General Sickles to Mr. Fish.
Madrid, December 16, 1872. (Received January 6, 1873.)
Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith for your information a copy of an official publication of a law declaratory of the naval force to be kept in commission for general service at the cost of the supreme government of Spain for the year 1872–’73.[Page 835]
It will be understood that additional naval forces are maintained for colonial service at the expense of those provinces, the particulars of which will perhaps appear in the budget of the minister of Ultramar when that document shall be published.
This law provides for two iron-clad frigates, one of twenty-three and the other of six guns; the former to be in commission for twelve and the latter for six months. Also five screw frigates, of which two carry forty-eight guns, another forty-one, another thirty-eight, and the fifth thirty-two guns. Also two corvettes, one of five guns and the other of two; and seven schooners of two guns. Two frigates, a corvette, and two schooners are to be kept in service six months, and the remainder for the year. Eleven side-wheel steamers are also to be in commission, these carrying from two to eighteen guns each, and having engines running from 120 to 500 horse-power.
Five thousand eight hundred sailors and three thousand four hundred and ninety-eight marines (solados de infanteria de marina) are called into service.
I also append a copy of the recent law declaring the term of service of crews of ships of war to be four years under arms and one year in the first reserve.
I am, &c.,