Libmonster ID: VN-1314

In the last third of the XIX century. The rivalry between the colonial Powers in China and the countries of Southeast Asia has intensified. The Russian Empire, which was then firmly established on the Pacific coast, also took part in it. The activation of this new direction of Russia's foreign policy was primarily reflected in the creation of the military Pacific Fleet 1, whose vessels now regularly made flights from China to Kronstadt. Merchant ships of the Russian Society of Shipping and Trade and the Voluntary Fleet plied from Odessa to Shanghai, calling at the ports of Southeast Asia (Batavia, Singapore, Saigon).

There has also been an expansion of ties. Russia began to appoint its consular, military and trade representatives to the Southeast Asian countries.

The first Russian consulate in South-East Asia2 was opened in Singapore, the center of the English colony Straits Settlement. He became a professional diplomat Artemy Markovich Vyvodtsev, who was appointed in 1890. However, already in the 1870s and 1880s, the interests of the Russian Empire were represented here by a freelance consul-a respected and rich Chinese merchant Whampoa (Ho Akei)3. There is no doubt that the appearance of the Russian consul in Singapore was connected with the trade, economic and strategic importance of the city.

Vyvodtsev arrived in Singapore in October 1890. This was no longer the small village on the island (at the southernmost tip of the Malacca Peninsula) where the population was engaged in piracy and fishing, as it was seen on January 29, 1819, by T. S. Raffles, who was obsessed with the idea of creating a port in the Strait of Malacca that would help expand British colonial power in the South Seas, replacing the Netherlands. By the end of the 19th century. Singapore fully met the expectations of its" godfather "T. Raffles, winning the title of "pearl of British Malaya" and almost surpassing the entire Dutch Indies in terms of trade turnover.4
1 In 1897-1900. Russia ranked third in the world in terms of the number of warships (after England and France), and second in the Far East (after Japan) [Bessmertny, 1973].

2 With the exception of the failure to establish a consulate in Manila, which lasted for several months in 1820. [Kozlova, 1986].

3 He may have performed such duties before, as evidenced by the Russian writer Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov, who was on board the warship Frigate Pallada, making an expedition to Japan led by Admiral Putyatin (the latter's secretary was I. A. Goncharov), whom Whampoa met in Singapore; this was in 1853 [Goncharov, 1952-1953].

4 Singapore's imports in 1869 were 32 million mala, and in 1879 they were over 56 million mala; its exports were 27 and 49 million mala, respectively. During this period, the value of the trade turnover of English Singapore, which covered an area of only 500 square miles, almost approached the turnover of the entire huge colony of Dutch India (Indonesia) [Istoriya Vostoka, 2005].

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Singapore, located at the crossroads of sea routes connecting the Far East, Southeast Asia and India, developed rapidly, helped by its status as a "port-franco", as well as the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. With the development of the steam fleet, Singapore became the largest coal station on the way from the Far East to Europe, and in the last third of the XIX century-the center of supply of steamships with oil and kerosene.

The growth of trade turnover required the expansion of the port and the construction of port facilities, anchorages, roads and bridges. The railway connected Singapore and the Malacca Peninsula, and through it-and Siam. Singapore has become the world's second largest port in terms of tonnage of incoming vessels of all sizes and purposes: from Malay praus and Chinese sampans to huge, multi-decked passenger ships. Exotic goods (birds ' nests, rhino horn, rattan, orchids, etc.) were replaced by industrial goods-textiles, sugar, copra, rubber, tin (the first tin smelter on an island near Singapore was built in 1890).

Singapore, a rich, bustling, multiethnic port city that glowed with lights on tropical nights, attracted the attention and interest of everyone who visited it. Remarkable is the description of I. N. Goncharov, who saw it from his cabin on the frigate Pallada in the fantastic brilliance of the lanterns reflected in the water. He wrote: "... the heart of the city is a port, with numerous vessels of various configurations, nationalities, and purposes taking up their berths day and night. Meanwhile, the coolies-longshoremen-are rushing to unload or load the ships, of course trading. And all night long the lanterns reflected in the sea do not go out over the port" [Goncharov, 1952-1953, p. 3]. Another Russian writer, Vsevolod Krestovsky, in his book "In Distant Waters and Wanderings" described Singapore as "in fact, a huge bazaar" [Krestovsky... The famous naturalist A. N. Krasnov defined the position of Singapore as follows : : "On that small island, navigators of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans assign 'rendervous' to each other " (Krasnov, 1956).

Russian Consul A. M. Vyvodtsev, highly appreciating the choice of T. Raffles, in the first lines of his first report to the Russian Foreign Ministry only called Singapore "the best port", saying that "in a hot climate, in a country where the language and customs are alien to me", it is difficult for him to immediately present "interesting material" in reports."[Politika..., 1965, p. 214].

The consul was a business man: he was interested in the history and administration of the English colony, its finances, military forces, population, and especially the resistance to British authorities, both in Singapore itself and in the Malay principalities. The consul's reports were dominated by political problems, although purely economic, primarily commercial, related to Russian trade in Southeast Asia, were fully reflected in them.

In his first report to the Foreign Ministry dated January 1 (13), 1891, A. M. Vyvodtsev briefly described the history of Singapore and the creation in 1826 of the English colony Straits Settlement - "Settlements on the Straits" (it included Penang, Singapore and Malacca), the transformation of Singapore in 1832 into the center of this colony with the stay in it the head of the colonial administration - the governor, initially subordinate to the Indian colonial government, and then in 1867 turned into a "crown colony", directly connected with London [Politika..., 1965, p. 215].

He wrote that "the governor, together with the legislative and executive councils, although he makes laws and puts them into effect without the consent of the government in England, but the Queen has the right to "veto" any of his decisions; the English government not only criticizes all his decisions, but also cancels them." In this practice, the Russian consul believed that the governor's power is "partly a fic-

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It also weakens its powers in the colony, creating " prerequisites for... actions against the colonial authorities" [Politika..., 1965, pp. 215-216].

In his first reports, Vyvodtsev drew attention to the ethnic problems of Singapore, pointing out that the city is divided along ethnic lines: there are Chinese, Malay, Indian and European quarters. He reported that the native population was Malays, numbering 30,000 people, who were mostly " in opposition to the English government, although there are many rich merchants among them, whose influence is very necessary for the government to communicate with the natives. Indians, mostly Tamils from South India, number 10 thousand people, they are used as small employees in the plantation economy and as laborers." According to the Russian consul, " they are quite indifferent to the dominant white caste." He called the "Chinese element" the most dangerous, i.e. the predominant population of Singapore - about 150 thousand people [Politika..., 1965, p.216].

The demand for labor in Malaya began in the late 19th century, when the rubber and tin mining industries developed, and Singapore became the main transit port through which Chinese workers arrived in Southeast Asia. Some Singaporean Chinese lived in the Straits Settlement permanently, having obtained English citizenship, while others "form a nomadic population that comes for profit and then returns to China, from where they are replaced by new immigrants" [Politika..., 1965, p. 216].

In his report of August 14 (26), 1891. Vyvodtsev clarified the data on the national composition of the colony due to the fact that on April 5, 1891, a "one-day people's census" was held in Singapore, Penang and Malacca, according to which the population of the Straits Settlement colony increased by 19.7% in 10 years, from 1881 to 1891: from 423384 to 506984 people. In Singapore proper - from 139,208 to 184,554 people, i.e. the increase in the population was 32.5% [Politika..., 1965, p. 221 - 222]. The consul drew particular attention to the growth of the Chinese population, which the colonial administration "takes great care of" and, in his opinion, presents the Chinese with "much more advantages, civil rights that they do not enjoy in the Celestial Empire, and, last but not least, material benefits by paying them passage from their homeland and abroad." providing the right hiring experience in Singapore." Vyvodtsev stressed that Chinese people come to Singapore for "easy money" and, despite their earnings, they are happy to leave for their homeland, because they hate their English employers. However, they arrive in Singapore with enviable regularity: in 1890, 160,000 people arrived, and 130,000 left, "which shows that the Chinese place benefits even above their national feelings of independence and contempt for Europeans" [Politika..., 1965, p. 222].

Vyvodtsev was very attentive to the news of protests against colonial power in those Malay states whose rulers had already accepted residents and other British officials.

In the principality of Pahang, conquered by the British as early as 1888, an uprising broke out at the end of December 1891, which lasted until 1894. Vyvodtsev's reports relate to the first, most dramatic period - until the spring of 1892. The Consul wrote to the Foreign Ministry on December 23 (January 4) that "the last week of the past year was marked in the colony by an event", which "can have very serious consequences". This is how Vyvodtsev began describing the uprising led by the local feudal lord Dato Kaya Semantan (Politika..., 1965, p. 225). Malay workers abandoned their jobs in one of the gold mining companies and, armed, put the mine guards to flight. They seized boats and set up numerous ambushes along the rivers. Dato Kaya did not make a deal with the British, who offered him a pension, and continued-

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I lived here. Vyvodtsev wrote that the local " leaders, who had previously been accustomed to manage the regions independently for tribute to the Sultan, now lost all significance, feeling that all power was in the hands of an English resident." The elderly Sultan of Pahang himself, as the consul reported, was "deeply sympathetic to the rebels", and in general "the hostility of the Malay population towards England" is growing. As the movement alternately faded and flared up again, Vyvodtsev devoted several more reports to it [Politika..., 1965, pp. 228-231]. But it was not until several Englishmen were killed and the rebels promised to burn and plunder Pekan, the sultanate's capital, and the families of all the Europeans from Pekan fled to Singapore, "bringing news of the terrible danger in the country" and of the aggravation of the situation, which took a "threatening turn", that the government sent several military vessels to Pahang to protect the British subjects [Politika..., 1965, p. 229].

Public opinion in the colony, the consul reported, considers "the course of action of the government indecisive" and condemns the apparently indifferent behavior of the governor, which, according to Vyvodtsev, is explained by the fact that "England is not unaware that there are many discontented people in many other areas, and that if she expresses her fear of the rebels and the need to wage open war with them, then this... it can cause a general revolt, against which insignificant European garrisons will no longer be able to cope" [Politika..., 1965, p. 230]. The Americans were convinced by the Russian Foreign Ministry that the British are well aware that the population of Malaya does not thrive under their rule. He described the measures that have been taken financially and defensively in Singapore. In 1891, it was announced that the amount for the needs of the colonies in Malaya was doubled: instead of 50 thousand pounds. st., which had previously been paid by the Straits Settlement colony, 100 thousand pounds. st. was demanded. At the same time, military maneuvers were held in Singapore - to protect its coal depots intended for the British Navy. naval Fleet [Politika..., 1965, p. 218].

Russian diplomacy, which was keenly interested in the positions of the British in Southeast Asia, received in its reports from its consular representatives in Singapore not only specific eventful descriptions of" revolts "against the British colonial power, but also, what is especially valuable, plots of" taking over", as Vyvodtsev wrote, Malay territories. In particular, A. M. Vyvodtsev, reporting on the situation in Pahang, wrote that if the uprising in the sultanate is suppressed, then Pahang will be annexed to the colony, which means that England will benefit, "because these riots are always in her hands, since almost all of India is annexed in this way" [Politics..., 1965, p. 230]. This is what happened in 1896, when Pahang joined the Federation of Malay States.

In his report to the Foreign Ministry of September 18 (30), 1891, Kontsev also drew broader conclusions about the British colonial policy in Southeast Asia: "It seems to me, however, that the Malay states will not enjoy relative independence for long and that the Indian Empire will soon border on China...." [Politics..., 1965, p. 224].

In the reports of A. O. Kister, who succeeded A. M. Vyvodtsev as consul in Singapore, at the end of 1901, it was reported that Pahang and the already conquered principalities of Perak, Selangor and Negri Sembilan were united in 1896 into a single colony called the Federation of Malay States, headed by the resident General, who was also the English governor of Singapore. The heads of these states were sultans who agreed to accept British authority for a certain amount of maintenance, follow the advice of the British colonial government in all branches of government (except religion), and send troops in case of war.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the main attention of Russian diplomats was drawn to the two sultanates - Johor and Kelantan, which were not part of the Federation.

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A. M. Vyvodtsev already in the first year of his stay in Singapore reported :" With the gradual increase in the city and trade of Singapore, as well as its strategic importance, the importance of the neighboring Sultanate of Johor - the extreme territory of the Malay Peninsula, separated from Singapore by the narrowest strip of the Strait of Malacca-increased. In the hands of an ambitious neighbor, this territory could become, if not dangerous for England, then, in any case, cause her unnecessary worries" [Politika..., 1965, p.223]. The concern was caused by the actions of Sultan Ibrahim Shah of Johor in the early 20th century. At the end of 1903, Ibrahim Shah expressed a desire to visit Russia during one of his European voyages. Acting Consul in Singapore V. K. Rudanovsky, after consulting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to the Sultan of Johor, in which he said that Ibrahim Shah could travel to Russia, and get the necessary papers and information from the Russian embassies in Paris, London and Berlin [AVPRI, d. 1356, l. 6.]. At the beginning of 1904, V. K. Rudanovsky wrote that Ibrahim Shah's planned visit to Germany and Russia should "have a diplomatic character - to interest Berlin and St. Petersburg in the fate of Johor, since in England the question of the final annexation of this sultanate to the British possessions is in principle a settled matter" [Politics..., 1965, p. 240].

It is difficult to say how serious Sultan Ibrahim Shah's intentions were to avoid including Johor in a more strictly British-controlled Federation by making demarches in the capitals of England's colonial rivals. There is no information about the Sultan of Johor's stay in Russia; his trip, apparently, did not take place. But it is interesting that in June 1905 the question of the sultan's trip to Russia was raised again and the Foreign Ministry allowed him and his entourage to visit Russia as private individuals [AVPRI, d. 1356, l. 4 - 5].

In May 1914, the Consul General in Singapore, N. A. Rospopov, reported that an English general adviser had been appointed to Johor with functions similar to those of residents in the sultanates that were part of the Federation. Commenting on the actions of the British, Rospopov wrote that " the Sultan of Johor is prescribed a desire for Europe and claims that British advisers... they strongly opposed these trips, finding them undesirable both in terms of expense and in view of the danger of too much emancipation of the Sultan... Now the Sultan is allowed some personal freedom, but... instead of bringing his sultanate under the de facto control of Sir Jung " 5 [Politika..., 1965, p. 246].

The north-eastern Malay Sultanate of Kelantan began to appear in the reports of Russian diplomats from 1902. Although in 1826 it was recognized as a vassal of Siam, the British administration of Malaya managed to get various concessions from the sultan: for example, to sign an agreement with the Duff Development Co (founded by R. W. Duff in 1899), according to which half of the territory the sultanate was transferred to the company in concession. The ruler of Kelantan, trying to resist English expansion, increased duties on goods from the English colony in Malaya. This displeased London and Singapore, and in 1902 Governor Straits Settlement F. E. Swittenham traveled to Kelantan to negotiate with the Sultan.

The Russian Charge d'affaires in Siam, A. I. Lysakovsky, telegraphed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, V. N. Lamsdorf, on September 3 (16), 1902: "The local government is extremely concerned about the aggressive activities of England in the Malay vassal states of Siam. Recently, a sepoy police force was formed there; the governor of Singapore inspected the principalities when he arrived on a military ship "[Politika..., 1965, p. 236.].-

5 Young-Governor of Straits Settlement Colony and High Commissioner of the Federation of Malay States.

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The Russian Consulate in Singapore also commented on the events in Kelantan. Consul Baron A. O. Kister reported on October 3 (16), 1902: "It appears that the Sultan of Kelantan visited Singapore twice this year, and each time he applied to the local governor... with a request to assist his country in the fight against border Siam, who wants to take over this rich country. The governor agreed to provide assistance, but demanded that Kelantan join the Federation of other Malay states, in fact, to complete subordination to England" [Politika..., 1965, p. 237].

In the autumn of 1902, England obtained from Siam the signing of a special declaration on Kelantan and Terengganu, according to which they were recognized as vassals of Siam, but the latter pledged not to interfere in the affairs of their internal administration, and their foreign policy was put under the control of British advisers who were in the service of the Siamese government. This made it easier for England to establish its rule in these sultanates in 1910.

On the eve of the First World War, British colonial circles came up with the idea of joining the non-federated Malay sultanates (Johor, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu) to the Federation. The annexation of Kelantan was inspired by the same R. W. Duff. A petition was submitted to the Sultan of Kelantan, in which it was proposed to create exceptional conditions for the activity of English capital, for which purpose the legislation of the Federation should be extended to Kelantan, as well as to fill up the administration with English officials from the Malay Civil Service [AWPRI, d. 1363, l. 5-6]. Consul N. A. Rospopov, critically assessing the appearance of the petition and the "deputation of all classes and nationalities of the Sultanate of Kelantan", wrote in a report dated March 21 (April 3), 1914: "This fact could have been foreseen. Throughout the past year, there has been an intense campaign of praise in the local press about the" amazing " prosperity of the Federal States under British leadership." The Russian consul believed that the" deep impression "made on the sultan, as the Singapore newspaper described the Sultan's reaction to the petition," will probably pass in the shortest possible time into formal accession to the federation, that is, in other words, to the identification of the sultanate with the English colony. The history of Malaya has already seen this process many times, when over the course of 50 years Negri, Sembilan, Selangor, Perak and Pahang (not to mention Brunei, Labuan, Sarawak and North Borneo) gradually joined the small English trading post of Malacca" [Politika..., 1965, pp. 224-245].

In addition to purely political issues, representatives of the Consulate in Singapore paid great attention to Russia's trade in Southeast Asia, reporting on Russian merchant ships arriving at the port, arrival and departure schedules, parking and timely refueling, repairs, loading and unloading operations, etc. Singapore was the center of trade in Southeast Asia and for Russia.

In 1871, the Russian Shipping and Trade Society (ROPIT), established in 1857, opened a steamship line between Odessa and the ports of India and China. However, these flights were irregular and there were few ships, despite their increase. [6] In general, only 12% of Russian vessels were engaged in maritime trade between Russia and Asian countries [TsGIA RF, l. 27ob., 29.].

Russian business circles demanded that the government regulate the flights of ROPIT steamships, but a government commission in 1875 took this demand negatively for the reason that " Russia has no colonies in the Indian Ocean ... and trade relations with Southeast Asia are not yet such as to encourage the government to

6 In the year of the opening of ROPIT, there were 18 of them, and in 1869 - already 70; trading profit increased from 292022 rubles in 1857 to 4894250 rubles by 1870. [Shavrov..., St. Petersburg, 1873].

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any extraordinary victims for the establishment of an urgent and mail shipping company under the Russian flag in these waters... " [TsGIA RF, l. 27ob., 29].

Without relying on government assistance, private Russian investors created the Voluntary Fleet in 1879, a private steamship company that organized regular flights from St. Petersburg and Odessa to India, Southeast Asia, China, and the Russian Far East-Petropavlovsk and Vladivostok. E. V. Coriander, a well-known enthusiast for the development of Russian commercial shipping in the waters of Southeast Asia, considered the activities of the Volunteer Fleet to be ineffective, since these vessels returned from the Far East "often with cargo consisting of several barrels of coconut oil or even without cargo at all, as well as due to non-compliance with the flight schedule of these vessels" [Coriander, 1885, pp. 67-68].

The problems of Russian shipping in the seas of Southeast Asia and trade with the countries of this region also attracted the attention of A. M. Vyvodtsev. Singapore was the only port in these waters where a significant number of Russian ships came. Vyvodtsev gave the following data on the regularity of flights of the Voluntary Fleet: on the route Odessa-Vladivostok-Odessa in 1881 there were five flights, in 1885 - six, in 1896 - eight, in 1898 - 24 flights, and of these 22 flights - to Port Arthur. Later, in a report dated April 15 (29), 1909, he wrote that Singapore received " 40 ships of the Volunteer Fleet, of which only 14 carried out trade operations here, and the rest reserved a place for Colombo, from which they took more tea shipments; also East Asian Society-11 ships, Northern Society - 4 and one sailboat. Their total capacity was 1485,000 tons" [Politika..., 1965, p. 244]. In 1909, exports from Singapore amounted to 319.5 million small dollars, and imports-364.5 million, while Russian exports accounted for only 3763404 dollars, and imports-73 thousand dollars. [Politika..., 1965, p. 242]. This situation was in sharp contrast to that described by the Russian Consul M. M. Bakunin from Batavia. No more than a dozen Russian ships came there a year, so the consul in Indonesia bitterly complained that " there is no Russian trade in this remote corner of the far East "(Bakunin, 1902, pp. 97-99).

In Singapore, the only port in Southeast Asia, there was a Moscow-based trade intermediary firm, Shcherbachev, Chokov & Co. However, Vyvodtsev, in a report dated April 15 (28), 1909, criticizes its activities: instead of "introducing the market to Russian goods and buying directly from manufacturers," the company is engaged in the agency of the Voluntary Fleet; on the contrary, he spoke positively about the Russian small merchant Bolter, who buys goods on arriving Russian steamships and supplies them with provisions. Since this trade is retail, it is quite expensive, "nevertheless, he sells everything." Therefore, Vyvodtsev believed that "if such trade were larger, and the freight of Russian ships cheaper, it would be possible to open up a new market for Russian industry" and receive "large revenues" [Politika..., 1965, pp. 242-243].

In the same report, the Consul General listed Russian exports and imports that he had dealt with at the port of Singapore. In the export from Singapore to Russia, copra is in the first place (300,000 pickles 7 worth 2998 thousand dollars), followed by tin (4477 pickles for 394707 dollars), copal 8, canned pineapple, rice, black pepper (for 397704 dollars); cement was almost the only product imported. In addition, there are random shipments of cigarettes, matches, canned fish, caviar (the latter received from Odessa Bolter). In British Malaya Russia partially zaku-

7 1 pickle - 61.76 kg.

8 Copal - natural fossil resin.

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rubber and gutta-percha fell - in 1896 by 388 thousand rubles, as well as tin, in blanks (in 1897-by 2113 thousand rubles) [External..., 1898, pp. 33, 40-42, 67, Tables VI, X].

In 1898, when tsarist Russia came out on top in oil production in the world, it became a world exporter. In 1890, according to Vyvodtsev, 183,601 boxes of kerosene were exported to Singapore, and in three months of 1891 - another 8,200 boxes [AVPRI, d. 1355, l. 15 vol.]. But after the Russo-Japanese war, these figures sharply decreased.

Vyvodtsev suggested measures for the development of Russian trade in Singapore, including propaganda of Russian goods, and even talked to some Russian merchants himself, convincing them to get samples of Russian goods and promote their distribution in Singapore [Politika..., 1965, p. 242]. He listed those goods that are brought to Singapore from different countries, but which could easily be brought from Russia: matches (Japan); flour (Sumatra, Borneo, Sarawak); oil (Austria, Denmark, Germany); leather goods (Belgium and Germany); oil (Netherlands India and USA), as well as condensed milk, alcohol, vodka, etc.

In 1907, the value of Singapore's trade turnover was a huge $ 684 million, of which $ 364 1/3 million was imported and $ 319 1/2 million was exported. Vyvodtsev regretted that Russia's share was negligible: namely... the cost of import from Russia was determined at 73 thousand dollars and 3763404 dollars. - export [Politika..., 1965, p. 242].

Kerosene and lubricants from Batumi and Odessa were transported to India, China, and Japan via Singapore. But the delivery of oil products was carried out not by Russian, but by foreign vessels and companies. For example, the import of bulk Russian kerosene in Singapore was handled by the English firm Samuel & Co. Therefore, in 1900, ROPIT raised the question of creating a Russian shipping company based directly in Singapore, as well as building its own oil-loading fleet to free itself from dependence on English companies. In the same year, the chairman of the society, N. I. Zhevanov, wrote to the Department of Trade and Manufactures that " in view of the significant movement of Russian ships, it would be useful to establish a carriage line connecting Singapore with ...ports that feed it, for the transportation of cargo on Russian steamships returning from the Far East mostly empty" [Politika..., 1965, p. 232 - 233]. He was echoed by Vyvodtsev, who believed that it was necessary for Russia to reduce freight rates and make more regular voyages for ships of the Voluntary Fleet and the East Asian Society, and that they should call at Mediterranean ports for goods, rather than go empty back to Vladivostok, and, most importantly, that a Russian firm should be organized in Singapore to buy goods directly from manufacturers [Politika..., 1965, p. 242-243].

It seems that by the end of the XIX - beginning of the XX century there were quite a few Russian sea vessels in the waters of Southeast Asia. However, the poor organization of flights and weak opportunities for trade exchange itself did not contribute to Russia's serious penetration into local markets. For example, in Singapore, Russia had no warehouses or intermediary firms.

Undoubtedly, the Russian trade turnover in Southeast Asia has increased, especially due to the growth of the merchant fleet, but Russian economists, industrialists, merchants, as well as consular representatives have seriously criticized the trade activities of the Volunteer Fleet also because of its inappropriate use of its vessels: military cruising in the Pacific Ocean, transporting troops and equipment, and pilgrims to Mecca in the Far East, and even for the delivery of exiles to Sakhalin [Poggenpol..., 1903, p. 177].

The cardinal reason for the weak development of Russian trade with the countries of Southeast Asia was the lack of Russian goods exported from the Far East due to the lack of foreign trade.

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weak development of industry there. This is exactly what Vyvodtsev noted in early 1909, when he wrote that trade could have been "more successful... if on the outskirts of Siberia, in Vladivostok, Russian factories were established. Then in the vicinity of the path (10 days) we could compete with freight from Europe so favorably that we would displace a lot of German and other goods from here. So, branches of match factories, flour mills, and especially the establishment of canned Russian fish factories, which are so cheap in Siberia, could be found in China, Indochina, Siam, and the Malacca Peninsula with Singapore in the center. After all, it is not the gods who burn pots, and what can others do, why not do it to us, the Russians?" [Politika..., 1965, p. 242].

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Far Eastern suburbs of Russia were backward, backwater, unable to produce the goods necessary for trade in the region. Little has changed since P. Dobell, inspired by the idea of trade relations between the Far East and Primorye in the early 19th century, achieved the opening of the first Russian consulate in the Philippines and was forced to abandon his grandiose plans literally after the first call of the Borodino steamer to Manila precisely because of the lack of goods that were required in its market [Kozlova, 1986, p. 97].

The Russian Consulate in Singapore paid considerable attention to the uprising of an Indian regiment in February 1915, during the First World War. At this time, the activities of Indian revolutionary organizations were revived, some of which counted on the help of Germany. Preparations for the anti-English uprising were directed by emigrant revolutionary centers, the main one of which was the headquarters of the Ghadar party in San Francisco. Ghadar and Muslim underground groups distributed leaflets and conducted oral propaganda, calling for the fight against British rule not only in India, but also in the countries of Southeast Asia and Ceylon, where there was a significant Indian population and Indian military and police units were located.

Russia, as an ally of England in the World War, was directly involved in the suppression of the uprising in Singapore. Therefore, the tone of the reports of the Consul General in Singapore N. A. Rospopov, the commander of the cruiser "Orel", whose landing party took part in the suppression of the uprising, and the captain of the 2nd rank P. P. Vinokurov was hostile to the rebels.

On the evening of February 2(15), 1915, soldiers of the 5th Indian Light Infantry Regiment, having received news of the transfer to Hong Kong, "took up arms" and killed the regimental commander and officers. They went to the barracks where the German prisoners of war were being held and released them. Half the Rajput regiment revolted, while the Pathans did not join them. The soldiers scattered along the roads leading to the city and killed several British officers and civilians. German prisoners laid siege to the colonel's house, where officers and volunteers took refuge. On the morning of February 3(16), a tense situation reigned in Singapore: "The city seemed extinct. In the central part of it, the European male population is on guard, armed. Posters are being put up at all intersections about the immediate deportation of children and women to the Nil transport provided specifically for them (later 4 more were provided, and there are not enough of them). Soon after - new posters about the state of siege... The most alarming rumors were already circulating in the city: they said that the garrison had mutinied and were expecting an attack on the city at any moment; that the Chinese and Malays, partly impressed by this riot, partly by the festive frenzy (it was Chinese New Year - M. K.), were sharply expressing their dislike for the whites; that they could expect a massacre, etc." [Politika..., 1965, p. 131-132].

Rospopov sent an urgent telegram to the Foreign Ministry: "At night there was a mutiny of the garrison. The cruiser Orel was hastily summoned from Penang " [AVPRI, d. 1365, l. 4]. The British Air Force-

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The Russian consul wrote on February 4-5 (17-18): "The general situation is considered dangerous, especially in view of the fact that another regiment located outside Singapore is also alarmed, and if it is outraged, it will not be easy to cope with it, since it has full combat readiness." supply".

The Russian cruiser Orel was stationed in Penang, and the captain was approached by the British authorities, who were extremely alarmed by the uprising in Singapore, with a request to "provide landing assistance in the event of a revolt by Hindu soldiers, of whom there are about 400 people in Penang." The captain of the" Eagle "P. P. Vinokurov immediately reported this event to the Minister of War, Admiral I. K. Grigorovich, and on the same day received a telegram from the Russian consul Rospopov with the instruction:" In view of the mutiny of the garrison, quickly leave for Singapore, receiving all Russians and observing extreme caution and combat readiness on the way... "[Politics..., 1965, p. 255].

Other allies also came to the aid of the British in Singapore. In addition to the Orel ,as the Russian Ambassador to Japan N. A. Malevsky-Malevich telegraphed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs S. D. Sazonov on February 4 (17), 1915, "the Japanese cruisers Tsushima and Ottova are being sent in a hurry, and the French cruiser Mont Calm is returning to Singapore" [Politika..., 1965, p. 247].

In Singapore, barricades were built on the approach to the police building, weapons were distributed around it to "all those capable of performing guard duty" (up to 60-year-olds), and volunteers gathered at the Japanese consulate. The general excitement was intensified by the evacuation of the "white" population to the Nil transport. According to Rospopov, no less than 2,000 refugees gathered on the transport, so that he himself, who was busy with numerous cases at the consulate for coordinating actions (sending numerous telegrams, including to the IV political department of the Foreign Ministry, the commander of the squadron in Vladivostok, Admiral Schultz, the commander of the cruiser Orel, P. P. Vinokurov in Penang), did not have to I managed to send my wife and family to the Nile [Politika..., 1965, p. 248].

The English police chief of Singapore warned Rospopov that it was dangerous for him and his staff to stay in the consulate. Rospopov moved to the hotel, putting in the safe "ciphers, seals and books", as well as the most important documents. The next day, he managed to go to the consulate to make sure that it was safe [Politika..., 1965, p. 249-250.]. With the arrival of the Eagle, Rospopov intended to return to the consulate with two or three armed sailors "in case of emergency relations with the cruiser, frigate and admiral."

The cruiser Eagle arrived at the Singapore roadstead on the morning of February 9 (22), 1915. The Russian landing party - 40 sailors and 3 officers armed with rifles and two machine guns-took up a position in the north of the island to " guard... the final station of the railway and trains at the cross-strait crossing, which was carried out using ferries, " and prevent the rebels from crossing the strait to Johor. This operation was successful, and the rebels were captured even before they tried to cross the strait. In this clash of Russian troops with insurgents on February 7 (20), two sailors were wounded in a shootout between Indian soldiers and one of the landing outposts.

Russian paratroopers prevented the rebel advance across the strait to the capital of Johor and managed to quickly relocate to the opposite side of the strait, provide security for the Sultan's palace. Thanks to such actions, " the rebels surrendered, laying down their weapons to the ruler of Johor himself." The latter gave the Russian paratroopers a kind reception, organizing a dinner for them at his residence, which P. P. Vinokurov later informed the Naval Minister I. K. Grigorovich; the British governor of the colony reviewed the troops who returned to the city. In the same report dated February 17 (March 3), P. P. Vinokurov wrote that " soon there will be a need for-

page 40
shem paratroopers passed, as only 60 people remained uncaptured from the rebels, with whom the British authorities decided to cope independently " [Politika..., 1965, pp. 255-257].

In the reports of the Russian consul and the commander of the cruiser Orel, there are three official versions of the causes of the uprising put forward by the British authorities: discord between Rajputs and Pathans, displeasure over the recent examinations for officer ranks, agitation by German agents in Singapore, who managed "on religious grounds, in connection with military operations against Turkey, to arouse hatred." sepoys to the British so much that they started a mutiny."

Russian eyewitnesses of the uprising were skeptical of these versions. P. P. Vinokurov wrote: "Dissatisfaction with the production of undesirable officers for soldiers was only a reason for mutiny." The diplomats expressed themselves even more explicitly, seeing a direct link between the uprising and the liberation movement in India and the activities of Indian revolutionaries. In a secret message dated April 1 (14), 1915, to the Russian Consul General in Calcutta, K. D. Nabokov, N. A. Rospopov wrote:: "From two persons very close to the colonial government, I have information that the rebellion was the result of a Muslim movement. And there was a fear that it would have an echo in India..." [Politika..., 1965, p. 258.]. Rospopov was echoed by the Russian consul in Colombo B. Kadomtsev: "The nature of the rebellion showed that the latter was prepared by Mohammedan agitators and had as its goal the overthrow of English rule in India" [Raikov, 1964]. Russian diplomats, with their heightened interest in pan-Islamism, supported the theory that the Singapore uprising was connected with it.

Quarter-century activity of the Russian Consulate in Singapore-from 1890 to 1915. (consuls A. M. Vyvodtsev, A. O. Kister, V. K. Rudanovsky, N. A. Rospopov)-was significant for understanding the situation in Southeast Asia on the eve of the First World War and the actions in the region of Russia's main rival - Great Britain. Special attention to the northern Malay principalities was explained by the fact that they were vassals of Siam, with which Russia sought to establish ties during this period.

Prior to the Anglo-Russian agreement in 1907, the consular representatives were undoubtedly anti-English, mentioning as often as possible the protests in Malaya against the British authorities, who were afraid of them because of their possible influence on the situation in the main British colony - India. Naturally, the British authorities of Malaya was unpleasant, the desire the Sultan Ibrahim of Johor channel to go to the beginning of 1904, Russia and Germany to counter the expansion of British9, as reported by the Consul V. K. Rudanovsky10.

However, in general, judging by the reports to the Foreign Ministry of the Russian consuls, their relations with the British colonial authorities in Singapore were not of a conflict character11, but rather were protocol polite. My fears were also not justified

9 There is no mention of Ibrahim's appeal to Germany for help in English sources.

10 However, he did not discuss the problem of "how much interference in the affairs of Jogor might be desirable for Russia" [Politika..., 1965, p.240].

11 Only one conflict case is mentioned by Vyvodtsev, which occurred at the very beginning of his arrival in the English colony: the deputy governor equated the ships of the Volunteer Fleet carrying Russian recruits to the military, and forbade them to enter the port itself, remaining, however, in the Singapore roadstead. Upon the arrival of Governor Dixon himself, the latter, in response to Vyvodtsev's protest, again allowed "the former freedom of entry into the port for our ships and even military personnel (upon prior notice) to fill them with coal." Vyvodtsev earned the approval of the commander of the Russian squadron in the Pacific on this occasion. Dixon even explained to Vyvodtsev personally that the mistake of his deputy was due to the need to prevent undermining "the importance of Singapore as a coal warehouse by any coup de main (raid) to damage the prestige of the empire and temporarily ruin the entire policy" [Politika..., 1965, p. 216].

page 41
consuls on the closure of Singapore for Russian ships during the war with Japan. At the end of the period, the political situation changed radically: Russia and England (together with France and Japan) They became allies in the First World War; therefore, Russian ships, including military ones, passed freely to Singapore for parking and refueling. Moreover, when the uprising of the Indian garrison in Singapore occurred, the British authorities asked for the help of the allies, whose ships, including the Russian cruiser Orel, participated in the suppression of the uprising, earning the gratitude of the British colonial authorities. The Russian Consulate in Singapore continued to operate after the February Revolution under the Provisional Government.

list of literature

AVPRI (Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire). F. Pacific table.

Bakunin M. M. Tropical Holland. Five years on the island of Java. St. Petersburg, 1902.

Bessmertny A. R. Russkaya armiya i flot v XIX v. [Russian Army and Fleet in the XIX century].

Foreign trade of Russia in 1897 St. Petersburg, 1898.

Goncharov I. A. Frigate Pallada. Collected works, vol. 2-3. Moscow, 1952-1953.

Istoriya Vostoka [History of the East], Vol. IV, book 2, Moscow, 2005.

Kozlova M. G. Rossiya i strany Yugo-Vostochnoy Azii [Russia and the Countries of Southeast Asia]. Moscow, 1986.

Coriander. Trade and statistical sketch of Java in connection with the future of Russian trade in the Indian Ocean. St. Petersburg, 1885.

Krasnov A. N. Pod tropikami Azii [Under the Tropics of Asia], Moscow, 1956.

Krestovsky V. V. In distant waters and wanderings, Moscow, 1997.
Poggenpol M. Essay on the emergence and activity of the Voluntary Fleet during the XXV-year existence. SPb., 1903.

Politics of the capitalist Powers and the national liberation movement in Southeast Asia (1871-1917). Documents and materials. Ch. I. M., 1965.

Raikov A.V. Anticolonial uprisings in Singapore and Ceylon (according to the reports of Russian diplomats) / / Short reports of the Institute of Peoples of Asia, 1964, No. 75.
TSGIA RF (Central State Historical Archive of the Russian Federation). F. 107. Op. 1.

[Shavrov N.] On ways for Russia's trade with Asia. Report submitted to the Society for the Promotion of Russian Industry and Trade to the members of the Society by N. Shavrov on November 29, 1872, St. Petersburg, 1873.


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