No. 22.
Mr. Jones to Mr. Fish.

No. 183.]

Sir: No successor to General Guillaume, who recently resigned the ministry of war, has yet been found.

Count d’Aspremont Lynden, minister of foreign affairs, for awhile assumed the charge of the war department, but, being ill, M. Malou, minister of finance, is now acting minister of war. The difficulty seems to be to find a man of sufficient ability who is in accord with the ministry.

Much interest and a good deal of discussion in the chambers and in the press have been occasioned by negotiations said to be pending for the cession of the Luxembourg railway, owned by an English company, to a company composed of Germans and Belgians. The commercial and manufacturing interests of the country oppose the cession, and insist that if the road is to be sold the state shall purchase it. This subject occasioned a good deal of discussion in 1868, when it was proposed to lease this road to a French company, and in February, 1869, a law was passed prohibiting railway companies having charters in Belgium from ceding or leasing their lines without the consent of the government. It is understood the government favors the sale, but the opposition has become so formidable that the present indications are that the scheme will be abandoned.

The Emperor of Germany has conferred the order of the red eagle on Count d’Aspremont.

Spain is still represented here by a chargé d’affaires. M. José Antoine de Aquilar, who succeeded M. Paxtot, was here but a few days. [Page 80] M. de Aquilar is the third appointment within three years—Asquerino, Paxtot, and de Aquilar.

Heretofore this government has had but one representative for both China and Japan.

Recently M. De Groote has been appointed to Japan. A portion of the press complains of his appointment on the ground of his never having been in the diplomatic service.

I have, &c.,