27 NOVEMBER 1886, Page 1

General Kaulbars, in quitting Sofia, either did or did not

request the French Consul-General to take charge of Russian interests. All the correspondents on the spot say he did, and the French and German journals confirm them ; but the St. Petersburg Gazette denies part of the story. It says the care of i Russians in Bulgaria was left to Germany ; but that i East Ronmelia, where there are no German Consuls, Fran was asked to protect the interests of Russian subjects. The r tter

is of interest, as showing the temper of the Russian Court, and the incident is regarded all over the Continent as indicating a secret understanding between St. Petersburg and Paris. It is probable that no such understanding exists, and that this arrangement was nearly accidental, or due to General Kanlbars's contempt for diplomatic amenities ; but it is certain that the two Powers are on the most friendly terms. France wants Russia to help her in Egypt, and Russia wants France to help her in Bulgaria; and so M. de Freycinet and M. de Giers accommodate one another. As to a more serious alliance, there is no need for it. Each knows that if France defies Germany, Russia will attack Germany also ; while if Russia begins the fight, the French Government, if the electors will allow it, will aid in the war with all its heart. The really doubtful points are, whether the Czar can come to so immense a decision, and whether the French electors, with their country at stake, will consider Russia a sufficient ally. Our impression is that the restraining forces will act too late ; but that is not the impression of the financiers of Europe, or they would drop stocks 10 per cent.