5 AUGUST 1905, Page 1

There has been an immense quantity of discussion this week

in all the newspapers of Europe upon an alleged project of the German Emperor. He wishes, it is said, to make an agreement with Russia, Sweden, and Denmark under which the Sound would be closed and the Baltic declared to be a mare clausura like the Black Sea. This, it is asserted, was the object of his interview with the Czar, and will be his topic during his visits to Copenhagen and Stockholm now in progress. The proposal has been eagerly accepted by part of the German Press, and denounced by the Press of France, which since the fall of M. Delcasse has been angrily suspicious of German designs. It was even said, and for a moment believed, that the orders to a British fleet to manceuvre in the Baltic were intended as a " countercheck " to the German Emperor, who thereupon receded from his design. All this time there is no evidence that William IL meditates any scheme of the kind, which would be certain to provoke resistance in Russia, in Great Britain, in France, and probably in America, where the idea of " shutting " an open sea by fiat is regarded as an outrage on the freedom of the high seas. It is, moreover, known that Denmark repudiates any such plan, which would impose on her the ruinous task of holding a door against the world, and that the orders to the British fleet were issued last May in the ordinary course of business. The scare, in .short, was either baseless, or founded on some project of the Kaiser for neutralising Denmark, as Denmark is supposed to wish.