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2 corrections, most recently by Moorlock - Show corrections

Russia's Dilemma.

"The Duma is dead; long live the

Duma," The phrase is perhaps the   best which Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- man has ever coined. It suggests, as a British premier should, that free in- stitutions, once established, are ineradi- cable. Whatever reason impelled the

Czar to establish the Duma -- whether he did it in good faith, or merely to stave off revolt -- whether he acted on the caprice of the moment, or in accord- ance with some too subtle scheme of dishing his foes -- there is no doubt that

he gave to the party of freedom, a first   step in the direction in which they can best make progress. Russia never has had a free Parliament, and yet already the Duma, in its manifesto to the peo- ple, declares as clearly as could any English legislature, that "the Govern- ment, without the assent of popular re- presentatives, has no right to collect

taxes, or to summon tho people to mili-  

tary service." That is the high appeal   on which the Duma joins issue. What   says the Czar? His manifesto is cer- tainly remarkable. After very specious argumeuts as to his reasons for calling the Duma, and threats as to what will follow on disobedience to the imperial will, there is a promise of increased lands to the peasants, the calling of a future Duma, and the vague hope that "We believe that giants in thought and action will appear, and thanks to their assiduous efforts, the glory of Russia will continue to shine." Making the usual allowance for pious persiflage, this resolves itself in a documentary justification for a relapse into despot- ism. A far better indication of the Czar's real intentions can be seen in the great massing of troops in St. Pet- ersburg, and in the Jewish belief -- so often sadly justified in the past -- that fresh massacres are impending. The mailed fist is apparently now to have its chance. There was some ground for the recent rumours that the Kaiser of Ger- many and the Emperor of Austria were conspiring to interpose with armed forces in Russian Poland, in support of the Czar's rule, and it is also signifi-

cant that the Czar's summary action in   dissolving the Duma was taken on the  

receipt of a long cypher telegram from   the Kaiser. What will be the result of  

it all? That revolution is written broad

across the face of events in the land of    

the Slav, it would be idle to deny; with  

too fatal accuracy, all the steps in the sinking of the French monarchy, over a century ago, are being reproduced. The Bourbons fell because they forgot nothing and learned nothing. Similarly Byron's biting words apply to Nicholas  

as accurately as they did to his prede- cessor of an earlier day

A Calmuck beauty, with a Cossack


And generous spirit, when 'tis not


Now half dissolving to a liberal thaw. But harden'd back, where'er the

morning's raw;

With no objection to true liberty,

Except that it would make the nation


Both the Czar and Duma appeal to the peasant. The Czar stands for au- thority; the Duma for freedom. From   the throne the troops are marshalled, but the Duma repeats Tolstoi's great appeal to the men of the provinces to offer passive resistance -- to pay no tax and give no recruit, and thus strike at the very roots of imperial power. And  

to the bondholders abroad it has ad- dressed a potent argument in declining to guarantee any loans raised by the Czar without the consent of the repre-  

sentatives of the people. Already, while New South Wales 4 per cents are   at £108, Russian 4 per cents are down

to £67 1/2.