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9h\ttlligrucr. FRANCE. The address of the Minister of Agricul- ture to the Council of Agriculture, Manufactures, and Commerce, lias opened some commercial topics, which have been seized upon by the newspapers. The Dibats pursues its advocacy for the admission of iron duty free applicable to steel-making, by contending equally for the admission of iron applicable to ship-building. The Dibats says However interesting this question may be it can never have the importance for France that it has had for England. With us timber abounds, and iron is scarce and costly. Among our neighbours on the other hand, iron is low in price and timber dear. To a certain point, however, the measure will obviate the difficulty ans.ng from the dearoesa 0f iron. But here again arise e o jectioos which iron-masters may on this occasion advance. The production of our forges can supply our wanta, and therefore do not open to foreigners a market which our metal requires whoDv for itself, in order that a compensation may be obtained'for the sacrifices made in smelting and manufacturing it. Do not, therefore, it will be said, deprive us of a protection which has given it all its value, and under the rule of which the price of ironi has fallen 25 to 30 per cent. in ten years do not deprive it of of those elements which must infallibly produce fur- ther improvements in its manufactures. To these argu- ments the advocates for the measure reply—4he French iron works are no doubt able to provide for this new want, <Twl n ^e. replacing 4779 ships, is estimated at 240,000 tons of iron to be used in eight years, 30,000 tons per annum, which would not exceed by a tenth our general annual production of iron. But can it be made to consist with the economy which the state of our marine requires, that is to say, by lowering the price so as to bring it at least as nearly as possible to a level with the prices of the two foreign countries < Evidently not, it could not even become master of the rate of charge, because the extent of the demand would necessitate an increased activity of production and labour, make a new call for the investment of capital, and thus naturally cause a rise in the prices. Is it not at once equitable and more rational to come to the aid of ship-building by moderate duties, particularly when no real damage can accrue to our metallurgy from such a step, since the point at issue is a new employment of iron, and consequently no advantage which it at present possesses could be taken from it. Our tariffs for many years have secured to it the home market, which will be at present notably enlarged by the execution of railways Let us now think of the interests of our merchant shipping, winch, deprived of the native articles of lading, struggles dtsadvantitgeousty against foreign competition, and for the construction of which our customs tariffs raise but too much the articles that are necessary. To reduce or sup- press the duty now weighing on bar or sheet iron would certainly be one of the best means of balancing the chances of a maritime competition between us and our rivals, and to efface within a given time the relative inferiority of our navigation. This simple statement shows what are the range and object of the questions which the councils will ^have to discuss. There are few deserving a more atten- tive examination, and few besides more complex, for the point is also to decide whether the immunity ought to be confined to vessels employed in international navigation, or extended to constructing vessels without limitation of tonnage and again whether there shall be accorded to native irons nsed in the construction of new vessels the premium of 15f. which our ironmasters claim, in case the concession of the tariff be consented to. It cannot certainly be said that the premium would militate against the object of the project, but it mnst be allowed that it would injure the treasury to favour a branch of manufacture exceedingly important certainly, bat already much favoured." THE OVERLAND MAIL.-Letters and files of newspapers in anticipation of the Overland Calcutta Mail K,ere 'ece'Te^ 00 Sunday night- The dates are Calcutta, Nov. 8 Madras, Nov. 18; Bombay, Nov. 15 Singa- pore, Nov. 8; and China, Oct. 31. The intelligence by the present mail is somewhat scanty in extent, and though not wholly devoid of importance, possesses less interest than usual. The Governor General has left Agra, on his way to Bhurtpore and Delhi, which latter place it is ex- pected he will reach on the 23d or 24th inst. There is no alteration in the threatening attitude assumed by the British authorities towards the effervescent soldiery of Lahore, but the report now is, that the expected blow is to be delayed, and that hostilities will not be resorted to existence with the maintenance of so formidable a force on the north-west frontier—a force very much stronger, in every respect, than would seem to be required, if our pro* posed policy be merely a defensive one. Affairs in the PuDjaub wear a somewhat more tranquil aspect than usual. No chief having as yet dared to step into the shoes of S,rdar Juwahir Singh and his murdered prede- cessors, the state is at present without a minister, and public affairs are conducted by the Ranee or Queen Mother, and her favourite, and supposed paramour, Rajah Lall Singh. Rajah Goolab Singh and Sirdar Tej Singh (the ex-gover- nor of Peshawur) have alike declined the perilous office, and though the troops have declared their intention of com- pelling the former to become Vizier, there seems every reason to believe that the post will remain vacant for a considerable period. The fate of Peshora Singh is still a matter of speculation. The intelligence from Scinde is extremely limited. The Governor, Sir C. Napier, is ex- pected to leave Kurrachee about the 1st proximo, on a tour in Cutch BhooJ. There is little sickness in Snkkur, Hyderabad, or the seat of government, but the troops com- posing the outposts, have, it 18 said, suffered severely. Intelligence from Cabool, to the 19th September, has come to hand, hut the facts detailed are few and unimportant. It would seem that Dost Mahomed was really the secret supporter of Peshora Singh, and that he had it in contem- plation to invade Peshawur at the very time intimation reached him of the death of that chief. There has been a serious disturbance at Indore, arising from an attempt, which was happily frustrated, to assasinate the minister. A conspiracy against the British is said to have been dis- covered at Gwallior, but it is at present doubtful whether the presumed; plot is not a mere fabrication, got up with the view of injuring Tara Baee and her party. The Nizam's dominions continue in an unsettled state, and it is supposed that we may now look every day for intelli- gence of the active interference of the British authorities, to restore the country to order, and give a character of stability to the government. In other parts of India tran- quility appears to prevail. Our local accounts give the particulars of a most shocking catastrophe in the native town-a Manilla sailor, under the influence of some hor- rible excitement, having run a muck," crease in hand, and killed five, aud wounded 16 or 17 individuals. The attention of the authorities is still directed to the best means of preventing the waste of water, considerable scarcity during the next hot season being apprehended. CHINA.—The Overland Friend of-China, of Oct. 31, in writing of carrent matters has the following The markets of Canton and Shangai are glutted with manufac- tured goods, especially cotton fabrics, and we fear that the mercantile advices by this mail will be of a gloomy and unsatisfactory nature. Shippers have pressed goods upon the market at a rate which even the enormously increased demand will scarcely warrant, andwithevery desire to pro- tect their interest, the agent in China will not be able to dis- pose of them at remunerating prices. It is estimated that the imports for the current year will amount to 3,000,000 pieces of cotton shirting; before the tK-aty the hnport of that staple article never exceeded 520,000 pieces. It is to be hoped that the attention of her Majesty's ministers will be drawn to the peculiar state of commefci-tt affairs in China and a modification of the present high duties upon teas will be the probable result. It appeals that British cotton goods are gradually supplanting the native manu- factures, and as in India, in the course of years China will chiefly be supplied with foreign cotton fabrics. It appears however, that to enable our manufacturers to derite the full advantages of this almost new and limitless market, they must be put in a position to take in return a much larger quantity of the staples of Chinese produce. Of raw suk the export for the past and the carrent year, has been large, and so long as Great Britain continues in a prosperous state, with ample employment for the working classes silk fabrics or fabrics of silk and cotton, or sUk and wool, will find an outlet in the home market. Any ge j1?"8 depression in tbe prosperity of the country would suddenly check this branch of national industry, aud hence it becomes the more necessary to provide a market for the goods that issue from the looms, without compel- ling the proprietors to reduce their establishments, or lower the rate of wages. Silk has partly enabled the merchants of China to keep the balance of trade tolerably equal, but with an annual import of S,000,000 of pieces of long u rJt that this can continue. It is to teas, therefore, that they must look as the equipoise of this branch of trade. A reduction in the duty of 61). in the pound would increase the consumption, nor would the revenue suffer to any great exteht, if at all. It is now ascertained, that si nee the recent reduction in the sugar duties the consumption is from 20 to 95 per cent. great-- than in former years. This reduction has, of course, had an influence on the tea market, giving it a firmness, which, considering tbe large export of last year, was not antici- pated. The two articles—tea and sugar—are so closely allied that a demand for the one influences the oonsump* tion of the other. We anticipate that a reduction in the duty on tea would increase the demand for w as tea, and the revenue would derive tbe benefit ol a larger import of both. We are encouraged to look for some moidiScation in the duty from tbe clear and liberal views ol Sir Robert Peel on all financial questions, and we are satisfied that the revenue would not suffer permanently by a measure which would benefit tbe manufacturing, com- mercial, and shipping interests, and through them the en- tire country."