13 JANUARY 1855, Page 8



The Journal des Debats publishes an article, formally attributed to the pen of M. de Sacy, and supposed to have been inspired from Russian sources, respecting the recent conferences at Vienna. After describing the initiation of these proceedings by the declaration of Prince Gort- schakoff so long ago as the 28th November, that the Emperor of Russia accepted the four guarantees as a starting-point for negotiations, and the subsequent meeting on the 28th December, when the interpretations of the guarantees formed the subject of the conference, the writer gives this account of the interpretations, and the proceedings consequent there- upon— " As regards the freedom of the mouths of the Danube, the protocol of the 28th December says that a common syndicate of the five Courts shall be formed, the powers and attributes of which are to be regulated in the course of negotiations. As regards the revision of the treaty of 1841, in the in- terest of the balance of power in Europe, the protocol says that that balance had been troubled by the preponderance which Russia assumed to herself not only by the treaty of 1841, but by means of many anterior treaties. All those treaties are to be annulled. The Black Sea is to be free ; but the naval forces which each of the five Powers may possess there or maintain are determined, starting from the principle of equality, which shall be on this subject the foundation of future stipulations. The protocol of the 28th of December says also that there is no intention of attacking the integrity of the Russian empire, and consequently of depriving it of any of its provinces. But the three signing Powers reserve to themselves to turn to account all the advantages which may result from facts of war, when a definitive ar- rangement becomes necessary respecting the importance and extent of the military and naval establishments which Russia may in future be allowed to possess on the coast of the Black Sea. "The first of the four conditions of the note of the 8th of August ia rela- tive to the protectorate which Russia exercised over the Principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia, and Servia. That protectorate is to cease. The lan- guage of the note of the 8th of August is so precise in this respect that the protocol of the 28th of December has nothing to add thereon. But this pro- tocol explains itself on the fourth condition : it has for object the definitive abolition of the right of special protection which Russia never ceases to claim in favour of the subjects of the Sultan who profess the Greek faith. All the treaties which Russia invokes in the support of that pretension are to be annulled ; the exclusive protection of Russia is to be replaced by the common protection of the five Courts, who will engage themselves to show the greatest consideration for the Ottoman Porte, and to make use of the greatest deli- cacy towards it, so as not to alarm its susceptibility, and not to attempt the slightest infringement upon its independence. The protocol enumerates the recent acts of the Sultan, whose sincerity is not to be doubted. The Allied Powers guarantee the maintenance of those acts, so favourable to all Chris- tian creeds, and their loyal fulfilment. "The reading of this protocol was followed by a very animated discussion, in which it appears that clearer explanations were given on the advantages proposed to be derived from facts of war which might be accomplished before the preliminaries should be signed. Thus it would not be impossible that the destruction of the fort of Ismail on the Danube might be demanded, and the construction in its stead of a neutral fortress, which would belong to the five Powers, and be garrisoned by them in common. Perhaps also the destruction of Sebastopol might be demanded, the demolition of its forts and arsenate, the prohibition for ever of its being rebuilt, as also the prohibition of the creation of any military port likely to threaten the independence of Turkey. This commentary is said to have been energetically opposed by Prince Gortschakoff, who is said to have declared that he had not powers to accept such conditions. He is said to have added, that he would transmit immediately the protocol or memorandum to the Cabinet of St. Petersburg, and that he would demand orders from his Sovereign. "On the following day, Prince Gortschakoff saw M. de Buol again, and showed himself more disposed to accept, as regards the third condition, a new draught which did not essentially differ from the one proposed to him the evening before, on the possible consequences of facts of war ; and which M. de Buol maintained, saying that it was necessary to reply by a pure and simple acceptation or refusal. Prince Gortachakoff demanded the necessary delay to receive a reply ; that delay was granted to him, and would expire on the 14th of January.

"But on the evening of the 6th of January, Prince Gortschakoff received from the Emperor Nicholas the order to accept without reserve the protocol of the 28th as a lash for negotiations for peace.

"On the morning of the 7th, M. de Buol was made acquainted with this resolution of the Imperial Court of St. Petersburg : it was immediately com- municated to the representatives of France and Great Britain who met in the evening. The Russian Minister was present at this meeting. Other conferences have been held since the 7th of January ; and, if we are to trust the recent telegraphic despatches from Vienna, the Turkish Ambassador has been invited to attend them.

"We confine ourselves today to this simple statement of facts, which con- firm the hopes we expressed in our article of the llth of December last. The field is a wide one for conjectures ; but, in the critical moment at which the negotiations seem to have arrived, the wisest plan is doubtless to await the course of events."