16 SEPTEMBER 1871, Page 2

Prince Bismarck is willing to reduce the strength of the

German army of occupation to 50,000 men, and to evacuate immediately the Jura, the Cfite d'Or, the Aube, and the Aisne, on condition that the French will ratify a commercial convention which prepares the way for the gradual treatment of Alsace and Lorraine in the French tariff as completely foreign territories. On Thursday the French Minister of Foreign Affairs declared to the Assembly that "notwithstanding the desire to favour the noble inhabitants of Alsace and Lorraine, we have been unwilling to raise, well-founded grievances among our own commercial establishments,"—conse- quently he proposed to the Assembly to consider and declare urgent a Convention to provide that Alsatian and Lorraine products will be admitted till the end of the present year on paying a quarter of the frontier dues; then, till the end of the first half of 1872, on paying half the frontier dues ; and then, till the end of 1872, "there will be reciprocity for French manufactures." Or, as we understand it., the Germans are offering the strongest inducements to the French to begin as soon as possible to treat Alsace and Lorraine like foreign countries in their tariff, under the impression, we suppose, that this will tend to alienate those provinces from France by severing their interests from hers.