1863-11-09 PRUSSIA

London Times, 9 November 1863, p. 8: PRUSSIA. (From our own correspondent.) Berlin, No. 5. (Excerpt)

            The proceedings of Russia in her Black Sea ports and dockyards have lately attracted a good deal of attention, and few persons will be found to doubt that the naval constructions and armaments already made and still making constitute a transgression of the stipulations of the Paris treaty of 1856. We hear also of fortifications in contravention of that treaty, and of a note concerning them recently addressed by the Porte to the contracting Powers, but the building of war vessels appears the most important measure, and the one that excites most comment. In fact, Russia scarcely seems to conceal or deny it, but declares it to be merely a defensive step, rendered necessary by the assistance given from without to the increasing insurrection in Circassia. A letter in the Berlin Review, dated St. Petersburg, the 24th of October, adds another motive. "It is quite true," says the writer, "that our Government is having iron-clad vessels built in the Black Sea, and nothing is more natural than our wish to see ourselves liberated from the galling fetters of the Paris treaty. The Porte is not to be blamed if she be uneasy about it, but that will help her nothing." From another source we learn that Russia has actually 12 war steamers employed in the blockade of the Circassian coast, although the Russo-Turkish convention annexed to the treaty of 1856, and having, according to Art. 14 of that treaty, the same force and value as if it were an integral part of the same, says that the high contracting parties mutually bind themselves to have in the Black Sea no other vessels of war than six steamers of a maximum of 800 tons, and four light vessels, (steam or sailing) not exceeding 200 tons each. Nobody believes that these stipulations have been observed by Russia. In the month of August last there appeared in The Times two letters from a correspondent in Belgium, giving very minute details as to the naval forces then possessed by Russia in the Black Sea. The statements contained in those letters attracted much attention on the Continent, and, notwithstanding attempted contradictions, there is excellent reason for believing them to have been extremely accurate. It is difficult to doubt that in the hands of at least some of the Governments that signed the treaty of 1856 documents exist which fully corroborate them. 

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin

 

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