16 MARCH 1872, Page 1

The French Government has evidently determined to take strong measures

against the International. M. Dufaure asserts that the Society is carrying on a propagandist war against property and society ; that it scatters its publications in thousands; and that all the dangerous Communists recently arrested were possessed of its cards of affiliation. He therefore proposes to make the fact of belonging to the International, or any similar society' an offence

against the public peace, punishable with imprisonment for not less than three months or more than two years, and a fine not exceeding £40, and a loss of civil rights for five years. AU these penalties are doubled if the accused is a functionary of the Society, or in any way propagates its doctrines. The principle of the Bill was voted by 501 to 104, and all its provisions have been passed. The law is a frightfully severe one, and will, as a first result, change the Society into a secret association, which will use terror in self-defence. A short, clever pamphlet, proving to the peasantry that if the International succeeded they must lose their lands, would have had ten times as much preventive effect. Creeds are not suppressed by short sentences of imprisonment.