19 MAY 1866, Page 1


THE feature of the week in foreign politics has been a revival of the rumour that the Emperor Napoleon was endeavouring to call a Congress, not indeed to settle "all pending questions," but to determine the fate of Venetia, Schleswig-Holstein, and the German Bund. It would seem to be certain that at the eleventh hour some such proposition has been made, that England °and Russia have acceded, that Italy accepts, provided the cession of Venetia be the basisof action, that Austria is not opposed, pro- vided she receives "territorial compensation" for Venetia, and that Prussia rejects. In other words, the proposition has been unofficially made as a last effort for peace, and has failed, the questions in dispute being essentially of the kind which can be settled only by the sword. We have stated elsewhere some rea- sons for distrusting the proposition, and need only add here that it has received the support of the reasonable French Liberals, repre- sented by M. E. Forcade in the Revue des Deux Moudes, that it was entrusted by the Emperor to M. Mulinen, and that if M. Renter is to be trusted, it has been finally rejected at Vienna.