28 OCTOBER 1876, Page 1


THERE has been a kind of lull all the week in the Eastern Question. General Ignatieff has returned to Constanti- nople, and has had an interview with the Sultan, whom, as he speaks Turkish, he can address without the intervention of an interpreter. What he said is not known, but it is believed that he pressed for a six weeks' armistice, to be followed by a grant of autonomy to Bosnia, the Herzegovina, and Bulgaria, guaranteed by a European occupation of the Provinces. The Turkish Ministers in reply accept the armistice, provided that if peace is not concluded in the six weeks, six weeks more shall be added, sand after that two months more. As the Pashas can themselves prevent the peace from being concluded, this is merely a repetition of the demand for the five months' armistice, and will be, of course, rejected at Livadia. These statements are as yet merely reports, and all that is definitely known is that Russia and Turkey are negotiating, that the negotiations have as yet had no result, but that they are not broken off. Hints are given that the Turks, if pressed too far, may throw Europe overboard, make a separate peace with Russia, and accept a position not to be distinguished from that of a protected State, but no evidence is offered of such a design. Our impression, justified elsewhere, is that Russia is wasting time deliberately to complete her preparations in Asia, and that the Turks will not agree to the indispensable guarantees. They will give promises to any amount, but no provinces.