18 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 1

On Monday at the sitting of the North Sea Commission

in Paris the British and Russian Governments presented their conclusions. The British representatives argued that there was no torpedo-boat present among the trawlers, and that therefore the Russian officers had been deceived ; that there was no justification for opening fire, and a com- plete failure to control such fire; that firing was con- tinued for an unjustifiable time; and that no effort was made to assist the damaged vessels. The Russian case, after a long analysis of the evidence, contended that the incident occurred in the legitimate accomplishment of military duties, and that no blame could attach to the Admiral or any of his officers. It concluded with a declara- tion that Russia deplored that innocent victims should have suffered, and had no intention of evading the payment of compensation, and the suggestion that the amount should be fixed by the Hague Arbitration Court. Meanwhile the Blue-book containing the official correspondence on the acci- dent has been published, and the reading of it confirms us in our impression as to the tact and firmness shown by Lord Lansdowne and Sir Charles Hardinge. The correspondence is too long to summarise, but we may note that Count Lamsdorff has given the fullest assurances that any officers found guilty will be punished, in whatever part of the world they may be serving.