6 FEBRUARY 1886, Page 2

A dispute which might prove serious has broken out in

the French Army. The Minister at War, General Boulanger, finding that the officers of two cavalry regiments at Tours expressed anti-Republican sentiments, and avoided the usual courtesies to Republican officials, ordered the regiments to Nantes, a station much disliked. General Schmitz, in com- mand of the Division, "disclaimed responsibility" publicly, thus censuring his chief, and was at once placed in retreat. The punishment caused remonstrances in the Chamber, but General Boulanger declared that he would not have politics in the Army, that officers must obey, and that he accepted full responsibility. The punishment of General Schmitz is severe, but the French War Office is justly afraid of Generals who seem inclined to form " groups " within the Army, and to introduce an approach to the Spanish method. It is said that the cavalry in France are Royalist and the artillery strongly Republican; but since the time of Napoleon I., there has been, we believe, no instance of military rebellion. That is to say, although Governments have been subverted by military force, the soldiery have never acted without a regular order from the recognised Minister of War.