1863-08-11 TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

London Times, 11 August 1863, p. 10. TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.

Sir, -- If you will refer to the Convention separately concluded in 1856 between Russia and the Porte, you will find that by Article 2 of the said Convention the former Power bound herself to keep in the Black Sea no more than "six steamvessels measuring 150 metres at their water-line, and four other light sailing vessels not above 200 tons each."

            Now, if I have been induced to point out this stipulation, it is because, during a recent visit to the shores of the Black Sea, it was my chance to obtain the unexpected possession of a document, about the truthfulness of which I cannot entertain the slightest doubt, and which throws a strange light on the fidelity with which Russia has observed her before-mentioned engagements. It is no less than a list of the war-vessels now belonging to that Power in the Black Sea. By the date of their construction, which is given, together with the name, the horse-power, total of guns, officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, and also the respective cost of the hull and of the engines, you will easily perceive that the greater number of these ships were built after the peace; that is to say, in direct violation of the prohibition laid upon Russia by the act to which she was a party. Eight only of them are part of the squadron which, at the beginning of the siege of Sebastopol, was sunk at the entrance of the port in order to prevent the approach of the allied fleets. These were raised out of the water and repaired at great expense; some others, which I saw at Sebastopol in the state of deterioration in which they had been lifted from their bed of mud, are intended to undergo the same renewal. If I add to the subjoined list the 32 gunboats which I hear Admiral Glasenapp is busily completing in the navy-yard at Nicolaieff, I venture to think that I show ample grounds for drawing the attention of the English public to the formidable armaments of Russia in that sea, where it was a principal aim of the framers of the Treaty of Paris to confine her within the narrowest limits.

                                                I am, Sir, &c.,

            Brussels, Aug. 7.                    A CONSTANT READER.

 

                            LIST OF VESSELS AND WAR TRANSPORTS BELONGING

                                                  TO RUSSIA IN THE BLACK SEA 

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin

 

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