4 AUGUST 1866, Page 2

The Emperor of the French has signed the bases of

a decree creating a fund for the maintenance of workmen incapacitated for work by wounds. The wording of the decree is a little obscure, but its meaning appears to be that the State, the Departments, the Communes, and the Railways are to pay a tax amounting to 1 per cent. on their eiependiture for public works towards a Labour Fund. This tax will, it is supposed, realize 160,000/. a year, which allows 800 pensions of 12/. a year to be distributed annually, the pensioners living generally about twenty years. This looks very like a new tax decreed by the Sovereign alone, but the bodies affected will not be able to resist so popular a measure. The next step ought to be to provide for workmen incapacitated through age.