23 DECEMBER 1905, Page 1

The news from Russia is the worst that has yet

been recorded. A general strike begins to-day throughout the Empire, which, it is believed, will be maintained with the utmost strictness. It will affect not merely the great and small industries, but all means of transport and communica- tion, including the issue of the newspapers. We have described elsewhere the Nationalist revolt which has taken place in the Baltic provinces, and which has, for the time at any rate, resulted in the overthrow of Russian authority, and will only say here that the railway strike will in all probability render the immediate reconquest of the provinces impossible. It is said that four thousand fresh troops are ready to proceed from St. Petersburg to Esthonia ; but even were such a body sufficient to meet one hundred thousand peasants in a land of marshes, rivers, and wastes, they are useless if the railways are closed to them. The correspondent of the Daily Mail, telegraphing to Friday's paper, states that a high authority informs him that Count Witte is "the latest advocate of repression by force," and adds that " if the strike lasts, all is over." " We shall drown in a red torrent." The prospect is dark indeed, but we are still convinced that the agony will be longer than the public believes. The fall of so mighty a structure as the Russian Empire must be a very slow process. Reconstruction, curiously enough, as the French Revolution showed, may be quicker.