27 MAY 1882, Page 3

The French Ministry has been very near a great defeat.

A great many Members dislike M. Leon Say as Finance Minister, because he rigorously checks all projects of expenditure, and is .opposed both to the purchase of the railways, and the rapid pro- secution of public works greatly desired by the constituencies. A proposal therefore, introduced on Monday, to abolish all wine duties, both national and municipal, and substitute extra duties on spirits, found so much support that it was carried by 278 to 155. The proposal was absurdly ill-considered, as the wine duties, yield altogether £7,000,000 a year, and M. Leon Say im- mediately resigned. M. de Freycinet felt that the whole Cabinet was involved, and by privately informing Members of the bad news from Egypt, induced them to consider the consequences of breaking up the Ministry. They accordingly on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence in M. Say of the most direct character, by a majority of 338 to 36, and M. Say for the present remains. It is noted, however, that M. Say made three speeches against the motion of Monday, and was still defeated, and it is believed that he will not long retain power. It will be most difficult to replace him, and M. de Freycinet is reported sick with vexation, and not un- willing to resign.