopt from a defensive point of view, in consequence of such a measure, which, by placing the naval forces of England within only two or three days of the Black Sea, brings near to her a danger which has hitherto not existed. As to the treaty closing the Straits, we have just seen what the practical value of such conventions is when the British Government resolves, as in the passage of the fleet, to set them aside. The prospect, I am bound to say, begins to make politicians reflect seriously, and already the question is regarded in the same manner bv the papers. POINTS FOR DISCUSSION AT THE CONFERENCE. The Vienna correspondent of the limes says: The difference between the British and Russian Govern- ments as to the competence of the Congress to discuss all points of the Russo-Turkish treaty Or only those affecting European interests is not yet smoothed away, in spite of the explanations given by the Cabinet of Sb. Petersburg with regard to the meaning attached to its reservation. These explanations not only reiterate in a more positive form than ever that all points of the preliminary treaty affecting European interests are subject to discussion and need the sanction of the Congress, but they likewise leave open the question as to what are to be regarded as European interests, so that this most essential matter is by no means prejudiced by any claim on the part of Russia to decide what shall come under the latter denomination, and every Power will enter the Congress quite free in its opinion on this point. Apparently therefore, the difference between England and Russia, although a question of principle, does not seem to be of great practical importance, inasmuch as the latter does not contest the right of the Powers to consider whether any point of the treaty to be submitted does or does not involve a European interest. If, never- theless, the right of the Congress to discuss the whole preliminary treaty is insisted upon with so much perseverance by the British Government, this is doubtless done with the intention of making sure that their exist no other stipulations between Russia and Turkey besides those avowed and la d before the Congress. ARMENIA ASKING AUTONOMY. The Times Pera correspondent, writing under date March 8th, says: I am sending home by the post a document which, I have reason to believe, fairly repre- sents the view held by intelligent Armenians about the effect which the treaty between Turkey and Russia is likely to have upon their country. An Armenian writes to me that his countrymen fear Russia may en- courage Turkish misgovernment in order to turn it to her ownadvantageand gradually absorb all Armenia. They accordingly implore the help of England in the Oon. ference to obtain for them an autonomy guaranteed by Europe, or at least protected by Europe. They hope that this autonomy will be a barrier against Russian interference with the English road to India, and that the Armenians, from thfir national cha- racter, will more readily adapt themselves t61 English civilisation as the true type, instead of the Russian false type.





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