The French Minister of Commerce, M. 'Duchatel, is ,at length
acting on a more liberal system. In spite of the clamours of the iron- masters and founders, he last week made some very important conces- sions to private individuals for the introduction of manufactured iron for public purposes, and there is every probability of his extending the facility. He says, " I will encourage French industry, but I will not bare works of public utility stopped because there is not in France sufficient enterprise to produce what is' essential for public improve- ment." M. Duchatel is also favourable to a reduction of the import- duty on British coals : but here he has a formidable enemy in the King, who, to conciliate the Belgians, wishes to reduce the duty on Belgian coals, and continue the duty on English coals at its present high rate.