THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN CONVENTION.
[To THE EDITOR Or THE "SPECTATOR."]
see in your issue of September 7th you state that the Anglo-Russian Convention has enabled us among other things to exercise some check on Russia, and without that Conven- tion we should have been able to exercise none. I had hoped that the debate in the House of Lords last July had served to dispel the dangerous delusion that the Convention had checked Russia in Northern Persia. Russian control is the only power that exists in that country to-day, and is stronger than outward appearances reveal. All that the Convention has effected is to have enabled Russia to do this without causing friction with us. Our Government have tamely acquiesced and have dulled the ears of the British public by crying peace when there was no peace. Russia is quite con- sistent. In 1871 a well-known general said Russia advances by one of two ways: either by force of arms or under the cover of a treaty. She has selected the latter course in the case of Persia. Your assertion that this country could have exercised no check without the Convention is at variance with the defensive argument that our foreign policy must not be con- sidered merely by its action in the particular locality but as part of a whole. It follows, then, that diplomatic pressure can be applied in a variety of forms and in places other than the actual scene or locality concerned. But, of course, so long as the shortsighted anti-German policy is adopted it is difficult to protect our Empire from more imminent dangers. --I am,