16 SEPTEMBER 1905, Page 1

The rising in the Caucasus has assumed serious importance. The

latest statements tend to show that order of a kind has been restored at Baku, the great oil centre on the Caspian; but the destruction of life and property has been deplorable. The Mussulmans and the Armenians have fought out their permanent quarrel; and though all the figures are untrust-

worthy, it seems certain that hundreds on both massacring have been killed, the "Tartars," as they are called, massacring even the children. It appears from an official representation addressed by the owners of the oilfields to the Ministry of Finance that the police are powerless, that the owners of property have for some time been paying heavy blackmail to the " bandits " of the neighbourhood, that 'managers of :the oilfields have been frequently shot dead, and that during the recent riots the entire "oilfield area" has been reduced "to an ash-heap." The owners do not estimate their losses, but they are said to exceed £8,000,000, exclusive of an enormous loss of revenue sustained by Government; and they ask for a moratorium of twelve months in favour of both public and private debtors, and for an advance from the Treasury to enable them to restore the costly machinery by which the oil is raised and distributed. Great industriei in South Russia, especially the river steamboats, which are fed with oil .and naphtha instead of coal, are temporarily ruined, and the entire area of the Caucasus has become a dead loss to the State instead of a large source of profit. All this is exclusive of the suffering caused by the outbreaks, which in many quarters, especially where the Armenians were numerous, have involved the extirpation or flight of all the inhabitants.