By direction of Count Bismarck, to Mr. Benedetti, minister of France at Berlin.
Mr. Ambassador: I have had the honor to receive the letter which your excellency pleased to write me under date of 12th December last, for the purpose of inducing the King to accede to the convention of the 23d December, 1865.
We do not undervalue the great advantages which the people of the two countries would derive from the approximation of the two monetary systems at this time in force. We would congratulate ourselves if we could contribute to remove the embarrassments which the diversity of coinage causes in our commercial relations. If, for the moment, I do not find myself in position to take on my part any steps to arrive at the understanding which you are pleased to propose to us, it is because, aside from the material difficulties which your excellency has not kept out of view, the present political situation prevents the royal government from entering upon an interchange of opinions upon this subject. The monetary question is one of those inscribed on the programme of the deliberations of the confederation of northern Germany. To discuss it in advance with another state would be to prejudge in some degree future discussions. When we shall know the result of those discussions the favorable moment will arrive for advising in respect to the removal of the obstacles which still oppose the monetary union of the two countries.
I need not assure your excellency that I shall not lose this object from view, and intend to revert to it on the proper occasion.
Please to accept, sir, &c.
For the minister,