Mr. Ewing to Mr. Seward
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your circular letter of the 5th September, enclosing copies of the President’s proclamation of the 3d, and your despatch of the 25th ultimo, No. 17.
During the summer sessions the chambers of the Netherlands confirmed a treaty with England arranging their boundaries on the coast of Guiana; an additional article to the treaty of extradition with Prussia of November, 1850, and, by the unanimous voice of both chambers, a treaty of commerce and navigation with Austria.
A bill was passed authorizing the construction of bridges, and the completion of railroads in the direction of France.
An appropriation was made for converting the small-arms into breech-loaders, in pursuance of which a contract was entered into with an English house, the Netherlands manufactures being preoccupied.
In relation to the colonies an act was passed reducing the amount of forced labor due by the people to their chiefs, and increasing the salary paid the latter. Another authorizing the governor general to grant uncultivated lands on ground rent in the East India islands, for the term of seventy-five years.
In consequence of a failure on the part of the chambers to sustain his views on the question of leases in the islands, Mr. Frakranen, minister for the colonies, resigned and was succeeded by Mr. Hasselmann.
A number of refugees from the late kingdom of Hanover sojourning at Arnheim, suspected by the Prussian government of harboring designs against that country, were ordered by the minister of justice of the Netherlands to disperse and locate in various places. This provoked criticism in the chambers, as it was thought an unuathorized concession to the wishes of Prussia.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C