7 DECEMBER 1895, Page 18

We have mentioned elsewhere the new proceedings taken in Germany

against the Social Democrats. The Austrian Gevernment seems disposed to adopt a different policy. It has, indeed, dissolved the Vienna Municipality because it had fallen into the bands of the Anti-Semites; but the Govern- ment has forwarded a circular to all the Public Prosecutors outside Hungary, cautioning them to be discreet in pro- secuting or confiscating journals, and not to consider every expression of independent opinion as a journalistic offence. "The widest scope is to be allowed to fair criticism." A Bill, moreover, is to be introduced which will, it is said, be regarded by the Press as a considerable reform. This is quite a new departure for a High Tory Ministry, and would seem to indicate a great sense of security ; but it must be remembered that officials in Austria are protected by a severe law of libel.