4 FEBRUARY 1882, Page 1

Paris is still at heart preoccupied with the commercial dis-

asters. Great efforts have been made to avert a crash, and it is possible that it may be postponed. The fall of the Union G6n6rale has, however, inflicted great losses upon all manner of persons, including some of the first houses in France ; and the I40W Minister of Justice, M. Humbert, has ordered the arrest

of its president, M. Bontous, and his manager. They are to be prosecuted criminally, and the majority in the Chamber threaten to urge a prosecution of the Directors also, on the charge of having used the capital of the Bank to inflate the price of their own shares, an offence which in France, it appears, is forbidden by special statute. The Directors are almost all Legitimist or Orleanist nobles, or men, like M. Venillot of the Univers, closely connected with the highest Ultramontanes. It is a curious evidence of the ramifications of modern finance, that M. Boutoux's arrest has fallen like a thunderbolt on Servia, where he is the great coneessionnaire of railways. It is believed that the event may overthrow the pro-Austrian Ministry, and so restore M. Ristics, the spokesman of the Slays, and thus endanger an Austrian occupation.