18 FEBRUARY 1888, Page 1


THE Government of M. Tirard sustained on Monday what was really, though not nominally, a serious defeat. The Colonial Ministry asked £800,000 for Tonquin; but the Bonapartists, Legitimists, and Radicals united in refusing the grant, upon the ground that the Colony consumed too many men and too much money. M. Lanessant, who had recently returned from the Colony, described the mismanagement as frightful, the natives being taxed to death, whole trades driven away by Protec- tionist tariffs, and the revenues and grants from home expended on the Army and a preposterous number of imported French officials. It would have been cheaper to give them permanent sinecures than to conquer Tonquin for their benefit. The Chamber, which detests M. Ferry, and Tonquin on account of him, therefore rejected the vote, 256 voting on each side, which, by French custom, implies the refusal of the proposal under debate. M. Tirard rose in great agitation, explained that the vote meant the abandonment of the Colony and the resignation of the Government, and, to give the Chamber a plea for reconsideration, moved the reduction of the vote by 10 per cent. The Opposition was obdurate, and not one Deputy seceded; but a few absent men, or abstainers, were induced to come forward, and the reduced vote was carried by 264 to 256, a majority of 8. That is fatal for poor M. Tirard, whose fall has evidently been determined on, and whose successor will be M. Floquet.