[TO THE EDITOR OF THE 'SPECTATOR.]
SIR,—There was some discussion in London last winter respect- ing the actual amount of emigration to the large towns of France, especially Paris, from the uncultivated department of La Creuse, in which I write. There are no official statistics on the subject ; indeed, it would not be the interest of the Government to publish full and true statistics of the results of a movement originating in a great measure in its own extravagant expenditure in the capital, and neglect of roads, &c., in remote rural districts. But although the exact numerical figure of the emigration is not ascertainable, no one here questions its enormous amount. I have just received from the Abbe P. Labrune, Archipretre d'Aubusson,—Aubusson is the only town of importance in the department —a copy of a work on the subject, which he has lately published, pointing out the political, economic, and moral evils of the movement ; and I find he puts the annual migration from La Creuse to the capital and other towns at 50,000. M. de Lavergne, the well-known political philosopher, is a resident proprietor here, and I learn from him that there is every reason to believe that in one year at least the above number was reached ; but the average annual exodus, according to his estimate, is between 30,000 and 40,000, out of a total population far short of 300,000. The greater part of the robust male population, from 14 years upwards, leave their homes in the spring to build streets in Paris, Lyons, and Rheims, return- ing to La Creuse only for a part of the winter, during which they do no work.
I published a few pages on the subject in the last February number of Fraser's Magazine, and a second visit to the depart- ment convinces me that the statements there made are correct, save in one or two immaterial details.—I am, Sir, &c.,
Peyrusse, La Creuse, September 1. T. E. CLIFFE LESLIE.