24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 1

We cannot, of course, say whether this account is authentic,

as the lifatin withholds the source of its information; but if it is not due to leakage, it must be the work of a political clairvoyant. Later reports assert that the Czar has obtained the signatures of Prince Sviatopolk-Mirski and M. Pobiedonostzeff to a Manifesto returning an unfavour- able reply to the leaders of the Zemstvo movement, and that Prince Sviatopolk-Mirski will shortly be replaced by General Kleigels, a thoroughgoing reactionary. The re-enforcement of the Press censorship, which had lately been relaxed, points in this direction, and has elicited an eloquent protest from the Russ, the Moscow Liberal organ, which points out that repressive measures aimed at the prevention of publicity not only fail to achieve their object, but "lead to the dissemination of false and exaggerated reports of the very matters from which it is thought desirable to distract public attention." For the moment it would seem as though the forces of reaction were in the ascendant, but persistent reports of the resignations of the Grand Duke Serge—the Governor of Moscow—and of M. Muravieff indi- cate that the conflict between the powers of light and darkness is still undecided.