10 MARCH 1906, Page 1


DURING the taking of an inventory of Church property at Boeschepe, a place near the Belgian frontier, the gendarmes came into collision with the mob, and a Catholic demonstrator was killed. The incident was made the subject of four interpellations in the French Chamber on Wednesday. The Government were attacked by the Left on the ground that they had shown weakness in not suppressing rebellion more stringently and in not prosecuting more of the Royalist agitators, and by the Right and many of the moderate Con- servatives on the ground of the tactlessness and barbarism of their methods. Most of the speakers, including men like the Abbe Lemire and M. Ribot, agreed in approving the policy of the Separation Law and the clause for the inventorying of Church property. The Resolution of M. Peret, however, approving of the conduct of the Government was defeated by 267 votes to 234, a coalition of the Right, about half the Centre, and a number of Radical-Socialists composing the majority. M. Rouvier thereupon resigned office; but he and his colleagues are continuing their duties till the appointment of their successors. The new Premier will probably be M. Bourgeois or N. Millerand, and it is suggested that

N. Rouvier himself may become Foreign Minister. We have dealt with the incident elsewhere, but may say here that the change of Government involves no alteration in French policy, least of all in foreign affairs.