Mr. Perry to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I take pleasure in enclosing the official gazette of to-day, which contains a royal decree extending the time for the free admission of wheat and wheat flour into Spain to the 30th day of June, 1868.[Page 539]
A former decree, dated August 22d, limited this privilege to four months, and restricted it to certain ports of the kingdom.
To-day’s decree makes the measure extensive to all the ports of the kingdom, and establishes it until the next year’s crop of wheat can be harvested.
The same gazette also contains the official report of the price of wheat at Madrid on the 25th instant. This price continues to rise throughout the kingdom, and the local authorities have just authorized an advance of one cuarto (about three-fourths of a cent) in the price of bread at Madrid for every two-pound loaf.
In a country where bread is almost the sole aliment of great masses of the people, and where the paternal authority of the government is looked to as more or less responsible for the price of bread, this is a matter of some concern.
With sentiments of the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.