26 MAY 1866, Page 1


THERE does not appear to be any chance for a solution of the European struggle by a Congress, and not very much perhaps of the assembling of the Congress itself. Yesterday week, before the Whitsun recess, Lord Clarendon said that "confidential com- munications—he could scarcely describe , them as having the character of negotiations,"—by the way, Mr. Layard did so de- scribe them the same evening in the Commons, but then Mr. Layard is not a very adequate representative of his chief,-7" were at the present moment going on, and he hoped they might termi- nate in a meeting of all the Powers concerned. . . . he could not hold out any hope that these proceedings would terminate in peace." That is not very sanguine certainly, and last Thursday Mr. Gladstone "did not think there was anything of consequence to add to the short statement made in another place by my noble friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs." And certainly he did not add much. He spoke of England as" acceding to the proposals made," so that at least we have not been the fussy origi- nators of this probably useless talk. Mr. Gladstone was rather vague as to the proposed subject of the Conference. MraPisraeli asked him whether it was "to agree on territorial compen- sations which would offer indemnities and satisfaction to the claims of Prussia, Austria, and Italy." That was not exactly it, Mr. Gladstone said, and it would be "dangerous to say in precise terms" what it was. All which means, that a Conferenbe to discuss a meteorological expedient for dispersing clouds is proposed as a remedy for an inevitable and very formidable storm.