Front Page Titles (by Subject) 249.: FRENCH NEWS  EXAMINER, 20 APR., 1834, P. 250 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II
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249.: FRENCH NEWS  EXAMINER, 20 APR., 1834, P. 250 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
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FRENCH NEWS 
This article comments on the uprisings which took place in Lyons on 9-13 Apr. and in Paris on 13-14 Apr. The concluding paragraphs on Lord Howick have been included as Mill’s, even though they are separated from the rest by a printer’s rule, because Mill alludes to the same speech against combinations in his “Notes on the Newspapers,” Monthly Repository, n.s. VIII (May 1834), 365 (see CW, Vol. VI, pp. 207-8). The article is headed “London, April 20, 1834.” For Mill’s bibliographic entry, see No. 246. In the Somerville College set of the Examiner, the item is listed as “Article on France.”
we are unable as yet to form any conclusive judgment on the nature of the calamitous events which have just occurred in France. But as far as we are yet informed, the facts seem to be as follows:—
For some time past the silk-weavers of Lyons had been at variance with their employers, and a strike had taken place, to which the emissaries of the republican associations of Paris had endeavoured, but with little success, to give a political character.1 The strike, like most other strikes, lasted for a certain period and terminated; and the operatives returned to work at the old prices. A well-meaning and prudent government would have rejoiced at this pacific termination of the struggle, and would have spared itself the odium and danger of violent measures when the only rational purpose of such measures had already been attained. But Louis Philippe’s policy is of quite another complexion. After the strike was over, he chose to prosecute its principal leaders. This excited a commotion, and the people would not suffer the trial to proceed. Mutual acts of hostility occurred, and the affair growing serious, the malcontents of all classes, political or not, united their strength, and burst out at once into a Republican and a Trades’ Union insurrection. The insurgents maintained for five days, with the most desperate valour, a sanguinary contest with the troops, which ended in their total defeat. Of the loss of lives and property, and the injury to the town itself, nothing is yet known but that they are immense.
The events at Paris have been of a very different character. The Government placed a formidable force under arms, and gave a military aspect to the whole city. As usual at Paris, and as was perhaps intended, this did not prevent, but, on the contrary, promoted the concourse of people. In one of the most crowded parts of the city (the Place du Châtelet), the police attempted a repetition of those outrages against the persons of unoffending spectators, of which their conduct on the Place de la Bourse, a few weeks ago, afforded so disgusting a specimen.2 The people were in too excited a state to brook this; a collision took place; and fighting having once begun, the same consequences followed as in June 1832.3 That portion of the more hot-headed political malcontents who, without having premeditated an insurrection, are always ready to join in one, attempted to form barricades, but were speedily overpowered; and the penalty of their folly will now be borne by the French people, on whose necks they have helped to rivet the yoke of an iron despotism.
The Government has expressed its intention to apply to the Chambers for what even itself calls the strongest measures of repression.4 What these are it has not yet disclosed, they are probably such as will confiscate, temporarily at the least, all the remaining liberties of France. Meanwhile the insurgents, and all whom it chuses to accuse as such, are to be tried by the Chamber of Peers, that they may be deprived of the protection of a Jury; and, in direct defiance of law, the Government has taken the opportunity of suppressing the Tribune newspaper—nailing up its printing-office, dismissing the compositors, and depriving the printer, M. Mie (who has also been arrested) of the patent, a license, without which, by an odious abuse, no one in France can carry on the business of a printer.5 Of course, no other printer will consent to risk the same fate by giving to this obnoxious paper (which has been prosecuted ninety-six times since the July Revolution), the aid of his types and printing presses.
It is said that no fewer than a thousand arrests have taken place in Paris alone.
Another week will show what sort of vengeance Louis Philippe means on this occasion to execute upon his vanquished enemies. There is no doubt that it will be left entirely to his choice, and there is every reason to believe that it will be most unsparing.
Upon the subject of the Trades’ Unions, and a warning reference to the bloodshed in France, Lord Howick made the following fierce remark:
He could not sit down without noticing the allusion of the honourable and gallant member opposite to the disturbances in France. It was said that this ought to teach them that it was not by a course of rigour that they were to put an end to proceedings of this kind. These proceedings taught him (Lord Howick) a very different lesson. It was a struggle between two classes, and whatever side obtained a victory, a dreadful and lamentable slaughter must take place.6
We were convinced that the issue of the unfortunate struggle in France would encourage the Whig Ministry to dare extremities. The proposed procession of the Unions on Monday is most ill-judged, and from any accident or foul play the most frightful consequences may ensue.
[1 ]There had been trouble in Lyons from the middle of February. One of the republican societies that sent emissaries was the Société des Droits de l’Homme. It was thought by many at the time, and certainly by the French Government, that the uprisings in Paris and Lyons were part of a conspiracy to provide some diversionary incidents, requested by Mazzini, during his (unsuccessful) attempt, begun in February, to liberate Savoy and Piedmont.
[2 ]From 21 to 23 Feb., there were demonstrations against the law limiting crieurs publics in various locations in Paris (for details, see No. 236, n4), but particularly at the Place de la Bourse, where the crieurs publics were accustomed to sell radical newspapers and pamphlets (“Tribunal de première instance de la Seine,” Constitutionnel, 15 Apr., pp. 3-4, 16 Apr., pp. 3-4, and 17 Apr., p. 4).
[3 ]See No. 171.
[4 ]Though Mill evidently had not seen the reports, on 15 Apr. three bills were introduced: Projet de loi relatif aux détenteurs d’armes et de munitions de guerre, Projet de loi relatif à un crédit extraordinaire sur l’exercice 1834, and Projet de loi pour un crédit additionnel au budget du ministère de guerre pour 1835, all of which were enacted on 24 May, as Bull. 125, Nos. 277-9. (For the bills, see Moniteur, 1834, pp. 929-30.)
[5 ]Auguste Mie (b. 1801), a leader in the Three Days, a Carbonaro, and associate of Carrel and Thiers. His premises were closed on 26 July. He was prosecuted under Art. 12 of Bull. 47, No. 395 (21 Oct., 1814).
[6 ]Grey, Speech on the Dorsetshire Labourers (18 Apr., 1834), PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 22, cols. 940-4. Grey’s reference is to the speech by Aubrey William Beauclerk (1801-54), M.P. for Surrey East from 1832 (ibid., col. 938).