Mr. Yeaman to Mr. Seward.

No. 143.]

Sir: On the 22d instant Count Frijs, president of the council and minister for foreign affairs, indicated definitively to the Landsthing that the cabinet would feel bound to offer their resignation in the event of the rejection of the ecclesiastical law, of which I gave an account in my No. 136, of the 6th March; and for several days it seemed very doubtful what the result would be, and seemed probable that the law could pass only by the silence or absence of some of its opponents. Now, however, an amendment of the law has been agreed to in the Landsthing which partially satisfies both parties—at least is accepted as a compromise— and which the opposition prefer to a dissolution of the cabinet, by which the right is not made absolute for 20 families to organize a congregation for worship, and to select their own pastor, but the power is vested in government to grant such privilege at its discretion, on application being made. This, for the present, settles the controversy in the Landsthing; but the amendment makes it necessary that the law shall go back for approval, in this amended form, by the Folkething. Should this approval be obtained, of which there seems at present but little doubt, all immediate anxiety on account of a dissolution of the present government will be relieved.

Some weeks ago the King was petitioned by several of the most prominent members of the Folkething to consolidate the two ministries of war and marine, placing them both under the direction of one minister, by which it was claimed the management of the army and navy would be more economical, more harmonious, and more energetic. The scheme was indorsed by a vote of the Folkething, but up to this time the King has taken no action upon it. I am satisfied, indeed I may state, that the cabinet do not favor the measure; and as they have probably expressed this opinion or advice to the King, it may be predicted that he will not grant the prayer of the petitioners.

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I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


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