The history of the strike may be summarised as follows.
The agitation among the French railway servants has been in progress for some months, and as long ago as last May some. thing approaching to a general strike was organised on the Southern railways by the General Confederation of Labour. This dispute was temporarily settled, and the General Con- federation turned its attention to the Northern lines. The original ground for this new controversy was a demand for higher wages, and the dispute was brought to a head by a local strike of eight hundred engine and carriage cleaners at the St. Denis depot last Saturday. After some hesitation a strike was declared over the whole of the Northern Railway early on Tuesday morning, and this was followed twenty-four hours later by an order from the National Federation of Railway Servants decreeing a general strike of the employees on all the railways in France. Meanwhile the men of the Western State Railway had already late on Tuesday night joined the strikers of the Northern Railway. In the course of Wednesday similar decisions were threatened on the Paris-Lyons-Mediterranean, Orleans, and Metropolitan lines.