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-t THE EASTERN QUESTION'. — • VISITORS TO THE BRITISH FLEET. A letter from the fleet in the Sea of "Marmora, dated April 10, says: Four thousand Russian soldiers left the vicinity of Constantinople yesterday, but their destination is a raysfrry to us. Russian officers are very numerous in Constantinople. You meet them everywhere you turn. The admiral is again very anxious about us, and I should not wonder if we had to resort to torpedo watch again. I know the guard-boats are to be placed in requisition ta-night. Rumour has it that we are to go to Touzla in a day or two. So be it. Fever still makes awful ravages among the poor refugees ashore. We do what we can to ameliorate their, haplesi condition, and the food left by the men after meals is carefully collected through the various messes and sent ashore to be distributed among the poor people. Our medi- cal men are very attentive, and supply them with medicine, &s. The Devastation arrived here last week. Great curiosity was evoked by her appearance, and any amount of visitors every day, including Bul- garians, Armenians, Servians, Greeks, and Turks—. quite a motley throng. Last Sunday to crown our annoyance, we were compelled to re- ceive an extra dose in the shape of some Circassians, and while they remained on board a sharp look-out was kept, as they do not enjoy an extraordinary, repututiln for-strict oonesty-in fact, quite the contrary. I hope the shift to Touzla will be carried out. It is a more open and better station in summer time. The Greeks are delighted with the present out-look, on account.of the interest taken in their affairs by the English Government. Those with whom I have had intercourse speak in a far, different tone now to what I experienced when conversing with their countrymen when at Athens. Then they were quite dissatisfied with the action of the English Cabinet towards their nation, and brostdly hinted that John Bull was only using tb^m as a hobby to ride over the existing difficulty. Armenians, too, talk of Russia being compelled to- accept England's terms, as they are under the impression that the resources of the Russians must be nearly exhausted or under a very heavy strain. At all events, the admiral and other officers went up to Constantinople in the Helicon, and while there visited Buyukdere. Since their return Black Sea charts have been got ready for use. RUSSIA AND AUSTRIA. The TVwieiYiepnacorrespondent writes April-22 as fol- lows: The Russian press, which until lately had chosen England as the object of its attacks, now comes do n, as if by order, upon Austria, some of the more violent journals like the Russki Mir and the Novoe Wremjct indulging in the choicest epithets of vituperation and menace and reviling this country almost worse than in the times when the relations between Austria and Russia bore the character of almost chronic hostility. It would be rather diffi- cult to understand how this rather sudden change came about were it not for the more moderate organs, which seem to afford a key to the mystery. First, there is the St. Petersburg correspondent of the Pohtisehe Correspondents, who begins by saying that the Russian Government is ardent in its desire to satisfy all the legitimate demands of Austria if she asks for the just consideration of her immediate interests. The demands even which she formulated previous to the (Treaty of San Stefano will be regarded as plausible, but she must not push her claims to an extreme, because this would pre- vent the most real and sincere efforts to arrive at an understanding without any advantage for the present, or the future either. It is one of those criti- cal moments, the writer says, when Russia must know clearly what is wanted. The present state of incerti- tude and cavilling cannot last long. It ought not to be forgotten that the armed attitude of Russia costs millions daily, and it would not be wise to give occasion for calculating that actual war would cost no more. With the well-known disposition of the St. Petersburg Cabinet, it would be desirable even in the Austrian interest that at Vienna they should not stick too tenaciously to points which were not previously recognised and declared of such importance and necessity. Passing then to the announcement of the Russian papers that the Austrian Government would ask for explanations about the concentration of troops in Roumania, the correspondent em- phatically denies that such has hitherto been the case, and explains this massing of troops as a measure of necessary precaution, adding that this might have been less necessary had M. Bratiano everywhere met with the same reception as in Berlin. In a similar manner the Goloa advises Austria not to cling too tenaciously to her objections urged against the Treaty of San Stefano. THE MILITARY COMPROMISE. A St. Petersburg correspondent says: The pro- posed withdrawal of the Russian army and theBritish fleet from the neighbourhood of Constantinople con- tinues to be discussed in a frieadly spirit, but no definite result has been yet obtained; and as the points at issue are of a technical kind, requiring the advice of specialists on the spot, the discussion may, if not interrupted by some unforeseen cause, be pro- longed for a considerable time. If the nego- tiation concerned two armies, it would be comparatively easy, for they might be assumed to possess equal powers of locomotion; but how is the mobility of an army to be compared with that of a fleet ? In such a race the fleet must evidently be weighted, but to what extent ? Probably in the whole history of diplomacy such a question never before came up for serious discussion. If the I Cabinets of London and St. Petersburg come to some agreement on this knotty point, it will be necessary to obtain from the Forte some guarantee that, in case negotiations fail, it will offer no obstacle to the re- establishment of the itatvs quo. On this point the Cabinet of St. Petersburg will probably be somewhat exacting, for it is convinced that in the event of hos- tilities the Porte would certainly not take the side of Russia. PERIL OF THE SITUATION AT CONSTANTI- NOPLE. The Journal des Bibats considers the position at and round Constantinople as fraught with great peril, and quotes as highly significant the following narra- tive from an Austrian paper: At the commencement of April the Grand Duke Nicholas summoned, at San Stefano, a council of war, which was attended by 27 generals, and at which the occupation of Constanti- nople, Buyukdere, and Gallipoli was discussed. Several generals pronounced in favour of the immediate occupation of the two latter points, and declared that it was a great mistake not to have occupied them long ago. It was, however, questioned whether the Turks would evacuate their positions at Boulair' and Buyukdere without resistance; but most of the generals present insisted that that risk should be run, and that, force should be resorted to, if necessary to occupy positions of such vital importance, and which in time might become impregnable. Finally it was decided to march a large force towards Gallipoli. with orders to capture Boulair at any price. The order was given to General Vaudeville; but, hardly had that decision been come to, than the operation was suspended in conse- quence of orders from St. Petersburg. The Duke was, however, instructed, in the same despatch, to keep all preparations in a complete state, so as to be able to commence the undertaking at a moment's notice. The Russian outposts are an hour and a half from Boulair." The Dibats regards this narrative as a proof that a military incident may arise at any moment, and cut short the efforts of diplomacy to bring about an un- derstanding between England and Russia. FORCES AT AND AROUND GALLIPOLI. The Wiener Tageblatt publishes some details about the position and forces at and around Gallipoli. According to this account, the Turkish garrison consists of five brigades, comprising 34 battalions of infantry, two regiments of cavalry, and eight batteries of field artillery with 48 guns, besides some detachments of Sappers and Miners. These troops are under the late Commander of Silistria, Selami Pasha, and number at least 20,000 effective men, which are deemed quite sufficient to defend the position against any first attempt. Of the works constructed during the previous Eastern war, the three more permanent ones still remain near Gal- lipoli, and these are being now renovated. But the main field of activity is further north, where a line of intrenchments is being constructed by the Turkish sol- diers from sea to sea. It begins at Cape Bakla Burun, passes over the sharp ridge of Doghan Asian, and ends near Cape Indjir, on the Sea of Marmora. This line has been hastily armed, and the guns for the purpose have been taken from the strand batteries on the Straits. The English themselves are showing the greatest watch- fillness, sending out steam ,launchps and boatB from the Agin court, Hotspur, s«w armed with 8-pounders and other guns, on patrol day and night in the Gulf of Saros from Bulair to Kavak Deve. In the Sea of Marmora the patrolling goes on from Gallipoli to Cape Indjir. The ironclads themselves cruise about constantly before the posi- tions occupied by the Russians, and report every ap- parent movement, eitherby despatch boator telegraph, to Malta and Ismid. The English have landed two or three companies of marines to guard the depdts formed in Gallipoli. The quantity of coal in Tenedos at tbe beginning of the moj^h was 3500 tons, while of supplies there were 250^90 rations of preserves and salted meat. There were also 800 barrels of powder and 1000 metal boxes containing torpedoes and shells. RUSSIA AND THE STRAITS. A Pera correspondent, under date April 16tb, says: The local journals speak to-day of a dispersion of the Russian troops lately concentrated at San Stefano to- J.L wards Constantinople. This, I think, tends to mislead. The truth is that the bulk of the San Stefano force has been moved*to the heights along the line passing north through' St. George to Boghazkui, the line agreed upon on the 21st of February. Thus really there has been no advance, but only a different distribution of the troops within the already assigned limits. The Russians say this change has been dictated by the ravages of -typhus at San Stefano and the necessity ef taking up healthier ground. A military authority, neither Turkish nor Russian, attaches, nevertheless, military importance to these manauvres. Still the fact re- mains that there has been no advance. Meanwhile the disposal of the Turkish troops indicates a serious purpose of opposing any advance if attempted, and further evidence gathered to day, slight but pertinent, tends to this belief. It must, however, be remembered that the fertility of resource is on the Russian side, and that faltering counsels exist on the other side. RUSSIAN TROOPS IN BULGARIA. The following is the estimate given in the Cologne Gazette of the number of Russian troops in Bulgaria The present strength of the Russian forces in Bul- garia is calculated at 25 divisions of infantry, of 10,000 men each, making 250,000 men, in addition to which there are about 50,000 to 70,000 cavalry and artillery, bringing up the whole strength, of the forces to about 300.000 or 320,000 men. South of the Balkans, there are the corps of the Guards, the Grenadiers, the 4th, 8th, and 9th Army Corps, and two to four independent divisions— together 13 to 15 divisions of infantry, comprising, with cavalry and artillery, about 170,000 to 190,000 men. The whole of these forces are in a very efficient state; but the number of cavalry and ar- tillery horses, owing to the great less in the late war, is greatly deficient, and the animals are of very inferior quality. THE DESPATCH OF INDIAN TROOPS TO MALTA. The Indian Government, says the Times, has re- ceived orders to despatch troops to Malta. Two regiments of Indian cavalry, six regiments of native infantry, two field batteries of artillery, and some Sappers and Miners have been selected for this service. This movement has for some time been anticipated, and has been recognised as a natural accompani- ment of any other warlike precautions we might take. Our own information from Calcutta has shown that the Indian services were fully prepared for such a call upon them, and that no difficulty was anticipated in responding to it. The actual force thus summoned to our aid is not large. It probably amounts to about 7000 men; but, of course, the im- portance of the movement consists in the evidence it affords of our being able to rely on further resources of the same kind. It augments appreciably our avail- able force in the Mediterranean; but it does not ex- ceed the dimensions of purely precautionary measures. The supposition naturally aiiaes that this wa" one of those decisions of the Cabinet from which Lord Derby dissented, but which he was unable to specify, and it will be liable, no- doubt, to exciting interpre- tations. But it 18 of no more essential significance than the despatch of our fleet to the Sea of Marmora. If we are to take precautions at all, they ought to be thorough, and our military strength must bereinforced no less than our naval. The troops will simply be held in reserve at Malta for possible contingencies, and their presence will be an additional proof that we are prepared to exert the whole military force of our Empire, alike in Asia and in Europe, in sup- port of our interests. That the announcement of such a measure should have occurred immediately after the adjournment of Parliament will be deemed an illustuation of the inevitable inconvenience of a recess at the present critical juncture. There are limits to the endurance of members of Parliament, and Ministers above all need some relaxation from the strain of constant vigilance in the two Houses. But it is at least unfortunate that a measure so liable to misapprehension could not have been announced a few hours earlier, so as to afford oppor- tunity for an explanation of Its scope and its limits. For three weeks all authoritative sources of information respecting the intentions of the Government will simi. larly be closed to us; and measures of much more importance than the present might be silently taken and as suddenly announced. The measure may be a very proper one, but its abrupt disclosure is not tranquillis"1^ THE GREEK INSURRECTION. The Standard correspondent in Thessaly writes as follows from Ghanitza :I meet fugitives in a woeful plight at every step; they are of both sexes and all ages, mostly peasants of the plain. Thev are thoroughly exhausted and sinking, through the combi- nation of woes afflicting them—worn out with fatigue and hunger, and prostrated by exposure to the mountain weather. These lowlanders, with many children, dray themselves along, carrying their house- hold gods and goods partly on their backs, partly on horses and donkeys. The bulk of their goods, drawn in carts by buffaloes, they were compelled to abandon when they reached the mountains, where there are no roads. A thousand families have already crossed the frontiers, and were accommodated at j 3-hanitza, mainly throagh the exertions of Monsieur Maroudis, the telegraphist. Every Agrapha village is I. crammed with fugitives; half an okeof biscuit is given to each daily. The entire Greek population of the Thessalian plain is making an exodus into Greece, flying from Turkish violence. They are entirely des- titute, and it is impossible for Greece to maintain or employ them. Thousands must perish shortly unless foreign philanthropists assist. If the Englishmen who relieved the Bulgarians and Turks have the least sympathy for the people whom Byron loved, the descen- dants of the civilisers of Europe, let them show it by I relieving these starving Greeks. The Turks continue their spoliations, incendiarism and masscres in Thes- saly, Epirus, and Macedonia. If, is I believe, the Turks are prompted by Russia to massacre the Greeks in her interest, it behoves England to succour t^e Greeks. THE MILITARY REVOLT AT TOPOLA. From Belgrade it is announced that the Court of Cassation and the Prince have confirmed the sentence of death passed by the court-martial at Arangelovatz upon Achim Thumitch, late Minister President; Colonel Jefram Menkovitz, late Brigadier of the Kra- jeyatz Brigade; Captain Jewitz; Ullia Colaratz, a leading merchant of Belgrade; Demeter Golobos- chinin, a merchant of Semendria, and about thirty more, for complicity in a military revolt at Topola. The execution will take place at Arangelovatz directly after Easter. About fifty more have been sentenced I to penal servitude. It has been determined by the Ministry, after these examples, to abandon further prosecutions arising out of this military dynastic in- surrection. THE NEW BULGARIA. An imperial Russian Ukase directs the speedy es- tablishment of the new organisation in Bulgaria, which IS in part not yet fully defined, in part already carried out. According to the new arrangement Bul- garia is divided into governments. Each governor will act along with an Administrative Council, chosen from among the most trustworthy persons in the area of the Government. This latter is divided into circuits, presided over by sub-governors, each having a Council of seven Bulgarians. In each circuit will be appointed a superintendent—a kind of town Prefect-supported by a Bulgarian magis- tracy. Bach superintendent will have the command of a of police composed both of Christians and Mahometans, and discharging much the same functions as the body of Zaptiehs which it displaces. The superintendent will have the control of passes, and act as judge in small causes. In each circuit town will be an autonomous court of law exercisine jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases, partly in accordance with former Turkish laws, and partly in accordance with the determination of use and wont. The verdicts of the circuit courts will be final, there being as yet no courts of appeal. When all the above- mentioned institutions have been organised, a National Assembly will be constituted at Philippopolis, the mode of election of such a representative body being not yet fixed. Ihe proceedings of this Assembly will be for- mally opened by the Civil Commissioner. Its duties will be to organise on a permanent basis the offices, which till then will only be provisionally teld, and to fix the salaries to be attached to the various State appointments. In the first sitting of Parliament a scheme of laws which has been drawn up will be sub- mitted for approval or amendment, and the question of a system of taxes, as also of a general highway and railway plan, will likewise be discussed. If possible, this Assembly will be convoked on the 15th of June next. MISGIVINGS AT ST. PETERSBURG. i f? Vienna correspondent says: A pretty general feeling of discomfort, and along with it a good deal of ill-humour with self and others, seems to characterise the situation in St. Petersburg. This is, doubtless, ewing to a more and more clear conscious- ness that the Treaty of San Stefano is a mistake, and that, in consequence thereof, Russia has got into a false position. Men see that having made a prelimi- nary peace, already ratified by the contracting oarties, she can scarcely hope to make it definite withoutanotber and very likely a far more lengthy war than that just concluded. Some days ago a letter from Moscow in the Berlin Post, appearing simultaneously with the first mention of German mediation, and purporting to give expression to the real feelings of the Russian people, was thought worth notice. It condemned Russian diplomacy, first for having completely spoiled the relations with'Roumania, regardless of the differ- ence there was between having the communications of the army in Bulgaria through a friendly or a I hostile country. An even worse service, it says, was rendered the Russians by the delimitation of Bulgaria, owing to the ignorance and giddi- ness of General Ignatieff, as a glance at the map could convince any one that the Bulgaria of that diplomatist would never be accepted by the other Powers. If the delimitation of Bulgaria had been left to an European Congress and if diplomatists had acted with proper caution, how much un- pleasantness and humiliation would have been spared to Russia! Equal misgivings existed about General Ignatieff being intrusted with the negotiations with Austria. Previously he had shown neither diplo- matic skill nor had he any luck. Could not such an important mission have been entrusted to a persona grata ? SMUGGLING RUSSIAN CATTLE. The practice of smuggling Russian cattle over the frontier into North Germany has now become a recognised system. Regular markets are held every Wednesday at Bendzin, and at Czeladz, Siewierz, and Rypin once a fortnight, where German dealers make their purchases, and leave them in charge of resident Russian peasants till the "run is to be attempted. The mannfr 10 which this is carried out varies with the topo graphical conditions of the different parts of the frontier line'. Where forest land predominates, the cattle are smuggled through under cover of darkness, but in smooth plains the transference is effected in broad daylight, by gradually approximating the herds graz- ing on either side of the border, till they are so close together that a few head cm pass from the Ruseian to the German side without much danger of attracting at- tention. In Silesia smuggling is especially prevalent, and a fixed tariff of charges is in force for bringing cattle across the frontier, varying according to the difficulties to be surmounted. At Beutben, for in- stance, the charge if but two shillings per bead, while at Ojwiecim, where the risks are much greater, it ranges from nine to twelve shillings. At the latter station the German dealers take the additional pre- caution of net paying for the cattle they have selected till they are safe across the border, when the smug- gling-money is added to the prictf" per head originally agreed upon. AMERICAN OPINION ON THE EASTERN QUESTION. The American papers recently received at Cork have leaders on the situation, discussing the San Stefano Treaty, or which the full text had been received. The New York Tribune of April 5th says "We have been surprised in reading the text of the treaty article by article to find Russian Commissiouers appearing at every turn of the process of pacification and recon- struction. A Russian Commissioner is to assist the representatives of Turkey and Servia in arranging the frontier line. A Russian is to be associated with a similar Commission in settling the claims of Mussulman land owners. Another Russian Commissioner, in connection with a colleague from Vienna, is to settle all questions which Montenegro and the Porte cannot regulate in common. An As- sembly of Bulgarian Deputies is to organise the new Principality under the supervision of a Russian Com- missioner, and the introduction of new regulations and the supervision of their execution will be intrusted for two years to an Imperial Russian Commissary, who is to have 50,000 troops under his command as a per- manent army of occupation, to be supported by the new administration, and numerous Commissioners are authorised to verify Mussulman land claims, to dispose of State property, and to sell unclaimed estates but n every instance they are to act under the super- vision of members of the Russian Civil Remce. If the new Principality is not converted into an outlying Russian province within two years, it will be because there is no administrative faculty in Russian Com- missioners supported by troops. While it is possible that as soon as the troops are withdrawn Bulgaria may combine with Rbumania, Servia, and; Monte- negro, to resist pressure from the North, and that Europe may ultimately gain a vigorous nationality, it is far more likely that under the manipulations of the Commissioners and the compression of military force, it will be reduced to the level of a Russian dependency. With the text of the treaty before us we are not surprised that the oppo- sition to the free exercise of the conqueror's belligerent rights is increasing on the Continent as well as in Great Britain. As the European Powers allowed Russia to overthrow the Turkish dominion in Bulgaria and in the larger part of Roumelia, they cannot complain if she strives to reorganise the pro- vinces in her own mechanical and repressive way. Noble and generous as her efforts have been to deliver the Christian subjects of the Porte from oppression and to mark Out a prosperous future for them, the regeneration and reconstruction of the Balkan Peninsula ought not to have been delegated to a nation whose religious instincts are so intolerant and whose administrative methods are so defective. Even if an army of occupation were not to remain for two years so near Constantinople, the Great Powers might well stand back in apprehension while those bleeding and crushed provinces were being hammered into shape according to the Russian plan. The Treaty of San Stefano, moreover, without furnishing a basis for the permanent pacification of tbe East, will hasten Turkish decadence. The popular institutions which Midhat attempted to introduce have been swept away, and the Government is impoverished and powerless." PROPOSED OCCUPATION OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA. It is stated that Count Zichy, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, has renewed his proposals to the Porte for the eventual occupation of Bosnia and the Herze- govina by Austrian troops, and has pointed out that unless this measure is agreed to it will be impossible to bring about the return or the Bosnian refugees to their homes or re-establish security on the frontier. It is added that Russia is in accord with Austria in this matter, and would agree to the requisite modifi- cations of the portion of the San Stefano Treaty, which affects the Herzegovina and Bosnia, in the event of Count Zichy's proposal being accepted by the Porte. It is not true that Count Zichy has also asked that Austria should be allowed to occupy the Salonica Railway.


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