19 NOVEMBER 1870, Page 1

Lord Granville's reply (which is dated 10th November) is very

good and firm, though, as usual with him (except when writing to colonies), remarkably courteous in tone. He points out that Russia has stated certain facts on the strength of which she claims, on her own individual judgment alone as to the character of those facts, to release herself from the engagements which she took to the other Powers in the Treaty of 1856. Though Russia does not profess to release herself at present from all the engage- ments of that Treaty, "yet the assumption of a right to renounce any one of its terms involves the assumption of a right to renounce the whole." Prince Gorteehakoff has certainly professed the intention of the Russian Government to respect certain of the engagements of the Treaty of 1856, as well as to ignore others; but "however satisfactory this may be in itself, it is obviously an expression of the free-will of that power, which it might at any time alter or withdraw, and in this it is thus open to the same objections as the other portions of the communication, because it implies the right of Russia to annul the Treaty on the ground of allegations of which she constitutes herself the only judge." "Her Majesty's Government have received this communication with deep regret, because it opens a .discussion which might unsettle the cordial understanding it has been their earnest endeavour to maintain with the Russian Government." if Russia had invited a congress to reconsider the provisions now objected to by Russia, Her Majesty's Government would not have refused to examine the question, in concert with the co-signataries to the Treaty, and by that means "a risk of future complications and a very dangerous precedent as to the validity of international obligations would have been avoided." The last, which is the closing sentence, might have been a little stronger in tone ; but Lord Granville's language will be felt to be very grave, and perhaps not the less grave for its studious self-re-

straint and reserve. The great question now is, whether our struggle is to be with Russia alone, or with Russia and Prussia together. ,