5 AUGUST 1905, Page 1

The Russian and Japanese Plenipotentiaries have reached America, and will

hold their first meeting for business on Tuesday at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. An extraordinary variety of rumours are afloat, some of them, it is obvious, purely inventions ; but it is certain that the Czar has promised some petitioners not to make "a shameful peace"; that General Linevitch has telegraphed his confident hope of victory ; and that in St. Petersburg there is little expectation of peace. Moreover, the tone of M. Witte is not hopeful. He has banded to the New York papers a sort of circular in which he flatters America, and is most conciliatory even to the Japanese, whom he calls "chivalrous foes"; but on board the steamer which carried him from Cherbourg to New York he repeated the sentiments of his first manifesto. The Russian reverses do not mean, he said, that Japan has become "a redoubtable enemy," or Russia a negligible quantity. The Russian people consider the struggle only "a far-distant colonial war." They would rise as one man if they thought the war threatened the security of their country. If the Japanese desire peace, they must recognise that Russia would never consent to any condition of peace "which even apparently might offend her amour propre." That may be all directed to the address of the Japanese, or may have been intended only to silence inquisitive fellow- passengers, bat it looks as if M. Witte were aware that his master wished to continue the war.