29 JANUARY 1910, Page 3

There is such a confusion of assertions, denials, innuendoes, and

recriminations in the three countries that it is extremely difficult for a foreign observer to get at the truth. On Wednesday the facts became further complicated by an alleged incident at a Court ball in Vienna, at which it was said that Count Aehrenthal slighted the German Ambassador. Possibly this incident has very little to do with the matter, and has only been dragged into publicity by excited politicians. The situation, so far as we can understand it, is roughly as follows. It has long been an open secret that there was a personal enmity between M. Lsvolsky and Count Aehrenthal, and some complaints about it were uttered in Berlin because Germany, after her notorious coercion of Russia, was sagaciously trying to bring the three countries together. Count Aehrenthal, for his part, was conscious that his conflict -with M. Isvolsky was strewing his path with difficulties, and he therefore determined to make advances towards Russia. He has done this in a somewhat blundering manner, and if he has produced a détente with Russia, he has done it at the expense of friendliness with Germany. At the same time, no friend of peace in Europe can possibly be otherwise than delighted at anything that tends to bring about better relations between Russia and Austria-Hungary.