2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 18

The long-projected railway from Smyrna through Anatolia to Bussors,h, on

the Persian Gulf, is at length to be completed. The Sultan has decided to grant the concession to the Deutsche Bank and its allied syndicate, and the Irade or supreme order has at last been signed. The concession is regarded as a startling proof of German influence in Constantinople, and a defeat both for Russian and British diplomacy. It is certainly a defeat for the former, and will greatly increase suspicion at St. Petersburg as to the ultimate ends of Germany in Turkey ; but we suspect that Indian statesmen will perceive considerable compensations in the arrangement. Not to mention that all railways which approach India develop Indian trade, the railway may secure us a strong ally in Asia. It is not of much use for Russia to be running a line from the Caspian to Bushire if when she gets there she finds Britain and Germany allied in the Persian Gulf, and able by a railway through Gedrosia to Sind to throw themselves right across her path. Our quidnuncs are always pessimist because they start from the assumption that England ought to be alone in the world ; but that assumption is erroneous. Let them ask themselves for a moment whether, if Germany were reigning on the Euphrates, India would be safer or less safe than at present. Clearly it would be safer from Russia at all events, and Kiel is more accessible than Odessa.