1 DECEMBER 1894, Page 19

The French Chamber has, as was expected, agreed to the

-war with Madagascar. The credits were passed last Saturday by a vote of 390 to 112, while a medium proposal by M, 'Boucher, to blockade instead of invading, was rejected by 381 to 168. The votes were practically carried by a speech from M. Ribot, who declared in eloquent words that unless France occupied the island, that " daring, ardent, and venturesome man, Mr. Cecil Rhodes," would feel his ambition grow to seize what he had described as the "England of the African continent." This argument, and the Government assurance that there is wealth in Mada- gascar, proved final; but the expedition is not thoroughly popular. The people are afraid for their children. The Minister of War, General Mercier, absolutely refused to pro- mise that conscripts should not be sent, and it is perceived that if the first scratch army of Foreign Legionaries, Algerines, .Senegalese, and the like, meets with a repulse, a large body of regular troops must be despatched to avenge them. Nobody, moreover, believes in the credit of £2,500,000, which will all be expended before the expedition has marched a mile into Madagascar.