16 MARCH 1878, Page 1


7IHE difficulty of the hour is the settlement of the preliminaries

to the Congress. The English War party is unwilling to enter Congress at all, holding that its proceedings will only legalise an aggression. The British Government, though not unwilling to -enter, demands a guarantee that the whole Treaty shall be submit- ted, and that Congress shall decide what questions are or are not subjects of European interest ; while Russia objects that she ought to settle the points that are, as it were, personal to her and Turkey. There must be ways known to diplomacy of over- coming these difficulties, and they probably will disappear, unless, indeed, Russia or England at heart desires that there should be no Congress at all. That is not likely, as the non-recognition of accomplished facts is pure injury to the world, without any resulting advantage in the establishment of peace. It appears to be believed that the meeting will be at least delayed by the long pourparlers, but even this is uncertain, the makers of telegrams having become hopelessly untrustworthy. They tell us every day secrets which can be known only to a few statesmen. The only thing certain is, that this country insists that all the terms of peace shall be revealed to Congress, and that Europe shall decide which of them it will discuss.