24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 1

time when the North Sea incident was at its height.

What role would our Black Sea Fleet play ? Why, the same as that played by the remains of the fleet which we have at present in the Baltic. We might without hesitation send all the warships which we still have to reinforce Admiral Rozhdestvensky's squadron, for these ships would in any case be of no use in a conflict with Great Britain or Germany.

With the suppression of the closing of the straits, the Black Sea Fleet would also become a useless factor in a

case of active defence So long as this closing is main- tained, we are masters of the Black Sea, and we can take the initiative in any decisive acts with regard to Turkey." That is sound sense, and shows that the Russians are beginning to realise that if they demand the opening of the Dardanelles they cannot have it both ways, and treat the Black Sea as a mare elausum to others. If they demand egress for them- selves, they must grant ingress to others.