29 JULY 1905, Page 1

T HE diplomatic world has this week been surprised and a

little startled by a meeting between the German Emperor and the Czar in the Finnish harbour of Bjoerkoe, in the Baltic, which took place at midnight on Sunday, the 23rd inst., on board the Russian yacht the 'Pole Star: The Sovereigns con- versed for two hours, with no one present except the Archduke Michael, and met again at breakfast on the German Emperor's yacht Hohenzollern,' after which the Czar returned to Peterhof quite cheerful and "much comforted in his mind." Nothing is known of the subjects of discussion, nor is it certain who proposed the meeting, though, as to the latter point, the hour selected, the excessive secrecy maintained, and the excitement produced in Europe all suggest the initiative of a great master of stage effects. The latest rumour is to the effect that the Kaiser wishes one of his sons to be elected King of Norway, and requested the Czar's consent to that arrangement, promising him in return a Norwegian port on the Atlantic ; but, as we have argued elsewhere, it is much more probable that the German Emperor wished to impress on his relative certain views as to peace in the Far East and reforms in Russia. He may also wish to prevent, if possible, a renewal of the Treaty between Great Britain and -Japan, which might interfere with his own projects of expansion on the Pacific.