15 SEPTEMBER 1894, Page 2

The new French Colonial Minister appears disposed to- conquer Madagascar.

He has a right to do it, as far as we are concerned, for we have formally acknowledged that France " protects " Madagascar, and by universal assent the pro- tectorate of a dark State means as much sovereignty as the protector chooses. M. le Myre de Vilers has accordingly been sent to the capital, Antananarivo, and will formally demand concessions similar to those made by the Bey of Tanis. They will be refused, and the French will then use- their Pacific squadron, strengthened by five small men-of-war,. now under orders for Tamatave, to compel submission by a blockade. They will also land an expedition of considerable strength, ten thousand is the number suggested, and probably push on to the capital. The fighting will be severe, for the Malagasy will care nothing about the blockade, and will defend the forest-belt which protects the north of the island with the desperate courage of their Malay blood. Of course the island can be conquered if the French will expend enough men on the undertaking; but it is doubtful if they will, and- if they do, they will gain nothing except possibly some mines. M. de Cassagnao tells the world that Madagascar will be- " the Australia of France ; " but he forgets to tell us where the colonists are to come from. " Recidivistes" alone wilt not make a great colony.