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LONDON LETTER.

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LONDON LETTER. [SPKGIALLY WIKED.J [IIY OUR. OltT.KRY COR RESPONDENT.! LONDON, Wednesday Night. A telegram from Paris has arrived this evening, which makes a very distinct asser- tion with respect to the intentions of Germany in the matter of the British Pro- tectorate of 'St. Lucia Bay. It is said that Prince Bisvnarck has informed the British Government that he must contest the claim of England in this matter. This appears in the Voltaire (a Paris newspaper), and the statement is made upon the authority of n correspondent at Berlin. It may be safely assumed that there is not the lightest foundation in truth for the report. lhe Paris newspapers, as has been shown during the Chinese war, have a habit, when news is slack, of inventing it and printing it with imposing circumstantiality. The state- ment in Bismarck's own organ is much bet- ter worthy of consideration, and this makes it clear that the Chancellor does not seek any quarrel on this ground, but is disposed to recognise the priority of the Knglish claim. I enjoyed the opportunity the other night of a long and frank conversation with a gentleman who is connected with the German Embassy, and is well known for the fulness and accuracy of his knowledge. He expressed himself amusod, and within due bonds of courtesy, contemptuous of the readiness with which the English public takes fright at the supposed machinations of Prince Bismarck. According to his opinion, the last thing in the world that Bismarck wants to do is to involve Germany in another war. He foresees the inevitable renewal of the conflict with France, and in anticipation of it is anxious naither to waste the resources of the country or to make enemies in other quarters o- Europe. As for colonial acquisitions he perfectly indif- ferent about them, and the ambitious policy cf grasping territory in all the corners of the earth is imagined for him by other people. He also laughs at the theory that Prince Bismarck so hated Mr Gladstone that his policy at the present time was mainly directed to driving him out of office. The Prince does not like Mr Gladstone because he cannot use him with the same ease that he was accustomed to trade upon Mr Disraeli. "But," said the German, quoting an English proverb, he is not a child nor a fool who would cut off his nose to spite his face." All the news that comes from Korti points to the near and fully successful issue of the campaign. The men are in good health, the road across the desert proves less difficult than was believed, and there is a plentiful supply of water at the Wells. Moreover, General Gordon is still active, and within a fo .ight has been taking a trip to Shendy. Within the present week the rest of the column told off to cross the desert will be on the march, the second convoy starting to-day. The Mahdi is re- ported to be at Metemneh with some ap- parent intention of giving battle to the British forces. We seem now to be within a fortnight's time of the actual rescue. 0 Mr Courtney's statement at Lisbeari last night, sheltering himself under Mr Glad- stone's name in defence of a charge levelled against his own conduct, is much commented upon. The late Secretary to the Treasury intimates that he and Mr Gladstone have taken a particular view of the Egyptian question which, if it had. 1 Jen carried out, would have had the happy results that invariably follow upon the adoption of Mr Courtney's advice, but that their joint views were overruled by a majority of the Government. This must be true since Mr Courtney says so. But there is a general prejudice against talking out of school, and Mr Courtney probably has not improved his position by this indiscretion. Mr Errington's visit to Rome has been followed by the customary conjectures and allegations. Mr Errington is an amiable young gentleman of no particular ability, who has many friends and acquaintances in Rome, which, at this time of the year, is an exceedingly pleasant residence, but he may not pay it a visit without stirring up tremendous trouble at home. It is now specifically affirmed that he is authorised to extend indefinite concessions to the Vatican in the matter of Catholic missions, more particularly, it is surmised, in India. The whole story of Mr Errington's sup- posed official connection with the Government and his appointment as an emissary between the Vatican and the Soudan originated in the active minds of the Parnellites, who do not like him because he refused to do duty to Mr Parnell. But the whole thing is an illusion. Mr Errington is no more an emis- sary from the Foreign Office than Mr Biggar is for the Irish Office. The threatened opposition to Mr Peel in offering himself for re-election is unusual, if not unprecedented. He has been a remark- able success as a Speaker, and his withdrawal from the new Parliament would b< a national calamity. The report seems to rt iuire veri- fication. Sir John Macdonald's recent visit to Eng- land was preceded by a statement to the effect that the object of his journey was not unconnected with the Canadian Pacific ltailway, In connection with that interest- ing enterprise it is proposed to establish a line of steamers between British Columbia, China, and Japan. It is stated that by this route China and Japan would be reached ten days earlier than by the Suez Canal and the new line. It is recommended to Eng- land on the plea that it would be a valuable alternative highway to thEt East. This, of course, is true 'if the East were composed chiefly of China and Japan. But for the very reason that it bring these countries within shorter distance of Liverpool, it would remove India by a fortnight or three weeks. Si? John Mac- donald took steps to have this report con- tradicted, and an explanation put about to the effect that he simply visited this country on account of the state of his health. I have reason to believe, however, that the original report was correct. Sir John was accompanied on his visit by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and im- mediately after their arrival these gentlemen paid a visit to Lord Dufferin and the Marquis of Lome, with the object of secur- ing their interests on behalf of the project. Sir John Macdonald also saw Lord Derby, but received very little encourage- 3ment from him. Possibly the proposal was never urged in definitive or official form. But the Canadian Premier and his friend soon learned that their quest was hopeless, though had it succeeded it would have been a nice thing for the Canadian Pacific Rail- way, to which Sir Jchn Macdonald has be. come endeared through much tribulation.

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