Proceedings at Opening of the Duma, Petrograd, Feb. 9, 1915
[From The London Times.]
PETROGRAD, Feb. 9.
The main impression left upon all who attended today’s proceedings in the Duma may be summed up in a few words. The war has not shaken the determination of the Russian people to carry through the struggle to a victorious end.
Practically the whole House had assembled—the few vacant seats were due to death, chiefly on the field of battle—and the patriotic spirit permeating the proceedings was just as deeply emphasized as it was six months ago. The debates were several times interrupted by the singing of the National anthem, thunders of applause greeted the speeches of the President, the Premier, and the Foreign Minister, and the ovation to the British and French Ambassadors was, if anything, warmer and more enthusiastic than on the previous occasion.
I noticed that members applauded with special emphasis the words in which the President expressed his firm conviction that all efforts to disunite the Allies would prove fruitless.
In the course of his address the President eloquently and eulogistically referred to the role of Russia’s allies in the present war. Speaking of England, he said:
Noble and mighty England, with all her strength, has come forward to defend the right. Her services to the common cause are great, their value inestimable. We believe in her and admire her steadfastness and valor.
The enemies of Russia have already frequently attempted to sow discord in these good and sincere relations, but such efforts are vain. The Russian truth-loving national soul, sensitive of any display of mendacity or insincerity, was able to sift the chaff from the wheat, and faith in our friends is unshaken. There is not a single cloud on the clear horizon of our lasting allied harmony. Heartfelt greetings to you, true friends, rulers of the waves and our companions in arms. May victory and glory go with you everywhere!
These remarks were constantly interrupted by outbursts of tremendous applause and by an ovation in honor of Sir George Buchanan, who bowed his acknowledgments.
Alluding to temperance reform, the orator fervently exclaimed:
Accept, great monarch,
the lowly reverence of thy people. Thy
people firmly believe that an end has been put for all
eternity to this ancient curse.
The terrible war can not and must not end otherwise than victoriously for us and our allies. We will fight till our foes submit to the conditions and demands which the victors dictate to them. We are weary of the incessant brandishing of the sword, the menaces to Slavdom, and the obstacles to its natural growth. We will fight till the end, till we win a lasting peace