9 JUNE 1866, Page 1


THE Conference has been abandoned. In reply to an invitation

signed by the three Powers, Count Mensdorff, in a very plainly worded despatch, informed the Governments of France, England, and Russia that Austria would only attend the Conference under certain reserves. She would not surrender Venetia for a pecuniary consideration, or for the Principalities, or for Bosnia, or even, though this is said with a visible nuance of longing, for Silesia. Only "if war broke out, and great military successes in the field consoli- dated the power of Austria, and left in her hands assured conquests, then she might be willing to abandon an old province in order to keep a new one," a hint that she will compensate herself in Ger- many, or not at all. The despatch concludes with assertions "that Austria is strong in her right; that she appeals to no one for sup- port; but that she claims the right to guard her own as long as she possesses the power." On receipt of this letter the Emperor telegraphed to the British Government that the Conference must be abandoned, and his view has been endorsed by all the Cabinets which had accepted his proposition. The blame of the refusal has of course been studiously thrown upon Austria, the Times leading the cry against a Power which ventures to be honest, and the Moniteur republishing the Times' article.