London Times, 19 November 1870, p. 6: THE TREATY OF 1856.
(Reuter's telegram.) St. Petersburg, Nov. 18.
The Journal de St. Petersbourg of to-day says: -- "Had it been possible for a Congress to assemble, the Government would not have omitted to lay before it a question which is of vital importance to Russia; but to bind Russia to await that moment when an understanding on the part of the European Powers was obtainable meant to chain Russia for an indefinite time in a situation impossible and constantly growing worse. The article refutes the supposition that the Russian Note implied the abrogation of the whole Treaty. Nevertheless, England could do for Turkey as she has done for Belgium. The dangers threatening Turkey are of an internal character. So long as the relations between the Porte and Russia do not rest upon a friendly footing, the perfect tranquility of the Christian inhabitants of Turkey cannot be hoped for. Russia would value the loyal support of Austria in this vital question of honour. Austria knows that her political difficulties commenced on the day when, by a perfidious Eastern policy, she lost the friendship of Russia. Both Empires would gain by a proper appreciation of their mutual interests."
(By telegraph.) (From our Berlin correspondent.) Berlin, Nov. 18, 9 33 P.M.
The St. Petersburg semi-official journal, the Golos, denies that Russia promised Prussia to remian a neutral spectator of the French war if Prussia connived at Russia's setting aside the Treaty of 1856.
"It might have been dangerous," the Golos adds, "to give such a promise to a neighbour whose power is growing so very fast. At any rate, it would have been paying a very high price for a small favour, considering that all Russia wishes to effect is the modification of a Treaty the general principles of which she still recognizes."
(Reuter's telegrams.) Vienna, Nov. 17, evening.
The semi-official Correspondence Warren says that the declaration of Russia, by which on her own authority she revives certain important stipulations of the Treaty of 1856, is of a nature which involves a principle of a most extraordinary character. The desire of the Russian Government that the articles relating to the Black Sea should be revised would, if submitted to the negotiations of the other co-signatory Powers of the Treaty of Paris, have brought about a satisfactory result; but the course of Russia, in acting solely upon her own responsibility, conduces to a violation of the rights stipulated in the Treaty, and fundamentally weakens the legal status of affairs upon which peace in the East is based. Prince Gortschakoff's Note has created a most threatening position, and it will induce all the signatory Powers of the Treaty of Paris to uphold with firmness and energy the public right thus menaced. The question involves the most vital points upon which rest the interests of our Empire. The signataries of the Treaty of 1856 have every reason to agree to a common course of action in order to resist the designs of Russia.
The Presse of to-day states that the answer of Austria to the Note of Prince Gortschakoff will very soon be sent. The reply will be in perfect agreement with that sent by England, although not bearing an entirely identical character with the despatch of Lord Granville.
Pesth, No. 18.
In to-day's sitting of the Hungarian Diet, Herr Simonyi, the leader of the Left party, asked the Government if they are acquainted with the statement of Lord Granville, that no Power was ready to support the intervention of England in the interests of peace. He further asked whether they are ready to act in the manner indicated by Lord Granville for the restoration of peace.
Herr Simonyi asked also what attitude the Government intends to to observe relative to the Treaty of 1856, and if it entertains hopes that all the parties to that Treaty will adopt a common course of action in the matter.
Florence, Nov. 18.
The Italie of to-day says: -- "We have reason to believe that Turkey has strongly protested against Russia's withdrawal from the Treaty of 1856, and that Ali Pacha's despatch is couched in energetic terms." The same journal also says that Photiades Bey, the Turkish Minister in Florence, has lately had several conferences with Signor Visconti-Venosta and some other diplomatists.
(By telegraph.) (From our own correspondent.) Berlin, Nov. 18, 10 40 A.M. (Excerpts)
Russia does not object to attend a Conference for the revision of the Treaty of 1856. Prussia would probably consent to be represented at such a meeting, provided she could be brought to believe that topics connected with the war will be excluded from the debate, or, at any rate, touched upon in a way not prejudicial to her interests.
...The Russian Government have resolved to reduce the time of active military service from 10 to six years, and levy in future six instead of four recruits in every 1,000 souls.