2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 18

The financial Report placed before the Italian Chamber on Wednesday

was on the whole favourable. The deficit. said Signor Boselli, the Finance Minister, expected for 1898-99.had disappeared through the economic prosperity of the country, and had been replaced by a surplus of £600,000. There will, however, be a deficit of nearly a million in 1899-1900, which the Chamber seems to contemplate with much calmness. Considering the state of affairs three years ago, when Baron Sonnino took the Treasury in hand, the account is, as we have said, a reassuring one ; but the Italians are bad managers of national finance. The Deputies let the tax-gatherers job infamously and make incessant demands for local favours from Ministers whose first business ought to be economy. With a little of the Prussian hardness and incorruptibility the owners of Italy, which is after all a magnificent estate, ought to be rich men with credit among financiers of the highest kind. As it is, they could not now borrow anything like as cheaply as our Australian Colonies.