15 MAY 1880, Page 1

This letter, the most important sentences of which are given

textually elsewhere, has been followed by a shout from the Tories of "What humiliation !" The words of the document are not well judged, Mr. Gladstone having been far too considerate and even apologetic towards the Austrian representative, but the substance of the letter records an important political success. 'There can be no doubt that Austria was swerving towards a policy of annexations in the Balkans, which has been aban- doned mainly in consequence of Mr. Gladstone's accession to power. That change of purpose is now officially recorded, and in view of it Mr. Gladstone can afford to regret expressions which made Count Karolyi's position, personal as well as poli- tical, very difficult. Nevertheless, we regret this first evidence that the Liberal Government disregards the appearances which in England it is so necessary to maintain. Lord Beaconsfield would have defied Austria to three campaigns, and made her by secret agreement a present of Salonica; and Society—which does not know where Salonica is—would have exclaimed, "What a hero !"