17 DECEMBER 1870, Page 3

The English Press has been indulging in a long controversy

lately as to the truthfulness of the German war telegrams. For the most part, we believe the official ones have been tolerably faithful, though always suppressing all that was unfavourable to the Germans as long as possible. There have been some exceptions, like the King's absurd telegram to Queen Augusta about a month ago about having defeated the Army of the Loire " along its whole line" at Dreux, when the only force at Dreux was a few thousand Mobiles without artillery. But as far as we know, the official telegrams have generally been guilty only of the suppressio seri, till last Tuesday, when we strongly suspect there was a positive assertion of what was false in the Versailles Meniteur, which published the following violent and almost hysterical paragraph :—" The Tours Government continues publishing false reports from the Loire Army. They say that, excepting some heavy ship guns, not a piece of artillery remained in the hands of the enemy at Orleans, and that the retreat was effected without any loss of men or materiel. This is rather strong, considering that we have taken• 14,000 prisoners and 77 field guns. The men propagating these arrant lies are the same who wish to be regarded as so many Republican Catos and Aristides." Now, all the English correspondents near Orleans speak of the orderly retreat of the greater part of the army, and of the heavy marine guns as a very important part of the guns captured. The number of 77 guns was always given by the German official accounts as the maximum figure and none of the bulletins added, " besides the heavy marine guns." It is contrary to all precedent to omit such guns from the number of those captured, and there is no doubt at all that something like 50 such guns were taken in the entrenched camps. No military critic in England has, as far as we know, accepted this new statement. And, for our own parts, we believe it to be simply false. No doubt some 20 fieldpieces or so were taken,—mainly from the 15th Corps, which was the only one panic-stricken.