Mr. Schuyler to Mr. Fish.
St. Petersburg, February 4, 1873. (Received Feb. 27.)
Sir: The difficulty between England and Russia has been completely settled, as I intimated in my dispatch No. 58 was probable, by the adhesion of Russia to the English views. Mr. Michell returned from London on Tuesday last with a dispatch from Lord Granville, expressed in very mild and conciliatory language, which repeated the views stated in the original dispatch of October last and added arguments in favor of their justice. When the English dispatch was handed to Prince Gortchacow he told Lord Augustus Loftus that he need have no apprehensions, and two days later he informed him that he had sent a dispatch to Count Brunnow acknowledging the Oxus as the northern boundary of Afghanistan.
Although this seems a diplomatic victory for Great Britain, I very much doubt whether it will prove so in reality. Evidently Prince Gortchacow would not have yielded so easily if he had not seen some advantage in doing so. It is of course for the Russian interest to show the minor Khanates of Central Asia that England and Russia are no longer in opposition, and that all they can hope for will be what Russia will choose to grant them. At the same time, England, by making herself in a measure responsible for the actions of Afghanistan, has practically brought her frontiers nearer to those of Russia, and it will be possible at any time for the Russians, if so disposed, to excite troubles on the border which will lead to blame of the Afghans, to mutual recrimination and to eventual difficulties.
If I am not much mistaken, this agreement will be violently attacked in the approaching session of Parliament.
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The rumors about a secret treaty with Persia, ceding territory, and of difficulties excited by the Russians in Afghanistan, evidently rest on no foundation.
I have, &c.,