12 MARCH 1904, Page 1


THE news of the week from the Far East consists of rumours, a few probable, many improbable, but all requiring con- firmation. It is certain that the Japanese Fleet on March 6th shelled Vladivostok at long range ; but the Russians do not admit serious damage, and it is supposed that the attack was intended to cover a debarkation, possibly in Possiet Bay. It is not known whether the Russian Vladivostok Squadron is in harbour or at sea, but according to the latest unconfirmed rumour at Tokio it has been met by the Japanese Fleet and destroyed. The next rumour, which, however, rests in part on an official telegram to Washington sent by the captain of an American gunboat, is that a Japanese army has got behind the Yalu to a point seventy miles east from Newchwang, and is marching on the railway, by cutting which the Japanese will isolate Port Arthur. The Russians must resist this move- ment, and a considerable battle is therefore expected, the result of which will, morally at least, be of infinite import- ance. If the Russians win, the world will doubt the superiority of Japanese soldiers ; while if the Japanese win, Newchwang, Port Arthur, and the Russian forces on the Yalu will be in grave danger. The censorship, however, is still applied with extreme severity, and nothing will be accurately known till the results are indisputable.