28 AUGUST 1880, Page 3

The supposed divergence between the views of M. Gambetta and

the French Prime Minister, M. de Freycinet, has been attracting a great deal of attention this week, both in France and outside France. M. de Freycinet's speech at Montauban, on Wednesday week, indicated, first, a firm policy of peace, which the Cherbourg speech of M. Gambetta was interpreted by many as bringing into some doubt; and in the second place, M. de Freycinet indicated a very strong desire to have done with the policy of religious persecution, declaring that the Government intended to introduce a Bill to put all associations, whether religions or civil, on the same footing, and in the meantime to leave the-religious associations which at present exist in France, —since the dispersion of the Jesuits,—umnolested. The Republique Fran faise,—a paper of which nobody seems to know whether or not it still represents M. Gambetta's views,—at once condemned this suggestion of M. de Freycinet's, declaring that it was quite impossible to put religious associations on the same footing in relation to the State as civil ; and M. Paul Bert, the notorious vivisector of animals and assailant of religious liberty, has since raised a cry of "Peace to the parish clergy, war with the monks !" If M. de Freycinet's policy is in con- flict with this sort of bigotry, we wish him hearty success with it, and hope the bigots of anti-Catholicism may meet the defeat they deserve. And we entertain a very strong hope that in this matter the Ripublique Francaise does not represent the mind of the President of the Chamber of Deputies.