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The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 1889. ENGLAND AND GERMAN.

That incidents, apparently trifling m themselves, are often the turning point of great events, and that what appear to be insignificant causes sometimes lead to the most weighty results, is a remark which, although trite, is none the less true ; and although at first sight no one would have supposed that European politics might hinge upon what has recently transpired among the islands of the Pacific, it yet seems not unlikely that the Samoan incident may indirectly have wide and far-reaching effects. It will be a curious outcome if the embroglio as to the chieftainship of (Samoa which at one time threatened to bring about a serious misunderstanding between England and Germany, should prove to be the means of the bringing together of the two nations m a closer bond of friendship than has hitherto obtained at any period m their their history. And yet there are not wanting indications that this may be the i case. The recent visit of Count Bismarck to the Oourt of St. James has evidently resulted m the bringing about of an understanding between Lord Salisbury and the " man of blood and iron," who practically controls the destinies of Germany. For result we already see that Prince Bismarck not only repudiates all desire for the prosecution of any scheme of annexation m Samoa, or for the bringing of those islands specially under German control, but altogether disavows the proceedings of Dr Knapp, and has not hesitated to censure him severely for those proceedings. Then we have the announcement that Germany, instead of sending out 1 another fleet, will, pending the sitting of the Conference on Samoan affairs, be only represented at the islands by a single man-of-war, and further, it has been hinted that Germany will not be unwilling that the outcome of the Confer--4 ence should be to make Great. Britain the dominant power m the group. In the light of these facts or allegations there is a color of probability thrown | upon an important cablegram published yesterday, which if true, supplies the key to the whole situation, That cable gram states that "It is reported that an alliance between England and Germany is being arranged, on the basis of England protecting German colonies and Germany preventing Russian advance m the direction of Stanboul and Herat." This intelligence, if correct, is undoubtedly the most important that we have received for a long time, and m view of the position of affairs m Europe, the alliance indicated certainly appears to be the logical outcome. For there has for some time past been an unmistakeable rapprochement between France and Russia, and the massing of Russian troops on the Austrian frontier, together with the Boulangist episode m France, leads to the impression that England and English interests are menaced. It has been distinctly stated that should Boulanger and his party attain to power an attack upon England may be looked for, the casus belli being the English occupation of Egypt, or rather of places m Egypt and on the line of the Suez Canal. That m such an event Russia will espouse the cause of Fiance is, m view oi her intrigue on the borders of India, exceedingly probable, and as, if France and Russia combined were victorious, the next point of attack would be on the Rhine, it is easy to see how Bismarck has concluded that Germany and England are natural allies. If such an understanding as the cablegram indicates has been arrived at then the union of the British fleet and the Gorman army represents a force which can more than hold its own against a Rusao-French alliance, and the understanding alleged to have been arrived at between England 3nd Germany will probably prove to be the best guarantee for the preservation of peace. We bad written thus far on the {£*& of the cablegram above quoted, and the ink was not dry when we received another cablegram (published m yesterday's issue), which is a singularly complete confirmation of the correctness of our diagnosis of the situation. Therein the contingencies of war between France and Germany, and of a Russian advance towards India are avowedly contemplated and referred to as the moving cause of the projected Anglo-German alliance.

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The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 1889. ENGLAND AND GERMAN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2117, 24 April 1889

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