13 JANUARY 1894, Page 3

The Times' correspondent gives some curious facts as to the

influence of French patriotism upon French invest- ments. As a rule, the saving Frenchman will buy nothing outside France, his geographical knowledge being simply nil, but Napoleon III induced him to invest in the Suez Canal, and the profit then obtained tempted him into Panama shares, which involved a huge bat widely distributed loss. _Recently the brokers on 'Change, who are practically officials, -advised investors to sell Italians, and it is to French sales that the enormous fall in Italian stock is due, and the consequent ruin of so many banks, and of at least one Italian Cabinet. In a similar way the purchase of Russian stock has been en- couraged, and the French public now hold no less than £240,000,000 of Russian Bonds, of which, should the feeling change, it would be impossible to get rid, except at a heavy loss. It is probable that Russian Bonds are safer than Englishmen imagine, the Government having the advantage of the immense number of its subjects, who, for example, yearly consume more spirits, and of the readiness of the people to accept paper- money ; but the large amount of stock absorbed by French peasants involves this danger. If Russia is in financial trouble, they must advance more money or submit to a suspension of interest which would be felt as a fraud in half the cottages of the land, and produce bitter irritation. The French, says the writer, will never look at a bond which is not written in 'French; and have never heard of such securities as Andra- Allan Stocks, or even those of the Argentine Republic. That, he seems to think, is their misfortune ; but it is also their protection, shielding them against all " wild-cat " paper not specially recommended by their own Government. Nearly the whole debt of France is held by the common people, besides the mass of railway and canal bonds, as well as of local industrial associations. That is one security, at all -events, against Socialism.