20 MAY 1905, Page 1

F RIDAY'S news seems to show that the naval battle will

take place, probably in the Formosa Channel, within the next ten days. The Daily Mail of Friday states that there is some reason to surmise that the Russian fleet has entered the danger zone, and is probably already off the Pescadores. It founds its view on several considerations. In the first place, Thursday night was full moon in the Formosa Channel—which, by the way, is about ninety miles wide—and therefore the Russians would be the better able to ward off a night attack by torpedo-boats. Next, the Russian hospital ship is expected at Shanghai. This is alleged to be an important indication, as the Russians are, it is said, accus- tomed to use their hospital ships as scouts. Thirdly, Rozhdestvensky is known to have orders to fight, and has completed his coaling and refitting operations. Finally, the news from Tokio indicates that the Japanese expect an immediate action. No doubt all these signs point to great events. At the same time, the Russians show unrivalled powers of procrastination, and we should not be surprised if next week we are writing, as we have written for the last month, that nothing bas "passed" in the China seas but another week.