Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.

No. 397.]

Sir: The discussions in Parliament proceed with calmness, and business is rapidly disposed of.

In addition to the budget of ways and means, and of finances, mentioned in a previous despatch, those of the interior and of justice have also been voted in the house.

The war budget will not, probably, be presented till the end of the session, when a decision will have been arrived at by the government touching the changes to be made in the army and militia and their armaments, in order to place Belgium in a position more efficiently to defend itself in case of danger, a subject which is occupying seriously the attention of the government in view of the armaments going on around them, and recent events in Europe.

The Belgian legion of volunteers in Mexico are to be brought home on a French transport, the French government having determined, it seems, to give [Page 611] not alone to Austrian and Belgian volunteers but to French civilians who followed its armies to Mexico transportation home if desired.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.