21 JUNE 1873, Page 1

The National Assembly, after a debate in which the Left

Centre-,either deserted altogether or took part in favour of the prosecution of M. Ran; has consented to that prosecution by a majority of 250 (450 against 200),—and this in spite of the fact that the rejected amendment of the minority only asked for inquiry as preliminary to prosecution. In a case like M. Ranc's, whom the Government had deliberately declined to prosecute during two years, and whose colleague in the Commune, who joined and resigned it with him, was acquitteik nothing could have been more reasonable. than some previous inquiry into the motives of this carefully delayed prosecution,—one which looks to the world more like a prosecution of the people of Lyons who elected him, than of M. Banc himself. Even in the Committee which reported in favour of his prosecution, a mem- ber of the Extreme Right, M. Lucien, Brun, had joined the members of the Left in asking leave to interrogate M. Thiers' War Minister and Minister of Justice,—we suppose as to their motives for leaving M. Banc untouched,—before proceeding to recommend his prosecution : but the Committee would hear of no preliminary inquiry, and the House in its turn would hear of none. After the amendment was rejected, the Committee's report in favour of the prosecution was adopted by no fewer than 485 votes to 137. It is not easy for English critics to understand such votes. We fear that our anticipation of a terribly reaction- ary movement in the National Assembly after M. Barodet's election, is being but too literally fulfilled.