18 JANUARY 1879, Page 1


THE event of the week is the very unexciting programme read by the French Ministers to both Chambers on Thursday,— in the Senate, by M. Dufaure ; in the Chamber of Deputies, by M. de Marcere. In the Senate, the programme was, on the whole, well received ; in the Chamber of Deputies it met an icy reception,. and the impression appears to be that a change of Government,—a change to a more Liberal Administra- tion,—will be brought about by the vote of the Lower House. The programme itself was intentionally tame. The Government congratulated the country on the final victory of the Republic, spoke of its foreign policy, especially the policy of France at the Congress, as prudent and dignified ; referred to the numerous pardons it had granted to political offenders, and of its intention to present a Bill which would lead to a larger amnesty ; intimated that the State would resume its sole authority in the granting of degrees, and apologised for leaving a few of the higher military commands under provisional conditions, though the law would be rigidly ap- plied to the army in general. In fact, the programme said, and was intended to say, that the Government did not propose to do anything sensational, either in a Liberal or Conservative sense. The discussion begins next week, and there is no doubt that it will express vividly the discontent of the advanced Liberals. Possibly it may overturn the Government, and lead to a more thoroughgoing exclusion of half-hearted Republicans from office, —not a good prospect. Half-heartedness is to be deprecated, but half-heartedness is better than whole-heartedness on the wrong side, which is what vindictive Radicalism may lead to.