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town TALK.




OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. --+-- The Public Revenue in France. The Moniteur is decidedly optimist. This does not mean to say that it constantly proclaims that every- thing is done in the best manner in the best of all possible worlds; it avows, now and then, that such and such a fact, and such and such a circumstance leaves something to be desired, but it understands how to present things so pleasantly, that we are com- forted before even knowing the evil which threatens how to present things so pleasantly, that we are com- forted before even knowing the evil which threatens us. To-day, for instance, it gives us a comparative statement between the revenue of the year 1865 apd [ that of the years 1863 and 1801; but these financial tables have not exactly the form of former years, sugar not being in its usual place. This taxable article was not considered worthy enough to figure at once in the sum total of the receipts. By excluding sugar wa have for the first hair-year of 1865 a total of 537,400,000f.; for 1864, 533:929,000f, for 1863, 527,780,000f. This constitutes an increase of 8,471,000?. in comparison with 1864, and of 9,620,000f. in comparison with 1863. Bat now look only at the optimism of theltloilitettr. The increase of three millions which has beeu brought to light by the omission of the article of sugar, is not considered sufficient, and it adds ths zollowing note: —"It will be remembered that, the year 1884, being a leap-year, there was a gain of three millions, which sum represents the income of one day by indirect I taxes, for the month Gf F^brnarv." But did that day then cost us nothing? Bnfc let us J not dwell on details which are by far too trifling, for an increase of six or even ten millions every six months is not of great importance for a country like France. The single town of Paris would hardly be content with such a trifle. To proceed, however, for the sugar is still there, although it has been separately placed; you must only find it out. We find, then, that the three kinds of sugar (the colonial, the foreign, and home produce), have yielded 25,521,000f. in 1865, 63,415,000f. in 1864, 76,097,000f. in 1863-a decrease which is larger in appearance than in reality, but which nevertheless constitutes a real diminution of a certain number of millions. In adding the produce of sugar to the sums total given above, we find the general total of the indirect revenue to be-562 ,921,000f. in 1865; 597,374,000f. in 1864 603,877,000f. in 1863. Diminution—thirty-four millions and a half in comparison with 1864, and about forty-two millions in comparison with 1863. However, if we wish to judge properly of the result of taxes and duties, and of its influence on the state of I finances, we must not always compare it with the pre- ceding years. Modifications in the rate of taxes are I frequently introduced from year to year, and these modifications must be taken into account. The most useful, or at least the most practical comparison, is that which is constituted between the provisions of the budget and their realisation. Now, the provisions of 1865, which lie before us, seem to expect if we divide them in two halves, the sum of 602,700,000f. for six months, and as the receipts amount only to 562,900,000f., there would be a deficit of nearly forty millions. Now it will be well understood why we considered the Moniteur as opti- mist. It is because it does not compare the estimate of the budget with the realised receipts. The optimist sees everything in rose-colour, and does not care about the thorns which arise from comparisons.-Le Temps. Eton and Harrow. A contributor to the Pall Mall Gazette seems actu- ated by personal spite against Eton. Harrow having won the annual cricket match, thus does our contem- porary comment:—"No one could deny the scene to be pleasant; but are not the ingredients prepared at too great a cost? Those twenty-seven hours a week are rather a heavy tax for the Eton eleven to pay as a preparation for being effectually beaten in public. All play and no work makes (sic) some of our young friends rather dull boys in after life. We are certainly not about to defend the Eton system of education. It has most of the faults that are compatible with a thorough enjoyment of life on the part of the scholars." With much more of the same sort. The next day a "correspondent" adds At public examinations, and in class-rooms, the name of the average Etonian is too often a by-word; at Lord's, at Wimbledon, even on the Thames, Eton is no longer a word of fear to competing schools; that once famous college seems to be rapidly dwindling down into an enormous prepara- tory establishment for young gentlemen—at which nobody is prepared for anything." Now this is quite unworthy of a journal generally conducted in a sen- sible way; and it is not even original. More than thirty years ogo a brilliant Etonian poet satirised an obscure country paper for extravagantly attacking Eton:- I fancied the Doctor at College Had dipped, now and then, into books; But bless me I find that his knowledge Is just like my coachman's or cook's: He's a dince-I have heard it with sorrow; 'Twould puzzle him sadly, I guess, To put into English to-morrow A page of the Windsor Excess." Our contemporary judges Eton from a middle-class point of view-and Eton is not a middle-class school. Pall Mall is quite right to have its opinions on every possible subject-the opinions of men who dine at clubs and lounge in lobbies. But Pall Mall is, after all, only a placa Where bearded men appear to-day Just Eton boys grown heavy." The Press. The New Conscription in Poland. Whilst the Austrian army is by an Imperial order being put on a peace footing, whilst even in France a reduction of the active force is carried on, we receive news from Russia of a new considerable conscription in Poland. If it was in itself an evil omen that the Emperor Alexander had expressed to the Governor- General Murawieff, on the occasion of his dismissal, his thanks, and his approval of the system pursued in order to pacify the ancient Polish provinces-and this just from Nice, that is from French soil, and from the death-bed of his son-the evil symptom has now been confirmed in a most fatal manner by the conscription which has recently been decreed. No less than 30,000 soldiers are to be levied in Congress-Poland during the ensuing month of November, and only a fourth part of this number will be allowed to purchase its freedom. If we inquire after the object and meaning of this conscription, we cannot discover anything else but an additional and substantial protest against the three great Powers to whom Prince Gortschakoff has given his solemn promise to carry out the programme of the Six Points," as soon as the insurrection will be quelled. At the present moment, when the tendency to disarm has become so general, the increase of the Russian army by a few new regiments can neither be of urgen t necessity, nor can it have any practical object in view —especially as they could in the first instance not be employed at some European conflict, and find occupa- tion in Asia only. The aim of the Russian Govern- ment must, therefore, simply fee to give an:avis au lecteur both to the Western Powers and the Poles. The present is within the space of three years the third extensive conscrption in Russia, which has more a political than a military bearing. The Russian Govern- ment has not ventured upon such a step since the Crimean war, but had put off the conscriptions for the sake of two cogent reasons. First, because the carrying out of the work of emancipation had sown discontent among the nobility, and secondly, because the peasant, who from a serf had been metamorphosed into a free man, required very careful treatment. But the struggle against the mortal enemy has roused the Russian national feeling to such a pitch that the first general levy, coinciding pretty much with the conclu- sion of the liberation of the serfs, proceeded for the first time since seven years without opposition. The present conscription in Poland has no immediate military object, but only a political one, which is very palpable; the country is to be cleared of the young generation, and if this clearing process, as may be ex- pected, will be repeated several times, it will un- doubtedly be a thorough one. -The Vienna Liberal. The Value of Money. There is no doubt that the value of in01Je^.?a about to rise, though it is not so easy to say why it should rise. The signs of a change are clear:-First the rate in the open market is fully up to and above the Bank rate, so that an unusual number of persons are driven thither for discount; secondly, there is a demand for gold for ^he Continent, and the exchange houses are market to get that gold; thirdly, ordinary trade seems to be a little more brisk, though it is difficult to be sure how much of the apparent increase is due to the exact demand, and. to te natural wish of many persona to discount tneir bills before the value of money rises as they expect. The elections and the approaching harvest have contributed a little to the present peculiar state ot Lombard-street, but the main explanation of it will be found by recurring to the car- dinal consideration to which we have so often adverted. We have often shown at tedious length that the new companies and the new engagements which they have undertaken form a new drain on our money market; that we have undertaken almost a new trade of lending, in addition to the old trade of birying and selling. It woula appear that some operations of that sort are at work now. We do not allude to any speoial one of magnitude, but rather to the sum and total. effect of many minor ones. Money has been cheap for a long time, and naturally all persons who have foreign commitments," as the barbarous phrase goes, are anxious to make hay while the sun shines. Before many days are over, we are confident the Bank of England will take care that the rate of interest affords no unnecessary encouragement of foreign investments. —Economist. 6

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