THE WAR: WHO'S TO BLAME?'
UNDER this title, Mr. Tames Macqueen has put forth an octavo volume of four hundred pages, for the purpose of demonstrating to the English public that they have been grossly abused by their statesmen and diplomatic agents in the negotiations that preceded and led to the pending war with Russia. His critical examination of the Parliamentary papers on the Eastern question forces him, to his vehemently expressed regret, upon the unpleasant duty of charging the Government of this country with wilful suppression of important documents, for the purpose of misleading the people ; the diplomatic agents, especially Lord Stratford de Redoliffe, with a a similar crime, for the purpose of misleading the Government ; and the political parties generally with ruling into a war with Russia, that was unnecessary and unjust, for the purpose of arresting Russia's commercial and naval development, and giving his Holiness the Pope of Rome a triumph over the Head of the Eastern Church. According. to Mr. Macqueen, (and he bases his assertions throughout upon details supplied by the Blue-Books,) the demands of Russia upon Turkey were justified by European usage, by express treaty, and by the clear necessities of the case ; and were consistently and openly avowed throughout as they were finally delivered in' Menschikoirs ultimatum. Ent for Colonel Rose first, and Lord Stratford afterwards, the Turk would have at once yielded, and Europe have been saved a great war. Lord Stratford, however, had some pet schemes of his own, (what they were we are not precisely informed,) which would have been thwarted by such concession: accordingly, he set to work to embroil the parties; • whispered hopes of Western fleets and armies in the ears of Pashas and Grand Viziers; detected dangers in Menschikoff's proposals which no one had seen except himself; frightened Lord Clarendon, by sending home despatches full of misstatements; and finally succeeded in checkmating Menschikoff. It was he that induced the Turks subsequently to declare war ; and, with the exception of Lord Aberdeen, who has had the principal influence "in precipitating the war," we owe the calamities of the great European embroilment almost entirely to Lord Stratford. Mr. Macqueen further holds that the Russians would do us and Europe no harm by possessing Constantinople, though it would by no means do to have either France or England there. With a dash of religious fanaticism, and the usual grotesque absurdity exhibited by religious fanatics in the interpretation of Old Testament prophecy, these theses form the text of Mr. Maoqueen's discourse : and as persons of the pseudo-religious cast are commonly the most unscrupulous, our readers will not be surprised to learn that this man, while bringing charges of garbling documents against some of the highest personages in the land whether by station or character, is himself guilty of some of the grossest misstatements, and perversions of the evidence on which he professes to rest his case, that our political and literary experience has made us acquainted with. As an instance of the manner in which the investigation is conducted, and as convicting the writer of utter incapacity for his work or utter disregard of truth—and both respectable qualities are abundantly evidenced throughout the book—we may mention, that he prefaces his examination of the papers on the Eastern question with a general charge against the Government of suppressing important papers that would tell against them or in favour of Russia. Of suoh suppression he adduces only three specific instances. Two of the papers which he asserts to be suppressed are given at full length in the BlueBooks under their proper dates : one, a despatch by Nesselrode, in French and English, must have stared him in the face as he read the note of Sir Hamilton Seymour on which he founds his charge; and the other only needed some slight understanding of the subject
matter of the dispute, and the progress of the negotiations, to have been at once recognized as the paper "suppressed." The third case is somewhat different : here the paper, the suppression of which is charged upon Government, is not to be found in the Blue-Book ; and the reason is, that no such paper was ever written, and is entirely the product of Mr. Macqueen's brain, addled by malignant passions and a total misconception of the whole matter he babbles about. Thus, the only three specific eases of suppression which he cites are assignable solely to his own incapacity for seeing what is before him, and to a disreputable recklessness in making false charges.
• The War: Who's to Blame? A complete Analysis of the Diplomatic Correspondence regarding the Eastern Question. By James Macqueen, Esq., F.R.G.S., Author of "Geography of Africa," 8m. Published by Madden.