Mr. Bancroft to Mr. Fish.
Berlin , November 12, 1873. (Received December 8.)
Sir: The newly-elected Prussian Diet came together to-day. On account of the illness of the King, the opening speech, of which I inclose a copy, was made to them by Mr. Camphausen, now vice-president of the ministry. The character of the house is liberal. The Catholics of Prussia form about one-third of the population, and the ultramontanes have but a fifth of the representation. This is a gain to them of several votes; but, on the other hand, the party representing the extreme of orthodox Lutheranism and so-called feudalism has disappeared. In a house of four hundred and thirty members, the extreme radicals, the extreme conservatives, the ultramontanes, the discontented and all but disloyal Poles, taken together, count scarcely one hundred and thirty votes against three hundred who are united on the basis of attachment to the unity of Germany and to the progress of liberal principles in legislation.
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I am, &c.,